Baseball Squeaks Out 5-3 Win Over South Alabama
March 17, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
South Alabama (13-7) 010 000 020 - 3 5 0 Memphis (6-11) 101 000 03x - 5 7 3
Memphis sophomore right-hander Ben Paullus struck out a career-high eight and allowed just one run on four hits in 5.2 innings and Rick Russell came through with a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth to push the Tigers to a 5-3 win over South Alabama in Wednesday evening's series finale at FedExPark. The U of M earns a split of the season series and snaps a three-game skid against USA.
Paullus was stellar in his first start of the year before handing the ball over to the Tiger bullpen. Marcus Barnes tossed a scoreless inning. Heith Hatfield surrendered two runs in 1.1 innings and Dan Langfield worked a scoreless ninth to pick up the first save of his career.
Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Memphis staged a comeback that was highlighted by Russell's single that gave the Tigers the lead for good, 5-3. Tyler Huelsing got the rally started with a walk. Trey Wiedman was then hit by a pitch and Jacob Wilson drew a walk to load the bases for Russell. Huelsing tied the game a 3-all when he scored on a passed ball. Russell then came through with the eventual game-winner.
Two errors in the top of the eighth helped turn a 2-1 Memphis lead into a one-run deficit. USA's Brandon Brown led off the frame with a slow roller to shortstop. He beat the throw, but Tiger shortstop Wilson's throw to first sailed wide, allowing Brown to advance to second. The Memphis defense committed a second miscue on the next batter, allowing Jaguar leadoff hitter to advance to second on a groundball. Brown scored on the play to tie the contest at 2-2. Reynolds later came around to score the go-ahead run on a ground out.
Memphis broke through the scoring column in the first inning after stringing together three consecutive singles. Drew Martinez led off with a single just inside the third base line and Chad Zurcher extended his hit streak to nine games with a single to left. Huelsing made it 1-0 with an RBI-single to the right centerfield gap.
South Alabama answered with the game-tying score in the top of the second after Sean Laird led the inning off with a double to the gap in left centerfield. He scored on a single by Taylor White.
The Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the third after Robby Graham doubled and scored on Huelsing's second RBI-single of the night. Huelsing led Memphis with two hits, two RBI and a run scored.