Tigers Drop 7-6 Heartbreaker To Louisville
March 16, 2002
LOUISVILLE, Tenn. - Memphis baseball suffered a painful 7-6 loss to Louisville at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Ky., this afternoon. The Tigers have dropped six in a row, the program's longest losing streak since the 2000 squad drudged through a 14-game skid to finish the season.
Down 2-1 through five innings, the Tigers exploded for five runs in the top of the sixth for a 6-2 lead. It was the first time Memphis scored five runs in a single inning since a 9-7 last-inning defeat against Villanova in the Service Academies Classic.
Junior centerfielder Paul Cookman singled to lead off the Memphis fifth and senior catcher Barrett Smith delivered a single of his own, then advanced to second on an error by the Cardinal left fielder. But runners on second and third with no outs quickly became runners on second and thrid with two away. Then, after working a full count, senior designated hitter Jay Fik doubled down the right field line to give the Tigers their first lead of the afternoon at 3-2.
Junior right-hander Nick Rogers grabbed the reins from starter Ryan O'Malley and was staked to a four-run lead in the bottom of the sixth. O'Malley, who was pulled after reaching the 100-pitch mark, allowed just two runs on seven hits and struck out seven over five innings. So far this season, O'Malley has struck out 22 and walked only two.
After hurling perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, Rogers faced just three batters and gave up two hits in the eighth and was charged with three runs after junior reliever Josh Cartwright gave up an RBI single to Louisville's Adam Haley.
In the ninth, Louisville's Mark Jurich delivered an RBI triple to tie the score and his pinch runner scored the game winner on a botched throw to the plate.
The Tigers wrap-up a three-game series with the Cardinals at Cardinal Stadium tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. EST.