Kent State Defeats Memphis 4-2 in 10 Innings to Win Series
March 17, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A bases loaded hit by pitch plated the winning run and Kent State (6-11) went on to defeat Memphis (11-8) 4-2 in 10 innings to win the three-game series at FedExPark, Sunday.
Memphis reliever Jonathan Van Eaton entered the game in the sixth inning, and after escaping trouble in the sixth, the junior closer kept the game at 2-2 going to the 10th. A leadoff single by Alex Miklos got the rally started. A double by Evan Campbell put runners on second and third with one out and the Tigers intentionally walked George Roberts to load the bases. Van Eaton hit the next batter to plate the go-ahead run.
Kent State added to the lead as the Tigers brought in reliever Heith Hatfield with the bases full and one out. Cody Koch singled through the right side to make it 4-2, but Hatfield induced a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. The Tigers got a two-out single from Jake Little, but couldn’t muster any other offense as Kent State took the victory.
Kent State used a leadoff walk and back-to-back one out singles to grab a 1-0 lead in the first. Memphis starter Alex Gunn had walked one batter in 20 innings of work, but Miklos took a leadoff walk and scored on a one-out single from Roberts. Campbell singled to move Miklos to second, but Roberts and Campbell were stranded on first and second to end the inning.
Memphis responded in the bottom of the inning to knot the score at 1-1. Jake Little hit a one-out single to right field and stole second with two outs in the frame. Tucker Tubbs extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games with a RBI single to left field to drive in the tying run.
A two-out Tiger error proved costly in the second inning as Kent State regained the lead at 2-1. Derek Toadvine reached on an infield single, just beating the throw at first. Miklos hit next and hit a slow roller to third, but the throw was low, allowing Toadvine to score from first. Gunn stranded Miklos at third after the error to keep Memphis within one run at 2-1.
The Tigers tied the game again in the third with a sacrifice fly by Little. Ethan Gross got the inning going with a double down the left field line and he moved to third on a Zach Willis single to right-centerfield. Little lifted a liner to right field and Gross raced home to score the tying run.
After an error and single put two Kent State runners on to start the fifth, Gunn used a double play to put two outs on the board. Gunn stranded the potential go-ahead run at third following a fly out, ending his afternoon with five innings pitched and two runs allowed, one earned, on five hits.
Kent State loaded the bases with one out in the sixth against reliever Jonathan Van Eaton, but couldn’t scratch across a run. A grounder in front of the plate allowed catcher Carter White to tag out the runner from third for the force out and Tigers’ third baseman Drew Griffin dove to his right and beat the runner from second to get the third out.
Memphis missed opportunities to take the lead in the seventh and eighth innings, stranding a total of three runners in scoring position. In the 7th, Tubbs reached on an error, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third on a groundout to second. A fly out stranded him at d to end the seventh. In the eighth, Memphis had the bases loaded with two out, but the Flashes got out of the jam with a fly out to leftfield. Kent State reliever Nick Jensen-Clagg picked up the win to improve to 1-1 on the season; Jonathan Van Eaton took the loss for the Tigers in 4.1 innings of work, dropping to 0-1 on the year. Ethan Gross and Jake Little led the Tigers’ offense. Each player went 2-for-4 and scored a run.
Memphis starts a four-game road slate, Tuesday, at UT Martin. The Tigers then open Conference USA play at Tulane, Friday.