Baseball Rallies Past Middle Tennessee 9-6
April 19, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Phillip Chapman hit a game-tying three-run home run in the seventh inning and J.D. Wallace provided the game-winning RBI-single to lift the University of Memphis to a 9-6 victory over Middle Tennessee at FedExPark.
After Middle Tennessee (12-25) took a 6-3 lead in the top of the seventh, the Tigers (23-14) quickly tied the game with a three-run home run by Chapman. With nobody out and the game tied at 6-6, Adam McClain hit a triple to right centerfield and Wallace followed with an RBI-single to left field to give Memphis the lead again at 7-6.
Clinging to a one run lead in the top of the eighth inning and a runner on third with two outs, Memphis summoned its closer Ben Paullus to clinch the victory. Paullus walked the first batter he faced, but he would strand the potential game-tying run on third base with a fly out to center by Matthew Drake.
Wallace collected his second double of the game in the eighth inning and drove in two more runs to increase the lead to 9-6. T.J. Rich led off the inning with a walk and Ford Wilson singled and advanced to second on a throwing error, each scored on Wallace's RBI double.
Middle Tennessee struck first in the contest with an RBI-double by Dain McNabb. After a walk to Ryan Ford loaded the bases with one out, Tyler Acker grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Tigers answered with a run in the bottom of the frame to knot the score at 1-1. After McClain reached on catcher's interference, Wallace doubled down the left field line to put runners in scoring position with one out. Robby Graham collected an RBI on a groundout to second that allowed McClain to score.
The Blue Raiders regained the lead in the top of the third after a leadoff double by Johnny Thomas. With two outs and Thomas still on second, Davis Pearce roped an RBI-single to left field to give Middle Tennessee the lead at 2-1. Memphis had a chance to score in the third, but with runners on first and third with one out, the Tigers grounded into a double play and left the tying run on third base.
Memphis would tie it in the fourth after a leadoff single by McClain. After the hard hit ball was fielded by Blue Raider shortstop Ryan Ford, McClain advanced to second on the late throw to first which sailed to the fence along the first base line. Ethan Gross hit a double to center field with two outs to drive in McClain and knot the game at 2-2.
The U of M claimed the lead in the fifth with an RBI-single by Chapman that plated T.J. Rich, who hit a two-out double to right field. Middle Tennessee quickly regained the lead at 4-3 in the sixth with a two-run homer by Ford.
Wallace led the Tigers at the plate with a 4-for-5 performance, three RBI and two doubles. Chapman notched two hits and four RBI, including the game-tying three-run home run. Eight of the nine players in the Tigers lineup notched a hit on the game the 7-8-9 hitters in the lineup provided five of the nine RBI.
Dane Sharp earned the win on the mound after relieving Tiger starter Sam Moll in the sixth inning. Sharp allowed four runs, three earned on four hits in two innings of work. Moll pitched five innings and allowed two runs on eight hits and he struck out five. Blake Myers worked two-thirds of an inning and allowed no runs, no hits and he walked one. Paullus finished with 1 1/3 innings pitched and allowed no runs, one hit, one walk and he struck out two.
The U of M notched its first midweek victory since April 5 and improved to 4-7 in midweek games. Memphis improved to 16-6 on the season at FedExPark and has won 22 of the last 26 games at home. The Tigers also improved to 10-3 in the month of April with the victory.
Memphis returns to FedExPark for game two of the midweek set on Wednesday and first pitch is set for 4 p.m.