Baseball Escapes UT-Martin with 5-4 11-Inning Triumph
April 6, 2006
UNION CITY, Tenn. -
Memphis (16-13) 100 011 010 01 - 5 10 1 UT-Martin (10-17) 000 211 000 00 - 4 9 5
Sophomore catcher Alex Fennell drove home the game-winning run with a two-out single to score Robbie Goss from second and give Memphis a 5-4 11-inning win over UT-Martin Wednesday night at Elam Field. The Tigers, who have now won three-straight, have won each of the last 11 meetings against the Skyhawks.
UTM committed five errors in the contest, but none more costly than its last in the top half of the 11th. Goss singled to the hole between shortstop and third, but advanced to second when Skyhawk shortstop Lance Renton's ill-advised throw to first sailed into the home dugout. After a Tiger out, Fennell drove home the game-winner.
K.K. Chalmers put Memphis ahead 1-0 just three pitches into the ballgame with a towering leadoff home run over the leftfield wall. It was the first leadoff homer since Jordan Tolliver accomplished the feat against UAB last year.
UT-Martin took its first lead in the fourth inning when Renton led off with a double just out of the reach of a diving Joseph Lieberman in leftfield. Nick Luper's infield single tied the score and Jason Hockaday scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-1.
Memphis countered with a run in the fifth on a fielding error by Renton. However, he redeemed himself with an RBI-single to give the lead back to the Skyhawks 3-2.
An RBI-single by Lieberman in the sixth tied the contest for the second consecutive inning, but UTM regained the lead, on a double by catcher Chris Rezabek.
The Tigers used hustle late in the game to score the equalizer. Kyle Norrid reached on an error and then stole second. Lieberman then popped a long foul ball down the leftfield line. Skyhawks third baseman Douglas Nicodemus was able to make the play for the out, but Norrid was able to advance to a vacated third base. Nicodemus' hurried throw to third skipped away from pitcher Mickey Dobson, allowing Norrid to score the game-tying run.
Junior southpaw Dusty Davis shut the Skyhawks down in three innings of relief to preserve the tie and pick up his second win of the year. He allowed just one hit and fanned three in the eighth, ninth and 10th innings. Josh Langley pitched a scoreless 11th inning to earn his first save as a Tiger. Memphis starter Ben Grisham scattered six hits and struck out five in five innings. Dobson took the loss.
An impatient Tiger offense was held to just eight hits through 10 innings after averaging 13 hits in the last four games. Martin pitchers baited Memphis into 16 fly ball outs. Fennell led the offensive charge with three hits, while Goss and Norrid had two each.
The game was the longest since a 5-4 11-inning loss to Louisville in 2004.
The Tigers will now prepare for a Conference USA weekend series against Marshall. The Tigers will take on the Herd at Appalachian Power Park, home of the West Virginia Power, the Class A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. All three games will be played as the opening games of a doubleheader with the Power. First pitch for Friday afternoon's series-opener is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. Listen to live action as "The Voice of Tiger Baseball" Jeff Brightwell calls the play-by-play action on WUMR 91.7FM.