Tigers Complete Road Sweep Over Bearcats
March 31, 2002
CINCINNATI - The Memphis Tigers withstood another late push from Cincinnati and scored two runs iin the 10th inning for their second extra-inning victory in as many tries, 13-12.
With the win, the Tigers (8-14, 5-4 C-USA) completed their first road sweep since 1998 season against the very same foe in the host Bearcats who fell to 11-15-1 and 1-7-1 in the league standings. Entering today's contest, Memphis was just two-and-a-half games out of first place within the conference after beginning the season 1-4.
Memphis has now won five consecutive league contests for the first time since last season when the U of M swept Louisville and took two-of-three against Southern Miss.
The U of M withstood five UC home runs including three from Chris Hamblen but did receive three from junior first baseman Andy Gesell (Memphis, Tenn./Briarcrest HS), senior catcher Barrett Smith (Memphis, Tenn./ White Station HS) and sophomore third baseman Kyle Scott (Germantown, Tenn./Germantown HS)
Despite holding a 4-0 lead entering the bottom of the fifth, Memphis trailed 5-4 heading into the fourth after a five-run third inning from UC, capped by two home runs from Chris Hamblen and Jake Smith. Then Memphis countered with four runs in the fourth highlighted by Scott's three-run homer, also his fifth on the season, to go ahead 8-5.
Memphis scored two more runs in the sixth and again in the ninth but after Cincinnati answered with two more in the seventh and then tied the game at 11 on Hamblen's three-run bomb, the game appeared in question as the contest headed into the 10th inning for second-straight day. But an RBI single from junior centerfielder Paul Cookman put the Tigers ahead for good.
As a team, the Tigers established a new single-game high with 19 hits with Smith leading the way after going a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with his third home run of the season, two RBI and two runs scored. Gesell followed closely behind with a 3-for-6 performance which included his first homer of the year and also produced two runs and two RBI. Scott led all hitters with three RBI while senior centerfielder Paul Reuer, who was making just his second start after missing nine games, contributed with three singles and two RBI.
The Tigers used six different pitchers before redshirt-junior reliever Josh Cartwright came on in the bottom of the ninth to pick up his first win of the year and freshman pitcher Daniel de Armas (Germantown, Tenn/ Houston HS) earned his first save in a Memphis uniform, after retiring three straight to end the game.
Memphis returns home this evening before taking off for another road-trip, this time against intra-state rival Middle Tennessee from April 2-3 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.