@UofMBaseball Clinches Series Against UCF With 5-2 Victory
April 6, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Trailing 2-0 after two innings, Memphis (17-13, 4-4 C-USA) scored five unanswered runs to clinch the series against UCF (18-14, 4-4 C-USA) with a 5-2 victory at FedExPark, Saturday.
UCF scored a run in each of the first two innings to grab an early 2-0 lead.
Erik Barber belted a solo home run to left-centerfield with one out in the first and a sacrifice fly by Tommy Williams scored the Knights' second run in the second inning.
Memphis was issued two walks in the first frame, but a double play erased the first runner. A two-out walk didn't cause any harm to UCF pitcher Chris Matulis, as a grounder got the Knights out of the inning.
In the second, Matulis issued a two-out walk and UCF committed an error, but a ground ball again got UCF out of the inning.
After UCF stranded a runner on second to end the top half of the third, Ethan Gross sparked a Memphis rally. A one-out single to left by Gross got it going as he then stole second before Bryce Beeler drew a walk. Tucker Tubbs singled to right-centerfield to load the bases and an error on a comebacker to the mound allowed the Tigers to get on the scoreboard. Drew Griffin then hit a sacrifice fly to center to tie the game, but Memphis had a runner tagged out at second after each runner tagged on the sacrifice fly.
A leadoff triple by Colton Simbeck helped Memphis snag the lead in the fourth. After a hard hit liner by Jake Little resulted in the first out, Zach Willis delivered a RBI single to left-centerfield to put Memphis ahead 3-2. A double steal attempt was sniffed out by UCF as they got the lead runner at third for the second out of the inning. Memphis stranded a runner on second to end the frame, but not before taking the 3-2 advantage.
Tigers' starter Erik Schoenrock allowed the leadoff man to reach in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but stranded each in scoring position to end the frames. In the fourth, the potential tying run was on third with two outs, but induced a grounder to end the threat.
UCF had runner on second with one out in the fifth, but Schoenrock didn't allow advancement with a groundout to third and a strikeout.
In the sixth, a fly out and groundout stranded another UCF runner on second. Memphis threatened to increase the lead in the bottom half of the sixth, but UCF reliever Zach Favre escaped the jam, keeping the U of M lead at 3-2. Favre hit the leadoff man (Drew Griffin) and issued a walk to Colton Simbeck. Favre struck out the next hitter and a groundout moved the runners to second and third with two outs before a fly out to center ended the threat and stranded the Tigers.
Memphis went to the bullpen to start the seventh and Taylor Williams blasted a double off the left field wall on the third pitch he saw from Clayton Gant. A balk moved the tying run to third, but Gant struck out the next hitter leaving the runner on third with one out. Dale Irving hit a grounder to third and Williams elected to try to score, but with the infield draw in, Tigers third baseman Drew Griffin gunned the throw to the plate for the out. Gant then struck out the next hitter to end the frame with the Tigers holding the 3-2 lead.
Gross sparked another two-run inning in the seventh, singling down the leftfield line. Gross stole second, his second steal of the day, before moving to third on an error by the UCF pitcher. With runners on the corners and no outs, Favre attempted to pickoff pinch-runner Austin Hatfield at first, but the throw couldn't be handled by the first baseman, scoring Gross from third. Hatfield stole second and moved to third on a groundout before scoring on a wild pitch to make the score 5-2. Carter White doubled with one out in the inning and moved to third on a flyout, but the Tigers stranded him there to end the inning.
Gant's day was done after two innings of relief in which he allowed one hit while striking out two. Jonathan Van Eaton worked the ninth and allowed a leadoff single, but a 5-4-3 double play erased it and Van Eaton earned his fifth save of the season.
Gross led the Tigers' offense with two hits two runs scored, while adding two stolen bases. Memphis out-hit UCF 7-5 on the game.
Memphis will attempt the series sweep, Sunday, when the two teams square off at 1 p.m.