Shelton's Seventh-Inning Grand Slam Lifts Memphis Past SIU-Edwardsville
April 11, 2009
MILLINGTON, Tenn. -
SIU-Edwardsville (6-21) 010 000 000 - 1 6 2 Memphis (14-19) 000 000 41x - 5 6 1
Memphis freshman Heith Hatfield struck out seven in seven innings, and Cole Shelton erased a one-run deficit with a grand slam in the seventh inning, as the Tigers rallied late for a 5-1 victory over SIU-Edwardsville on Saturday afternoon at USA Stadium. Memphis clinched the series with win and improves to 14-19 on the year. SIUE drops to 6-21.
After watching the home run aid in two of its last three losses, Memphis finally got some help from the longball. Trailing 1-0 and being no-hit through six innings, redshirt freshman Adam McClain broke up the no-hit bid with a single to leftfield. Shawn Ablett was then hit by a pitch and Tyler Huelsing reached on a catcher's interference. That set up a two-out opportunity for Cole Shelton and the senior came through in a big way, blasting a grand slam over the left centerfield wall to put Memphis on top for good, 4-1. All four of the Tigers seventh-innings scores were unearned due to the catcher's interference error.
The Tigers tacked on a fifth run in the eighth on an RBI-single by Shelton. The Tiger DH went 2-for-4 with five RBI on the day. He was the lone U of M player to reach multiple hits in the game. All of the Tigers' six hits came in the seventh and eighth innings.
Although Shelton provided the game-winning offensive production, it was freshman Heith Hatfield who had perhaps the strongest day for the Tigers. In just his second start of the year, Hatfield scattered six hits and gave up just one run. While the Memphis offense was unable to muster a hit, the freshman kept the Tigers in the ballgame, holding off the Cougars in the third through seventh innings to pick up his first collegiate victory. Hatfield (1-3) retired the Cougars in order in the third, fourth and fifth innings. He retired 17 of the last 20 batters faced before handing the ball over to Marcus Barnes in the eighth. Barnes was perfect in two innings to pick up his first save in a Tiger uniform.
SIUE got its offense on three hits in the second inning. Dustin Brooks led of the frame with a double and scored on single by Mike Hurt. Josh Street, the team's leading hitter, brought an 18-game hit streak into the contest, but went hitless in four at-bats.
Cougar pitcher Josh Hoguet was the tough-luck loser. Hoguet was perfect through the first 4.1 innings and faced just one batter over the minimum through six. He took a no-hitter into the seventh before giving up a single to McClain. The right-hander gave up two runs (both unearned) on one hit and struck out five in six innings. Relief pitcher Luke Vine worked an inning and allowed two unearned runs on two hits.
Memphis looks to sweep the series on Sunday, when the two teams matchup for the series finale at USA Stadium. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.