Tubbs Five RBI Carries @UofMBaseball to Series Sweep of Marshall, 8-5
May 5, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Tucker Tubbs was 3-for-5 with a three-run home run and five RBI as Memphis (30-19, 12-9 C-USA) completed the sweep of Marshall (18-29, 5-13 C-USA) with an 8-5 victory at FedExPark Sunday.
With their 30th win of the season, Memphis has won 30 or more games in three consecutive seasons for the first time since the 1993-1995 seasons. The Tigers closed a chapter in history at FedExPark, winning their final Conference USA home game. The U of M carries a 195-265 record into their final C-USA series at Rice next weekend.
Marshall wasted little time in grabbing an early 3-0 lead in the game. A two out walk hurt the Tigers starter Alex Gunn in the first as Eric Escobedo reached on a two-base error down the leftfield line to plate the first run. Leftfielder Colton Simbeck had a lot of ground to cover attempting to make the catch, but the ball hit off the heel of his glove resulting in the error. In the second, Marshall loaded the bases with a pair of singles and a walk with two outs in the inning. Gray Stafford hit a dribbler toward the right side, reached on the single and moved to second on the errant throw that allowed two runs to score.
Memphis responded in the second with one run, but the Tigers ran into an out on the bases limiting the scoring opportunity from being any larger. A one out walk to Bryce Beeler opened the door for the U of M and an error at shortstop broke up a tailor-made double play putting runners on first and second. Keaton Aldridge then smoked a single up the middle that glanced off the pitchers leg for the RBI single. With runners on the corners and one out, Aldridge attempted to take second on a dirt ball read, but he was thrown out and Marshall escaped the inning with a 3-1 lead.
The Thundering Herd tacked on one more run in the third, but reliever Heith Hatfield did a good job limiting the damage. A leadoff single followed by a hit batter and wild pitch put runners on second and third with no outs. The Tigers went to Hatfield out of the bullpen and he fielded a comebacker to the mound for the first out with runners advancing. Aaron Bossi hit a grounder to short and the runner from third was able to score, but Hatfield ended the inning with a fly out with Memphis trailing 4-1.
Tucker Tubbs belted a three-run home run in the third to knot the score at 4-4. With two outs in the inning, Ethan Gross hit a towering pop-up in shallow leftfield that fell in for a double. A walk to Carter White put two runners on and Tubbs came through with the three-run shot to tie the game at 4-4. Colton Simbeck hit a towering solo home run to left-centerfield with two outs in the fifth to give the Tigers a 5-4 lead. The two home runs gave the Tigers their third of the series with two outs in an inning.
A solo home run by Stafford in the Marshall half of the sixth cut the Tigers lead to 6-5, but Memphis answered in the bottom half to lead 7-5 after six innings. Beeler started off the answer back inning with a single and moved to second on a passed ball. A bloop single down the right field line by Drew Griffin put runners on the corners with one out. Aldridge placed the bunt perfectly toward the pitcher allowing Beeler to score on the safety squeeze, but Marshall ended the inning by stranding Griffin at second.
Tubbs came up with his third hit of the game and fifth RBI to give Memphis an 8-5 lead in the seventh. Zach Willis started off the inning with a double to the rightfield corner and White singled with one out to put runners on the corners. With Tubbs at the plate, White took off for second on the hit-and-run that Tubbs slapped through the left side for the run.
Hatfield pitched six innings allowing one run on five hits in relief to improve to 3-2 on the season. Jonathan Van Eaton came in to pitch the ninth, converting his single-season school record 10th save of the season. Van Eaton walked two in the ninth, but a leadoff walk in the inning was erased with a double play.
Led by Tubbs three hits, Memphis out-hit Marshall 11-9 on the game. Griffin was the only other Tiger with multiple hits, but eight of nine starters had hits in the game. With finals this week at the University of Memphis, the Tigers have no midweek games.
Memphis returns to action on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Reckling Park in Houston, Texas against Rice.