@MemphisBaseball Fights Back But Falls in 11 Innings to UConn
May 2, 2014
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Memphis erased a 4-1 deficit in the ninth to force extra innings, but UConn scored three runs in the 11th to escape with an 8-5 victory in game one of the series at FedExPark.
The Tigers (24-23, 5-11 American) loaded the bases in the eighth, putting the potential tying run on base with one out. UConn turned to the bullpen and the reliever got a first-pitch foul out and strikeout to escape the trouble. A leadoff single and walk set the table for another chance in the ninth. Carter White made it 4-3 with a double to right-center and an error allowed White to move to third. A wild pitch scored White to tie the game, but the Tigers couldn't win the game in regulation.
UConn (22-23, 6-9 American) used a leadoff double to put early pressure on the Tigers in extra innings. A fly out advanced the go-ahead run to third and a passed ball brought in the run. A two-out double kept the pressure on, but reliever Craig Caufield struck out the next hitter to keep it a one-run game. Jake Little knotted the game again, with a one-out solo home run, but the Tigers couldn't cross the winning run in the 10th sending the game to the 11th.
The Huskies put runners on the corners with no outs in the 11th and finished the frame scoring three runs, two earned in the inning. A potential double play ball was muffed at second, although the run scored from third. The error, the fifth of the night for the Tigers, allowed one unearned run to score after a RBI single scored two runs against the drawn in infield. The Tigers turned a double play to end the frame. Memphis again looked for a walk-off win, loading the bases with one out in the 11th. A flyout and strikeout left the bases stranded, the first of two times on the game Memphis failed to score a run with the bases loaded and one out.
UConn mustered four hits in the first inning and plated four runs to open an early 4-0 lead. The Huskies hit two doubles in the inning to help drive in the runs.
Memphis used two-straight singles to set the table in the bottom half, but the Tigers only got one run in the inning via a RBI groundout by Kane Barrow.
After the Huskies left the bases full in the top of the fourth, the Tigers attempted to claw back into the game. Barrow struck out, but the dropped third strike allowed him to reach first. Tucker Tubbs followed with a double to put runners on second and third with one out. Nate Rupiper hit a liner to right, but the ball was caught and thrown home for the double play. Barrow was thrown out at the plate and ejected from the game after running into the catcher.
Memphis starter Caleb Wallingford allowed four earned runs, all in the first inning, on eight hits in six innings. Wallingford's ERA spiked to 1.41 with the four runs allowed, but the ERA ranks second in single-season history behind Dusty Farmer who posted a 1.35 ERA in 1977. Caufield (1-2) was saddled with the loss, allowing three runs, two earned, on two hits in 1 1/3 innings of relief.
Tucker Tubbs led the Tigers with three hits while Darien Tubbs and White each had two-hit nights. UConn edged the Tigers 12-10 in the hit column, but five errors harmed the Tigers. The five errors committed were the most since the U of M had seven against Austin Peay on April 6, 2010.
Game two of the three-game series is Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at FedExPark. Prior to the game, the baseball program will retire the jersey of Tim Corder (1981-83).