Tigers Earn 4-3 Comeback Win for Series Victory at UAB
April 16, 2011
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - After winning game one in a 13-inning thriller, the University of Memphis baseball team scored three runs over the final two innings to earn a Conference USA series victory at UAB with a 4-3, 10-inning win in game two of the day-night doubleheader at Young Memorial Field.
Facing a 3-1 deficit in the top of the ninth inning, Jacob Wilson led off with a double and T.J. Rich reached on an infield single to set the stage for a comeback. Phillip Chapman would follow and cut the lead to one with an RBI-single that scored Wilson from third base. Eli Hynes was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out and the Tigers needing one run to tie it. Robby Graham then hit a groundout that plated the tying run, but the U of M could not take the lead.
UAB (20-15, 6-5 C-USA) would start the ninth with an infield single and the runner advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Nick Crawford singled to center, but the go-ahead run was halted at third to put runners on the corners and one out. DePew attempted a safety squeeze to plate the go-ahead run, but the bunt rolled foul at the last moment to keep the game alive. Tigers starter Ryan Holland came back to strike out DePew and after a two-out bases loaded intentional walk to Austin, the Tigers went to the bullpen for Ben Paullus. Paullus froze Frost at the plate to leave the bases loaded and the go-ahead run at third.
Memphis (21-14, 5-3 C-USA) used that momentum to begin its third extra-inning affair in the last four games. Ethan Gross singled to start the inning and Drew Martinez walked to put runners on first and second for Chad Zurcher, who laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to scoring position. Wilson was intentionally walked to load the bases for the pitcher Paullus, who struck out. With two outs and the bases loaded, Phillip Chapman was walked to score the eventual game-winning run and a 4-3 Tiger lead.
Paullus was forced to hit in the 10th after the Tigers pinch ran for the first baseman Rich. In the bottom of the ninth, the designated hitter Eli Hynes would move to first base to eliminate the designated hitter spot from the lineup.
With Paullus on the mound in the 10th, a one-out single to centerfield put the pressure on the Tigers. Wilson made a diving grab at third base on a hard hit grounder to third that likely kept the game-tying run from scoring. With the runner on second and two out, Ussery was frozen by a Paullus breaking ball to seal the Tigers victory.
Adam McClain hit a one-out single in the fifth to help Memphis plate its first run of the game. After the McClain single, UAB starter Ryan Woolley attempted to pickoff McClain at first, but his throw sailed and allowed McClain to move to second base. Gross then singled up the middle to put runners on the corners with one out. Martinez drove in McClain with a RBI-single through the left side and made the score 1-0 in favor of Memphis.
A leadoff double by Patrick Palmiero followed by a failed pickoff attempt put a runner on third with nobody out. After the Tiger southpaw Holland struck out Andrew Manning, Jacob German hit an RBI-single through the right side to knot the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth.
The Blazers took a 2-1 lead in the sixth after Holland allowed a walk and a single placed runners on the corners and nobody out. Frost hit a sacrifice fly to center to plate the go-ahead run, but Holland would work out of the jam with a groundout to third and a lineout to first.
UAB increased the margin to 3-1 in the ninth with an RBI-single by Frost. Keith DePew scored on the play after leading off the inning with a single.
Holland allowed three runs on 10 hits in 8 2/3 innings pitched. He walked four and struck out five and threw a season high 139 pitches. Paullus earned his third victory of the season, all in C-USA play, pitching 1 1/3 innings and allowed just one hit. Rich led the club with three hits on the game and Gross had two hits for the Tigers. Chapman collected two of the four RBI for the U of M and the nation's leading hitter Zurcher finished with a 1-for-4 performance at the plate.
Memphis earned the series victory and won the first two games of a road series for the first time since the 2007 season squad claimed game one and two at UAB. The U of M won back-to-back extra inning games for the first time since the 2009 season in which it won a 12-inning decision at Central Arkansas 4-3 and a 13-inning 5-4 victory over Austin Peay. The last time the Tigers played back-to-back extra innings in league play was at Tulane in the same season.
The Tigers will go for the series sweep on Sunday at Young Memorial Field. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.