Tucker Tubbs Pinch-Hit Single Keys Tigers 6-2 Victory Over No. 7 Rice
March 25, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Tucker Tubbs singled up the middle to plate the go-ahead run and Jacob Wilson added a three-run home run and Memphis (10-13, 1-2) avoided the three-game sweep against Rice (18-8, 2-1) with a 6-2 victory on Sunday at FedExPark.
Wilson's eighth inning blast was the first of three on the day for the Tigers. Eli Hynes belted a solo shot in the second to put Memphis on the board. Zach Willis hit his first career home run in the third to increase the lead to 2-0.
The Owls scattered two hits in the first five innings of the game, but back-to-back singles in the sixth put runners on the corners and no outs. Christian Stringer put the Owls on the board with a sacrifice fly, but Tiger starter Chase Joiner forced a fly out and proceeded to strikeout Michael Fuda to end the inning.
The Owls pushed across the tying run in the eighth, but stranded the go-ahead run on second. Stringer started the one-out rally as he poked a single through the right side of the infield and J.T. Chargois followed with a single to left. With runners on the corners, Michael Fuda attempted to lay down a bunt, but with two strikes he hit a sacrifice fly to center to plate the tying run. Jeremy Rathjen singled through the left side with two outs, but Memphis reliever Patrick Bailey forced Geoff Perrott to groundout to end the threat.
Memphis regained the lead in the bottom of the eighth with the key pinch-hit by Tubbs. Ethan Gross doubled down the left field line and scored the go-ahead run on the single up the middle by Tubbs. An intentional walk and wild pitch placed Memphis base runners on second and third with two out, but Jacob Wilson launched a three-run home run to straightaway center to give Memphis a 6-2 lead.
Joiner recorded the sixth-straight quality start for the Tiger pitching staff as he tossed 7.2 innings and allowed two runs on eight hits. Bailey (1-1) picked up his first career win throwing 1.1 innings in relief while Taylor Wall (3-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in two innings of work. Jacob Wilson paced the Tiger offense with two hits, but Rice out-hit Memphis 9-7 on the game.
With the win Sunday, Memphis picked up its first win over a top-10 program since the Tigers defeated No. 2 Rice on March 27, 2009.
The Tigers hit the road for a two-game series at Middle Tennessee. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday and 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday in Murfreesboro, Tenn.