Tigers Snag Elusive Midweek Victory, Double Up Arkansas State, 16-8
April 7, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Arkansas State (12-18) 100 100 240 - 8 12 9 Memphis (12-18) 141 640 00X - 16 17 2
The search for a midweek win has ended for the University of Memphis baseball team. Senior DH Cole Shelton and freshman third baseman Jacob Wilson combined to go 7-for-8 with seven RBI and six runs scored to lead the Tigers to a 16-8 win over Arkansas State, Tuesday night at Gagliano Field.
Memphis scored early and often, striking for runs in each of the first four innings to take an insurmountable lead. In addition to its 17-hit offensive attack, the Tigers got help from the Arkansas State defense. The Red Wolves tied a school record with nine errors in the game. Those miscues led to five unearned runs.
After AState got the game started with a first-innings run, Memphis answered quickly and tied the game with a solo home run by Brett Bowen. Bowen's blast was his sixth homer of the year as well as his sixth solo job this season. It ignited an offensive outing the Tigers have not seen in midweek action this year.
Two Red Wolves' errors helped Memphis put up a four-spot in the second to surge ahead 5-1. After Wilson singled to center and Shelton was hit by a pitch, Heith Hatfield placed a sacrifice bunt to third base. However, on the play, Arkansas State second baseman Giovanni Garcia lost the throw from third baseman Guy Brown in the sun and the ball rolled into the ASU bullpen. Both Wilson and Shelton were able to score on the errant throw and Hatfield raced around to third. AState first baseman Brandon Eller retrieved the ball, but his throw to the plate sailed wide and allowed Hatfield to score. Chris Newsom then doubled off the centerfield wall and Tyler Huelsing followed with an RBI-single.
Shelton's RBI-double made it 6-1 after three innings and Memphis then erupted for six runs in the fourth to put the game out of reach. The Tigers collected six hits in the frame, but again benefitted from two errors. After Huelsing walked, Adam McClain doubled setting up a two-run single by Trey Wiedman. Wilson and Shelton then struck again. Wilson banged an RBI-double and Shelton trailed with a two-run single to make it 11-2. Newsom capped the inning with a sacrifice fly.
Ahead 12-2 Memphis' bat continued to roll with the aid of more Red Wolves mistakes. Bowen was hit by a pitch and Wiedman and Shawn Ablett both reached on errors to load the bases for Wilson, who drove a two-run single through the right side. Wilson stole second and advanced to third when catcher Lawson Hipps' throw to second ended up in centerfield. Ablett scored on the play and Wilson came around after an RBI-single by Shelton.
Arkansas State closed the game out strong, with two runs in the seventh, off a two-run homer by Derrick Coleman, They used four hits to plate four more in the eighth to reach the 16-8 final.
Memphis got a strong midweek start out of Ryan Fraser. The big right-hander scattered five hits and fanned six in five innings to improve to 3-3 on the year. Worth Tate closed the game out with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
Arkansas State's Derek Riley was tagged with the loss. He gave up eight runs on nine hits in three innings of work. Relievers Cory Lambert and Kyle DeGrace held Memphis scoreless over the final four innings of play.
Along with Shelton and Wilson, Memphis got three hits from Huelsing. McClain, Newsom and Wiedman had two hits each.
Memphis will now make the trip to Jonesboro, Ark., for a 6:30 p.m. tilt at Tomlinson Stadium on Wednesday, April 8.