Middle Tennessee Edges Tiger Baseball, 8-7
April 19, 2005
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -
MEMPHIS (9-25) 201 100 120 -7 13 2 Middle Tennessee (17-15) 130 001 102 -8 18 0
Middle Tennessee used a costly Memphis error to score two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the Tigers 8-7 Tuesday night in non-conference action at Reese Smith Field. Senior DH Ryan Martin went 3-for-4 with a home run, three runs scored and a school-record three outfield assists in a hard-fought loss. Martin threw runners out at the plate in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
Middle scored the game winner in the ninth with runners on first and second and no outs. Reliever Chris South fielded a sac bunt attempt by MT freshman Nathan Hines, but his throw to first base sailed wide and down the rightfield line into the Middle Tennessee bullpen. Both runners came around to score for the 8-7 decision.
The Tigers looked to have gained control of game in the eight, when they loaded the bases behind consecutive singles by John Peterson and Cory Barton. A walk by Chris Newsom jammed the sacs with no outs. Adam Amar then produced a clutch two-run, two-out double to the rightfield corner to give Memphis a 7-6 lead. Amar finished the night with three hits.
Memphis put up a pair to open the contest. Jordan Tolliver and Ryan Martin posted consecutive single and Adam Amar came through with a sacrifice fly to right to score Tolliver. Martin would score on a wild pitch by MT starter Jeff Kasser.
Nate Jaggers put the Blue Raiders on the board with his team-leading eighth home run of the year in the first, and Middle claimed a 4-2 lead on a three-run bomb over the rightfield wall by Hines.
The Tiger offense fought back and Martin cut in to the Blue Raider cushion in the third with his team-best seventh home run of the year--a solo shot to centerfield. The solo home run for Martin tied his career-high mark, which he set as a sophomore in 2003.
Memphis took advantage of a MT passed ball in the fourth. Catcher Alex Watson mishandled an offering by Blue Raider relief pitcher Chase Swing allowing Chris Newsom to cross to tie the game at four.
Middle Tennessee took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI-single just over the glove of a leaping Tolliver at shortstop. The Blue Raiders threatened to extend the lead to two runs on a single to left by reserve rightfielder Doug Birkofer. But Martin threw a strike to catcher Cory Barton to cut down Todd Martin at the plate.
The Tigers found the equalizer in the seventh behind three consecutive hits from Martin, Amar, and a run-scoring base knock off the bat of Robbie Goss.
Middle came back with a run of their own to retake the lead, 6-5 in the seventh. Jeff Beachum reached on an infield single and advanced to third on a bloop single to right centerfield by Chase Eakes. A balk by Tiger relief pitcher, Neil Schenk enabled Beachum to score the go-ahead tally. MT again tried to stretch the lead to two runs on a lined single to left by Eric McNamee, but for the second time of the evening, Martin came up throwing and threw out Eakes at the plate.
Middle Tennessee relief hurler, Allan Wetherington picked up the win after holding Memphis scoreless in two innings of action. Tiger starter Brandon Rowan struggled in his 2005 debut. The senior, who was in his first appearance of the season pitched just one inning and gave up four runs on five hits, including a pair of home runs. Tiger Reliever Chris South was saddled with the loss after allowing the two unearned runs in the ninth.
The Tigers and Blue Raiders will wrap up the home-and-home series on Wednesday with the first pitch set for 3 p.m. Listen to the live broadcast with the `Voice of Tiger Baseball', Jeff Brightwell on WUMR 91.7 FM.