Jake Little Hits Walk-Off Single to Lift @MemphisBaseball Past UCF
April 11, 2014
Holding a 1-0 lead entering the ninth inning, UCF knotted the score at 1-1 in the ninth as a two-out error allowed the run to score. A leadoff walk came back to do the harm as a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second. A strikeout, the 11th on the night for Wallingford, put two outs on the board, but UCF hit a chopper to third that ricocheted into the outfield allowing the run to score.
A leadoff walk opened the door for the Tigers in the ninth as Darien Tubbs took the free pass. Ethan Gross was successful in advancing Tubbs to second with a sacrifice bunt setting the table for Little. On a 1-0 pitch, Little drilled a single to centerfield just out of the reach of the defender allowing Tubbs to race around third and score the winning run.
Wallingford held UCF without a hit until a leadoff single in the fourth, but a lineout double play kept the Knights from advancing a runner to scoring position. The Knights advanced a runner to scoring position in the sixth after a hit batter and sacrifice bunt, but Wallingford struck out his ninth of the night to tie his previous career high.
The Tigers mustered three hits in the first three frames, but two double plays eliminated any scoring opportunities. In the seventh, Little worked an eight-pitch walk and stole second base to become the first Tiger to reach scoring position. Tucker Tubbs was walked to put two on with one out. A wild pitch advanced each runner and a wild pitch on a strikeout allowed Little to scamper home as the throw to first was made for the out.
Wallingford took a no decision, but pitched 8.2 innings and allowed one run, unearned, on two hits while striking out a career high 11. Craig Caufield (1-1) earned the win as he struck out the only hitter he faced. In the ninth, Caufield entered with runners on first and second with two out, but the strikeout ended the threat.
With the win, Memphis snaps a three-game losing streak. The Tigers improved to 7-5 in one-run games and have won seven-straight meetings against UCF. The walk-off single was the second for Little this season and only the third walk-off hit for the Tigers since 2012. Little has six game-winning RBI on the season after his walk-off hit on Friday.
The Tigers and Knights meet for game two of the series on Saturday at 2 p.m.