Moll Pitches Tigers Past Ole Miss, 9-2
April 5, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis baseball team took care of business, Tuesday, at AutoZone Park against Ole Miss, knocking off the Rebels in a 9-2 pounding that was never in doubt.
Memphis moves to 17-11 overall and are working on a four-game winning streak heading into this weekend's series with Southern Miss at FedExPark. The Rebels fall to 19-11 and allowed a season-high nine runs.
After trading zeroes in the first inning, the Tiger offense exploded in an 11-batter second-inning that netted six runs. Senior outfielder Robby Graham started the scoring with an RBI single to score senior backstop Phillip Chapman.
The No. 9 hitter, freshman Ethan Gross, was the next man up and tagged Ole Miss starter Matt Tracy for what was arguably the most important hit of the evening, a two-run double to right center that scored Eli Hynes and put runners on second and third for Drew Martinez.
Although Martinez got Graham thrown out at the plate on a safety squeeze back to the pitcher, the bases would load up after Tracy plunked the nation's leading hitter, junior Chad Zurcher, to load the bases for junior Jacob Wilson.
Zurcher, continued his dominance at the plate with a 3-for-3 night, raising his average to .521. His third knock of the evening moved him past Tyler Huelsing (2007-10) and into sixth place all-time in career hits with 212.
Wilson delivered a two-run single that plated Martinez and Gross and put the Tigers up 4-0 with two away. For Wilson, the two runs knocked in were his team-leading 28th and 29th RBI's of 2011.
After Wilson advanced on a wild pitch and junior TJ Rich walked to load the bases up again, Tracy was pulled for Mike Mayers. The move had no effect to quell the Tiger rally; on Mayers' first pitch, Chapman (batting for the second time in the inning) laced a two-run single to left field, scoring two more to give Chapman his 20th RBI of the season. Chapman becomes the third Tiger, joining Rich and Wilson, with 20 RBI in 28 games.
Memphis got four two-out RBI's in the inning, giving them 80 two-out runs knocked in this season.
The Tigers would tack on three more in the fourth courtesy of a three-run home run to right off the bat of freshman Eli Hynes, his fourth straight-game with a homer and his team-leading seventh overall.
While the Rebel pitchers were getting knocked all over the yard, freshman Sam Moll was tremendous on the hill. The burly lefty from Lakeland, Tenn., threw seven innings, scattering two hits and striking out eight for his season's second victory.
Ole Miss would tack on two runs in the eighth, with pinch-hitter Austin Sullivan singling around Zach Kirksey to finally put the Rebels on the board. Alex Yarbrough later scored on a wild pitch to end the Rebels offensive output.
The victory is the second in a row for the Tigers at AutoZone Park against the Rebels, after defeating Ole Miss, 6-5, last season to snap a 13-game losing streak to the club from Oxford, Miss.
Memphis welcomes Southern Miss to FedExPark for a key Conference USA weekend series. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday.