Tigers Snap Nine-Game Skid with 9-8 Extra Inning Victory Over Mississippi State
April 9, 2008
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Mississippi State (14-18) 020 010 400 1 - 8 14 1 Memphis (12-19) 003 004 000 2 - 9 14 0
Junior designated hitter Cole Shelton blooped a two-run single into shallow right centerfield to bring home Eric Farrell and K.K. Chalmers to send Memphis past Mississippi State 9-8 in 10 innings Tuesday evening at AutoZone Park. The win snapped a nine-game losing streak for Memphis and also ended an eight-game losing string to Mississippi State.
The win was the first for Memphis Head Coach Daron Schoenrock over his mentor Ron Polk.
After Ryan Duffy homered in the top of the 10th to give the Bulldogs an 8-7 lead, it looked as if the Tigers would suffer their 10th straight loss. However, they had different things in mind as junior Eric Farrell, who had three hits in the tilt, got things going with a single through the right side and K.K. Chalmers followed by drawing his third walk of the game. Chad Zurcher then dropped a successful sacrifice bunt down to move both runners into scoring position with just one out. Brett Bowen flew out to shallow centerfield. The Tigers, who had lost four one-run contests in the nine-game losing skid, captured the clutch-hit that had eluded them when Shelton came up with the game-winner. The junior from Dyersburg drove in a career-high five runs.
The Bulldogs scored first in the see-saw game. Russell Sneed drew a one-out walk and moved to second on a single by Tyler Moore. Duffy, who finished the night with three hits, then drove a single to rightfield to bring Sneed in for a 1-0 lead. Mark Goforth singled through the left side to load the bases for Grant Hogue. Hogue was hit by an offering from Tiger starter Marc Ashley to give MSU a 2-0 cushion.
Memphis bounced back, using two hits to cross three runs in the third. Chalmers led things off with a single and was able to advance to third on an error by Bulldog rightfielder Hogue on a flyball off the bat of Brett Bowen. Bowen was raced around to second on the miscue. With runners on second and third, Trey Wiedman drew a walk and Shelton was hit by a pitch to get Memphis on the board. Huelsing came up with one of his four hits, sending a single to the deep right centerfield gap. Wiedman and Bowen both scored to put the Tigers on top 3-2. Huelsing led Memphis' 14-hit attack with a 4-for-4 night. Huelsing drove in three runs.
Connor Powers knotted the game at 3-3 in the fifth, when he banged a towering homer off the rightfield foul pole. But Memphis struck for four run in a strong sixth-inning rally. Four consecutive hits from Bowen, Wiedman, Shelton, and Huelsing each produced runs as the Tigers took a 7-3 lead.
That advantage was short-lived as the Bulldogs responded with four runs of their own in the top half of the seventh to tie the ballgame. Jason Nappi led the inning off with a walk and Powers singled to center in the next at-bat. Sneed lined a double into the leftfield corner to score Nappi. Moore then dealt the Tigers a big blow, belting relief pitcher Garrett Hachtel's second offering over the leftfield wall for a three-run homer. Moore led MSU with three RBI.
Brennon Martin earned the win after allowing just one run on one hit in three innings of relief. He fanned four Bulldogs to improve to 3-1. MSU's Michael Busby was the loser. He gave up the game-tying and game-winning runs in the 10th.
Memphis returns to action on Friday, April 11, when it travels to Orlando to take on UCF in the C-USA series opener. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. EST.