Offensive Outburst Keys 17-3 Victory Over Alcorn State
April 1, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - After scoring three runs or less in eight of the last ten games, the offense exploded and the University of Memphis baseball squad earned a 17-3 victory over Alcorn State on Friday night at FedExPark.
The Tigers lit the FedExPark scoreboard first in the bottom of the second inning. Following a pair of singles by Phillip Chapman and Robby Graham, designated hitter Eli Hynes came to bat and struck a sac fly to left field, scoring Chapman.
The U of M struck for six runs in the third to blow the game open and carry a 7-0 lead into the fourth inning. Drew Martinez singled to left field and then proceeded to steal second. The nation's leading hitter, Chad Zurcher then laid down a bunt for his second hit of the game and Jacob Wilson followed with a two RBI double to left center. With Wilson on third, Phillip Chapman was hit by a pitch and Robby Graham hit an RBI single to right field, scoring Wilson and advancing Chapman to third. With runners on first and third, Hynes stepped to the plate once again and ripped a long home run to right center, scoring three runs. Memphis wrapped up the inning with six hits and six runs.
Following Zurcher's ninth double of the season, Alcorn state proceeded to plunk Wilson. T.J. Rich then stepped to the plate and rocketed a shot right back to the pitcher, scoring Zurcher and placing Wilson at second. With runners at first and third Graham then knocked a sac fly to left, scoring Wilson and giving the Tigers a 9-0 lead.
Alcorn State scored three runs in the sixth, cutting the Tigers' advantage to six, but the U of M quickly retaliated, notching a trio of RBI in the sixth. Memphis scored the first of their runs on an RBI double by Graham. Adam McClain then followed with an RBI double to shallow right center, scoring a pair of runs and increasing the lead to 12-3.
A five-run seventh set the final margin of 17-3. With the bases loaded, Rich once again took to the plate, popping up a high fly ball to left field. A dropped fly ball to left field allowed another Tiger run to score and Chapman then ripped his team-leading 12th double just fair down the left field line, scoring Zurcher and Wilson. An Alcorn State wild pitch then accounted for Memphis' 16th run of the evening. With one out, pinch hitter Bryan Picou chopped a sacrifice RBI shot to second base, scoring Chapman, Memphis' 17th and final run of the evening.
In his first career start, Michael Wills struck-out the side, tying his career-high of strike-outs in his first trip to the mound of the night. Memphis soon lost Wills mid-way through the second inning, due to back pains. Fellow freshman Blake Myers relived Wills, who finished his night with two and two thirds innings pitched, one hit, one walk and a career-high five strikeouts. Blake Myers earned his first career win in relief of Wills, as he allowed three runs on four hits and he struck out two in 4 1/3 innings of work. Jonathan Van Eaton and Patrick Bailey worked the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, and each did not allow a run.
Memphis will look to win the series with game two tomorrow afternoon at FedExPark. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. and Ryan Holland will make the start for the U of M.