Tiger Baseball Rallies Late to Top East Carolina
April 9, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
East Carolina (18-12; 1-3 C-USA) 002 010 110 - 5 10 1 Memphis (14-16; 5-2 C-USA) 001 011 021 - 6 12 2
The University of Memphis baseball squad used a ninth-inning walk-off single by Jacob Wilson to take game one of a Conference USA series against the 27th-ranked East Carolina Pirates Friday night at FedExPark. Memphis, who is now tied with Tulane for first place in the league standings, improves to 14-16 (5-2 C-USA). The Pirates fall to 18-12 overall and 1-3 in C-USA play.
Facing a tie game in the bottom of the ninth inning, Martinez hit a one out single thru the left side to begin the scoring threat. The Tigers called a hit and run on a three ball, one strike count and Chad Zurcher came up big with a single through the right side to advance Martinez to third. With runners on first and third and one out, the Pirates elected to intentionally walk Tyler Huelsing to set up a bases loaded situation.
Wilson popped up just behind the second base bag. East Carolina shortstop Corey Thompson was unable to make the play and Wilson was awarded the game-winning hit to give the Tigers the victory in game one of the series. The win was Memphis's 10th home triumph of the year.
East Carolina scratched across two runs in the top of the third inning to take the early 2-0 lead. Pirate first baseman Kyle Roller doubled to left centerfield and Thompson advanced to third before being thrown out at the plate by Tiger leftfielder Huelsing, keeping the Pirates from scoring their third run of the inning. Huelsing played the ball off the wall in left field, fired it to shortstop Chad Zurcher before Zurcher threw it to catcher Shawn Ablett to complete the out.
The Tigers answered the Pirate two-run third with a two-out rally. Martinez lined a double to left centerfield to get the rally started and Zurcher reached on a throwing error by the Pirate shortstop. The errant throw skipped toward the Tiger dugout and allowed Martinez to round third to score the Tigers first run of the game.
East Carolina added a run in the top of the fifth to increase the lead to 3-1 and the Tigers answered once again with a lead-off double by Adam McClain. Tiger rightfielder Derrick Thomas came up a batter later and doubled down the left field line. McClain advanced to third and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Martinez.
After a scoreless framer from the Tiger hurler in the top half of the sixth, reigning C-USA player of the week Huelsing blasted a solo home run over the centerfield wall to tie the score at 3-3. With the homer, Huelsing ties for second among C-USA players for the most homers on the season. Huelsing's reached 46 RBI's on the season and has the most by any Tiger since the 2007 season.
Memphis first baseman Trey Wiedman belted a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the score at five. Wiedman's fourth blast of the year followed a lead-off double by Tiger designated hitter Rick Russell.
Tiger reliever Chase Joiner pitched two-and-a-third innings to earn his first victory as a Tiger. The junior transfer from Hopkinsville, Ky. struck out two Pirates and allowed one run on two hits. ECU closer Seth Simmons, who leads C-USA in saves, pitched one inning allowing the game-winning run for his first loss of the season.
The Tigers will return to FedExPark tomorrow at 2 p.m. for the official grand opening of FedExPark. The Tigers tout a 6-0 record in game two of a weekend series and will look to take its third-straight C-USA series since 2007.