Nine-Run Third Pushes Baseball past Southeast Missouri, 12-6
April 24, 2007
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- -
Memphis (26-16) 019 100 010 - 12 13 1 Southeast Missouri State (25-16) 202 200 000 - 6 5 1
After waiting out a 34-minute rain delay, Memphis erupted for nine runs in third inning and cruised to a 12-6 win over Southeast Missouri at Capaha Field. Senior Joey Lieberman went 3-for-5 and fell a triple short of the cycle, while Josh Irvin drove in three runs to lead Memphis to its fifth straight win over the Redhawks.
Memphis used a pair of homers as bookends to the nine-run third that gave the Tigers a 10-2 lead. K.K. Chalmers led the frame off with a solo shot to right. Memphis' patience at the plate paid off as Redhawks starter Brent Lawson struggled with command and walked Michael Murray and Bill Moss in consecutive at-bats. A single by Norrid loaded the bases for Irvin, who belted a two-out triple over the head of SEMO centerfielder Asif Shah, to clear the bases and put Memphis on top for good at. Freshman Tyler Huelsing followed Irvin with an RBI-double in the next at-bat for a 6-2 advantage. Huelsing scored on an RBI-single by Chris Kirkland. Following a walk by Chalmers, Murray skipped a three-run blast off the top of the wall in right center. Murray's homer run was his first at the Division I level and came on his 356th at-bat.
Tiger pitching allowed SEMO to stay in the game, as the Redhawks answered with two tallies in the home half of the third. Memphis starter Brennon Martin ran into control issues and walked the bases loaded, before a sac fly by Memphis native Phillip Riley made it a 10-3 ballgame. A throwing error allowed another SEMO run to score and cut the Tiger lead to 10-4.
Lieberman blasted a mammoth homer to left in the fourth to put Memphis up 11-4 and help regain momentum. His ninth homer of the year and 22nd in just over a year-and-a-half sailed some 400 feet over the scoreboard in left field.
The Redhawk offense, that scored four runs on just one hit in the third and fourth innings, got a leadoff walk in the fourth and Omar Padilla followed with a bloop single to leftfield. Another walk forced Martin out of the contest in favor of Neil Schenk. Schenk was unable to find the zone early and tossed a pair of wild pitches that allowed SEMO to score a run to cut the U of M cushion to 11-6.
Schenk then settled down and went on to toss three innings of scoreless relief to pick up his second win of the year. The southpaw allowed just one hit and fanned five. Along with Dylan Cupples 1.2 innings of relief, and Matt Yokley's perfect ninth, Memphis was able to hold SEMO off the board over the final five innings of play. The Redhawks posted five hits in the game and just two over the last 5.2 innings.
The Tigers tacked on an insurance run on consecutive singles by Moss, Lieberman and Norrid. Norrid's RBI-base hit up the middle made it 12-6.
Memphis pounded out 13 hits in the contest, but more impressive was the fact that all nine Tigers hit safely, eight of the nine scored and eight of the nine drove runs in. Irvin and Murray both drove in three runs, while each of the first four hitters in the lineup--Chalmers, Murray, Moss and Lieberman--scored twice. Lieberman's three hits was a game-high. Norrid and Irvin came through with a pair of hits in the contest.
In his first start in three years, Lawson took the loss after surrendering seven runs (all earned) on six hits in 2.2 innings. Lance Rhodes pitched 4.1 innings of relief and gave up four earned tallies. Sam Rosener closed the contest out with two innings of work. He allowed a run on three hits.
Memphis and SEMO will wrap up the series on Wednesday with the first pitch set for 4 p.m.