Memphis Rallies Past No. 18 Ole Miss 4-2 at AutoZone Park
April 24, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn.-Memphis (18-23) collected seven hits over the final two innings and a two-run homer by Jacob Wilson was the difference as the Tigers rallied past No. 18 Ole Miss (27-14) 4-2 on Tuesday night at AutoZone Park.
Ole miss threatened early in the first inning after Tanner Mathis and Alex Yarbrough reached on singles putting runners at first and third with one out. With the help of the Tiger defense, pitcher Michael Wills kept Ole Miss out of the run column.
A hit batter and walk came back to hurt the Tigers as the two beneficiaries scored to give the Rebels a 2-0 lead. Wills hit John Gatlin to start the frame and Blake Newalu , reached first on a two-out single that moved Gatlin to third. Wills then walked the Rebels' Auston Boufield to load the bases with two outs. Ole Miss capitalized on an RBI single by Tanner Mathis scoring Gatlin. The Rebels tacked on another run on the play, when Tiger third baseman Jacob Wilson missed the mark at second on a throwing error that scored Newalu. The two-run fifth ended the Tiger pitching streak of allowing only six runs over 32 innings, the fewest since the 2007 staff allowed 6 runs over 39 innings.
Ole Miss threatened again in the sixth inning, but Wills held tough to keep the Tigers alive. With one out, Ole Miss' Will Allen singled to right field , followed by a Gatlin single to left to put runner at first and second. A ground out by Miston moved runners to second and third with two outs. Wills then struck out Preston Overbey swinging to hold the Rebels' lead at two.
Memphis fired back in the seventh to tie the game a two apiece. Jacob Wilson, Adam McClain, and Eli Hynes each singled to load the bases. Pitching in relief for the Rebels, Aaron Greenwood struck-out Derrick Thomas and Ethan Gross swinging. With two-outs and the bases still loaded, T. J. Rich singled up the middle to score Wilson and McClain and the two-RBI single ended an 0-for-7 skid for the Tigers with the bases loaded.
After recording three straight outs in the top of the eighth, Memphis took the lead in the bottom half of the inning. With one out, Tucker Tubbs doubled on a frozen rope down the left field line. Tubbs then advanced to third on a wild-pitch by Chris Ellis. A few pitches later Jacob Wilson crushed a two-run blast over the left field wall to give the Tigers a 4-2 lead. The homerun was Wilson's 10th on the season.
Wills looked for the complete game outing, but after recording the first out, Ole Miss hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. Memphis summoned closer Jonathan Van Eaton from the bullpen and the reliever induced a game-ending double play to preserve the win for the Tigers.
Tossing the fourth-straight quality start for the Tigers, Wills (3-1) picked up the win throwing 8.1 innings. He allowed two runs, one earned on nine hits and struck out three. Jacob Wilson and McClain paced the Tiger offense with two hits each. Wilson and Rich collected two RBI, but Ole Miss out-hit the Tigers 9-7 on the game.
Memphis now has three wins in a row over Ole Miss at AutoZone Park, after dropping eight-straight games to the Rebels. Additionally, the Tigers now have 16 wins when scoring three runs or less since 2006.
The Tigers travel to Orlando, Fla., to take on No. 10 UCF. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday, 3:00 p.m. Saturday and 12 p.m. on Sunday.