Alex Gunn Pitches @UofMBaseball Past Southern Miss, 2-1
April 21, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Alex Gunn pitched a career high seven and two-thirds innings and allowed one unearned run as Memphis (25-16, 8-7 C-USA) salvaged a game in the series against Southern Miss (21-18, 10-5 C-USA) with a 2-1 victory on Sunday at FedExPark.
Gunn surrendered the Golden Eagles lone run in the second inning, but a Tiger error helped Southern Miss to the 1-0 lead. Memphis scored two runs in the seventh to grab the lead and didn't look back from there.
In the two-run seventh, Drew Griffin belted his second hit of the day, a single to right-centerfield to spark the Tigers offense, which had two hits prior to the inning. The Tigers moved Griffin to second with a sacrifice bunt and after a productive ground out moved Griffin to third, Southern Miss walked Carter White to put runners on the corners with two outs. A pinch-runner in the sixth, Ford Wilson tied the game with a single to left on the first pitch he saw. Jake Little gave Memphis the lead, 2-1, with a double to left-centerfield, but Memphis left runners on second and third to end the inning.
Southern Miss played small ball to get out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Blake Brown laid down the bunt down the third baseline, beat the throw to first but an errant throw allowed Brown to move to second. Isaac Rodriguez followed with a bunt of his own, reaching on a single in the identical location. Jared Bales grounded into a double play, but Brown scored from third to give the Golden Eagles the 1-0 lead.
The Tigers worked a one out walk in the first, but a double play ground ball up the middle ended the frame. In the second, Griffin singled to left-centerfield, but a fly ball to centerfield on a hit-and-run helped Southern Miss double-off Griffin for the second out in the inning.
Memphis got the leadoff man on by way of a double by Zach Willis in the fourth, but Southern Miss defended their way out of the jam. After a fly out to centerfield, Tucker Tubbs hit a grounder to short, but the shortstop got the out at third with Willis looking to take the bag. Tubbs was later stranded at first to end the inning.
A Tiger error and a walk after the sacrifice bunt put two men on with one away in the fifth for Southern Miss. Gunn fell behind 3-0 to the next hitter, but he came back to strikeout the batter. A fly out down the right field line ended the inning, but Memphis still trailed 1-0.
Memphis' first big scoring threat came in the sixth after Bryce Beeler reached on an error to start the frame. A sacrifice bunt moved pinch-runner Ford Wilson to second and a walk to Willis put two runners on with one out. The Golden Eagles picked up a big out with an infield fly to second, but a wild pitch moved runners to second and third with two outs. Southern Miss ended the inning with a strikeout, stranding the runners in scoring position.
The Golden Eagles attempted to increase their 1-0 lead in the seventh with a two-out double off the bat of Bradley Roney. A wild pitch moved Roney to third, but Gunn induced a ground ball to end the inning. With 7.2 innings pitched, Gunn set a new career high, besting his previous career high of seven innings at Alabama.
Heith Hatfield took over for Gunn with two outs in the eighth and he retired the first batter he saw. In the ninth, Southern Miss got back-to-back singles with two outs, but Hatfield struck out the next hitter on a called third strike to complete his second save of the season.
Griffin paced the Tigers with two hits and the two squads each had six hits on the game. Golden Eagles reliever Cody Livingston faced one hitter in the seventh and walked him and the walked batter proved to be the winning run resulting in Livingston taking the loss in the game.
Memphis plays host to Mississippi State (32-10) on Tuesday at AutoZone Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The Memphis Redbirds host the Iowa Cubs at 2:00 p.m. followed by the Tigers game. Tickets for Tuesday's game are sold exclusively through the Redbirds tickets office.