Memphis Uses Late-Game Rally to Even Series with Houston
April 18, 2009
MILLINGTON, Tenn. -
Houston (16-21, 6-5 C-USA) 000 000 100 - 1 5 0 Memphis (17-21, 4-7 C-USA) 000 000 21X - 3 8 1
Senior Chris Newsom's two-run triple in the seventh innings gave Memphis the go-ahead run, and sophomore Marcus Barnes held Houston scoreless over the final three innings as the Tigers evened the C-USA series with Houston via a 3-1 win Saturday afternoon at USA Stadium.
Memphis improves to 17-21, 4-7 in C-USA, while Houston falls to 16-21, 6-5 in league action. The Tigers equal their 2008 win total with the victory.
Game two looked much like Friday night's series opener, with both teams struggling to get any offensive consistency. That offensive futility was due mostly to the dominance of starters Heith Hatfield (Memphis) and Michael Goodnight (Houston). Hatfield was effective in six innings, allowing just one unearned Cougar run on four hits. He struck out three, but walked four in a no decision outing. Goodnight was up to challenge, striking out seven and giving up five hits in 6.1 innings. However Newsom's triple saddled him with the loss.
Trailing 1-0 in the seventh with Goodnight throwing a four-hit shutout, things looked as if they would end up in the same fashion as Friday--a 1-0 Houston win. But the Tigers had other ideas as Tyler Huelsing stroked a one-out single through the right side and Jacob Wilson followed with a walk. Newsom stepped to the plate and belted the two-run triple to put Memphis ahead for good. Prior to Newsom's hit, Memphis was 0-for-11 in the series with runners in scoring position.
Huelsing, who led the Tiger offense with a 3-for-4 day, made it 3-1 when he lined an RBI-single to centerfield to plate Cole Shelton.
Once the Tigers grabbed the lead, Barnes shut Houston out over the next two innings. The southpaw, who had already worked out of a jam in the seventh, held the Cougars to an infield single over the next two innings to earn his first win of the year. Barnes struck out four of the eight batters he faced. Barnes' outing extended the Tiger bullpen's streak to 24-straight innings of scoreless relief.
Houston used a Tiger error and a sac fly off the bat of Caleb Ramsey to get on the board in the seventh inning.
The Tigers and Cougars will battle it out for the series win on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at USA Stadium.