Tigers Even Series At East Carolina With 3-2 Victory
March 26, 2011
With the win, Memphis (12-9, 1-1 C-USA) snapped a 12-game losing streak in a road series that opened C-USA play. The U of M improves to 16-30 in a three-game set on the road to open league play and collect their first win since the 2001 season.
Ben Paullus (1-0) pitched 3 2/3 innings to earn the victory on the mound in relief of Memphis starter Ryan Holland. Paullus allowed no hits on the day and struck out five batters and walked one. Holland pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on eight hits. He struck out two and walked two. East Carolina reliever Brad Mincey (4-1) took the loss after allowing one run in the seventh.
A lead-off single by T.J. Rich sparked the Tigers to their first run on the game. Rich advanced to second on a balk by ECU starting pitcher Mike Wright and Robby Graham would hit a one-out RBI-double to plate Rich from second and give the U of M a 1-0 lead. With the run, Memphis scored its 32nd run following a lead-off man reaching base.
The Tigers used a lead-off walk to Graham in the fourth to increase the lead to 2-0. Graham advanced to second on a passed ball by Pirate catcher Zach Wright and would score on a RBI-single by Adam McClain. Memphis would load the bases in the inning, but could not increase the lead further.
East Carolina (17-5, 1-1 C-USA) loaded the bases in the fourth, but could only score one run in the inning after Holland worked out of the jam. A lead-off walk and back-to-back singles loaded the bases for Chris Gosik. Gosik lined into a double play to Zurcher at shortstop to put runners on the corners and two outs. Ben Fultz hit a two-out RBI-single to bring the Pirates within one at 2-1.
The Pirates would tie the game in the fifth after back-to-back singles started the rally. Tim Younger started the rally with an infield single and Trent Whitehead singled up the middle to bring Jack Reinheimer to the plate. Reinheimer advanced runners to scoring position with a sacrifice bunt and Zach Wright drove in Younger from third with a sacrifice fly to left field to tie the game at 2-2.
Memphis regained the lead in the seventh as Zurcher led off the inning with a single through the left side. Jacob Wilson laid down a bunt to advance Zurcher, but the throw from pitcher Brad Mincey was low and got away from Corey Thompson at first base. Zurcher advanced to third on the error and scored on fielder's choice after T.J. Rich hit a grounder to second. Rich collected his 19th RBI of the season to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead.
Eli Hynes led the Tiger offense with two hits on the day and Rich, Graham and McClain earned the RBI's for the U of M.
The Tigers will go for the series victory with game two of the doubleheader set to start at approximately 12:15 p.m.