Big Inning Downs @MemphisBaseball at Middle Tennessee
April 1, 2014
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Memphis scored five unanswered runs to erase an early 2-0 deficit, but a four-run sixth by Middle Tennessee downed the Tigers on Tuesday at Reese Smith Jr. Field.
Middle Tennessee used two-out damage to take a 2-0 lead in the second. A two-out single was followed by a two-run home run that carried over the rightfield fence to give the Blue Raiders a 2-0 lead. Middle Tennessee got their third two-out hit of the inning following the home run, but a groundball ended the frame.
The Tigers answered with a tally in the third, but an out on the base paths prevented a bigger rally. A walk and two hit batters loaded the bases with one out for Tucker Tubbs. Tubbs muscled a fly ball to leftfield to drive in a run, but the runner at second was caught in a rundown to end the frame with Middle Tennessee leading 2-1.
Memphis tacked on three runs in the fourth to grab a 4-2 advantage. A leadoff single and two walks with one out loaded the bases for the second-straight inning. Zach Schritenthal drove a sacrifice fly to right-centerfield to drive in the tying run and Zach Willis followed with a two-run double to give the Tigers the 4-2 lead. A two-out walk and stolen base by Willis was followed by an RBI single by Ethan Gross, but Middle Tennessee answered with four runs in the sixth to lead 6-5. The Blue Raiders scored four runs on four hits, one Memphis error and two walks, including a bases loaded walk that pushed across the go-ahead run.
The Tigers had a rally going in the ninth as Jake Little was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Two wild pitches moved him to third with no outs, but the Blue Raiders got the first out via strikeout. The Middle Tennessee pitcher delivered a ball down and away, but Little stumbled on his retreat to third and was picked off for the second out and a groundout later ended the game.
Willis paced the Tigers offense going 3-for-3 with two RBI, two runs scored, a hit by pitch and a walk. Gross and Tucker Tubbs also had an RBI for the Tigers, but the Blue Raiders out-hit the U of M 12-6. Freshman LHP Ryan Garner (0-2) took the loss as he allowed six runs, four earned, on nine hits in 5.1 innings of work.
The Tigers and Blue Raiders play game two of a midweek series on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. at Reese Smith Jr. Field.