Errors Help Tulane Past Memphis, 6-4, in League Opener
March 22, 2013
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Memphis (12-9, 0-1 C-USA) opened a four run advantage, but Tulane (13-11, 1-0 C-USA) scored six unanswered runs with the help of two Tiger errors to take game one of the three-game league series on Friday at Turchin Stadium.
Facing a pitcher sporting an ERA under 1.00 (0.95) entering the game, the Tigers looked to make contact early to get a spark offensively. After back-to-back groundouts, Bryce Beeler got the Tigers started with a single up the middle and Tucker Tubbs followed with a single to left. The U of M failed to keep the two-out rally alive as a line drive produced the final out of the first.
Carter White led off the second inning for the Tigers and swung at strike three, but the wild pitch allowed him to reach first. A double by Drew Griffin went all the way to the wall in left-centerfield to score White giving Memphis the 1-0 advantage. A sacrifice bunt moved Griffin to third and with two outs and runners on the corners, Tulane starter Tony Rizzotti attempted to pickoff Zach Willis, but the throw was wide allowing Griffin to score handing the Tigers the 2-0 lead.
The Tigers added two runs in the fourth to open a 4-0 advantage. White started the inning with a single and moved to third on the hit-and-run single by Griffin through the left side of the infield. Austin Hatfield laid down a bunt with runners on the corners and White scampered home to make it 3-0. A wild pitch moved Griffin to third and he scored on a foul out by Ethan Gross to make it 4-0 in favor of Memphis.
Tulane got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, but Memphis starter Sam Moll escaped further damage with a strikeout to end the inning. Brennan Middleton got the Green Wave in the hitting column with a one out single to left and Blake Crohan followed with single to right to put runners on the corners. A sacrifice fly by Sean Potkay made the score 4-1 and a walk put runners on first and second with two out. Moll escaped the damage with his fourth strikeout of the evening, stranding the runners there.
The Green Wave continued to claw back into the game, but it took two Tiger errors to knot the score at 4-4 in the fifth. After a one-out single, an error at second allowed runners to be on first and second and Brandon Boudreaux drove in one with a single to right. With runners on the corners and one out, Moll hit a batter to load the bases. Moll induced a grounder back to the mound and threw home for the second out, but the throw to first was wide of the target allowing two runs to scoring, tying the game at 4-4. Moll got out of the inning with a groundout and all three runs in the inning were unearned.
Tulane used a two-out rally in the sixth to grab a 6-4 lead. After two great defensive plays to start the inning, a single and two walks loaded the bases for the Green Wave. Facing a 2-2 count, Boudreaux singled to left field to drive in two runs, making it 6-4. The Tigers stranded two Green Wave runners to end frame, after Tulane had grabbed the lead with a two out rally.
Memphis reliever Clayton Gant worked effectively in one-plus inning of relief. In the seventh, Gant stranded runners on first and second to end the inning. With one out, a fielder’s choice got an out at the plate and Gant followed with a pop out to end the inning. In the eighth, Tulane had runners on the corners with two outs, but a fly out ended the threat.
Beeler paced the Memphis offense with three hits in five at bats while Willis, Griffin and White had two-hit outings. Heith Hatfield took the loss as he allowed two runs, both earned, in two-thirds innings pitched.
Memphis and Tulane battle in game two of the series on Saturday at 2 p.m. LHP Erik Schoenrock (2-1, 2.76 ERA) is scheduled to face Tulane starter Alex Byo (2-2, 1.23 ERA).