@UofMBaseball Blanks Murray State, 5-0
April 16, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis (24-14) blanked Murray State (13-23) 5-0 on Tuesday at FedExPark to post back-to-back shutouts for the first time since March of 1991.
Four Memphis pitchers combined on a midweek shutout for the second time in the last week as sophomore right-hander Dylan Toscano worked five scoreless frames. Conner Porter, Craig Caufield and Jacob Moody combined to allow four hits over the final four innings without walking a batter to seal the shutout. With their seventh shutout of the season, Memphis moves into a three-way tie for fourth in the single-season record books with seven shutouts being the most since 1983.
After Memphis had a runner picked off at first to end their first at-bat with Drew Griffin at the plate, Griffin led off the second in a big way. The redshirt-junior third baseman belted a solo home run to get the Tigers on the board.
Toscano allowed his first base runner with one out in the third as he plunked Nick Paradossi on a 0-2 pitch. Paul Ritzheimer was the next hitter and Toscano came up and in on a 0-1 pitch and clipped him with a pitch to put two on with one out. Behind in the count 3-0, Toscano forced Ty Stetson to fly out to center and a fly out to right later ended the inning.
Nate Rupiper sparked the Tigers in the third with a leadoff single, but the U of M had to find some offense with two outs to increase the lead. Ethan Gross reached on a bunt single down the third base line and singles by Tucker Tubbs and Griffin plated two runs to give Memphis a 3-0 advantage.
After Memphis stranded the bases full in the bottom of the fourth, Murray State forced Toscano to work out of another jam. A leadoff walk and a one-out single, the Thoroughbreds first hit, put runners on first and second with one out. Toscano fanned his first hitter of the night and forced a line out at short to escape the jam. The Tigers added a run in the bottom of the frame to increase the lead to 4-0.
Griffin registered his third hit of the night with a single to centerfield and Bryce Beeler followed with a single up the middle to put two men on. Jake Little delivered a RBI double to centerfield to score Griffin from second, but the Tigers left runners on second and third to end the inning.
Toscano’s day was done after five solid innings of work. The sophomore right-hander allowed one hit, walked one and struck out one. Combining his two starts, Toscano has pitched nine innings and allowed two hits, struck out two and walked one.
A wild pitch with runners on the corners and two outs in the sixth helped Memphis add a run in the sixth. Gross was hit by a pitch with two outs and Tubbs followed with a hit-and-run single to leftfield putting runners on the corners. Tubbs drew the throw to second on a wild pitch, but the catcher’s throw was high and Gross scampered home to score.
Griffin led the Tigers with three hits on the night while Willis, Tubbs and Rupiper each had two hit nights. Murray State tallied five hits in the game marking the second-straight game Memphis pitching allowed five hits in a game.
The Tigers host Southern Miss beginning Friday night at 6:30 p.m. in a pivotal Conference USA series at FedExPark.