Two-Out Damage Costs Tigers in 9-1 Loss to Kent State
March 16, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Kent State (5-11) scored five runs with two outs and cruised past Memphis (11-7), 9-1, to even the series at one game apiece, Saturday, at FedExPark. The two teams play the rubber match of the series Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Tucker Tubbs got the first hit of the game to lead off the second inning, but he was out at second on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Carter White. Keaton Aldridge grounded out to second, but White was able to move to second. A single by Drew Griffin put runners on the corners with two outs, but Kent State starter Taylor Williams struck out the next Tigers’ batter to end the threat.
Memphis got on the board in the fifth with a sacrifice fly from Zach Willis, his sixth RBI in the series. Griffin started the inning with a double down the leftfield line and Gross moved him to third with a one-out infield single. Willis then sent a liner to left-centerfield, but the liner was just deep enough to allow Griffin to score, giving Memphis the 1-0 lead.
Tiger starter Erik Schoenrock was perfect through 5.2 innings, but a two-out walk opened the door for Kent State. After Jeff Reeves took the two-out freebie, Alex Miklos took the first pitch he saw for a two-run home run to left-centerfield, giving Kent State the 2-1 lead. Prior to the walk and home run, Schoenrock had struck out eight batters, five on called third strikes.
Kent State added to its lead in the seventh, as George Roberts lead off the frame with a single to left-centerfield. After a walk and a sacrifice bunt, Memphis went to the bullpen and Jon Reed faced one out with two runners in scoring position. Cody Koch hit a one-hopper off the wall in right field to drive in two runs and Kent State grabbed the 4-1 lead.
The Tigers attempted to muster a two-out rally of their own, but Kent State maintained the 4-1 advantage after seven innings. Gross slapped a two-out single through the right side and Willis followed with a single to right field. A groundout to short ended the threat, as Williams completed his seventh inning of work, allowing just one run on seven hits.
The Flashes continued the two-out damage in the eighth as Tommy Monnot hit a single to leftfield to score Sawyer Polen to make it 5-1. Kent State didn’t stop there. as a two-run double by T.J. Sutton expanded the lead to 7-1.
Memphis squandered an opportunity to cut into the lead in the eighth, leaving the bases loaded with two outs. Bryce Beeler reached on an error, moved to second on a passed ball and a wild pitch had him standing on third with no outs. Tubbs walked to put runners on the corners, but Flashes’ reliever Brian Clark got two fly outs to keep runners put. Griffin walked to load the bases, but Clark struck out the next batter to end the inning.
Kent State loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the ninth and added two more runs to set the final score of 9-1. A bases loaded single by Evan Campbell scored one before a sacrifice fly by Roberts plated another.
Gross led the Tigers with three hits on the afternoon while Willis and Tubbs added two hits. Each team collected nine hits in the game, but the Tigers left 11 runners on base in the game.