Van Eaton's Career Record 15th Save Seals @UofMBaseball 's Seventh-Straight Win
April 12, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Behind seven quality innings from starter Sam Moll and Jonathan Van Eaton's career record 15th save, Memphis (21-13, 6-4 C-USA) earned its seventh-straight win with a 6-3 victory over UAB (15-19, 2-5 C-USA) in the Conference USA series opener Friday at Young Memorial Field.
Van Eaton entered the game in the eighth after Moll allowed three runs, one earned, over seven innings. The redshirt-junior closer retired the side in order in the eighth to get three outs away from breaking the Tigers career saves record. Van Eaton retired the first two in the ninth, but walked the next batter. Van Eaton closed it out with a ground out to the next hitter, setting the career record with 15 saves, seven this season.
After getting back-to-back walks to start the game, a line-out double play got UAB out of a first inning jam. Keaton Aldridge led off the second with a double to left-centerfield to spark Memphis. A fielder's choice allowed Drew Griffin to reach as the Blazers couldn't get the out at second on a ground ball to the mound. Following a strikeout, Colton Simbeck was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but UAB got the second out on an infield pop out. On a 2-0 pitch outside, UAB catcher Jacob German attempted to pickoff Aldridge at third, but he was ruled safe. Zach Willis later walked allowing the go-ahead run to score, but an Ethan Gross two-run single to left field gave Memphis the 3-0 advantage after two innings.
UAB used three freebies to plate their first run of the game in the third. A one-out walk followed by an error on a double-play opportunity opened the door for UAB. A wild pitch sent runners to second and third with one out and following a strikeout, the Blazers got on the board with a passed ball. The second walk in the inning put runners on the corners with two outs and John Frost made it 3-2 with a RBI single to right field, the first hit of the game for the Blazers. Memphis starter Sam Moll escaped further trouble, stranding runners on first and second to end the inning.
Memphis got one run back in the fifth, but missed on an opportunity to widen the lead. Back-to-back singles by Carter White and Tucker Tubbs put the first two on in the inning before Aldridge worked a walk to load the bases. Griffin hit a grounder to short and the Blazers turned the 6-4-3 double play, but White scored from third to make the score 4-2. Tubbs was stranded at third to end the inning as UAB starter Tanner Bryant recorded his third strikeout of the night.
Simbeck tacked on the Tigers fifth run of the night with a solo home run to left field. The homer was the Tigers first since March 23 at Tulane and Simbeck's third of the season. UAB answered in the seventh with a two-out RBI triple by Ivan De Jesus to make the score 5-3 going to the eighth.
Tubbs picked up his second hit of the night in the ninth inning to drive in a run and give Memphis a three-run cushion, 6-3. Hatfield was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Gross worked a one out walk to put two runners on with one out for Tubbs. The sophomore designated hitter then laced the single to center to drive in Hatfield.
White and Tubbs paced the Tigers offense with two hit nights and the Tigers out-hit UAB 8-3. Moll picked up his sixth win of the season. Moll allowed three runs, one earned, on three hits while striking out five.
Due to forecasted rain on Sunday, the Tigers and Blazers will play a doubleheader on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Young Memorial Field.