Tigers Sweep UAB With 8-6 Victory on Sunday
May 6, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - Zach Willishit a two-RBI single to right field in the eighth inning and Memphis (23-24, 11-10) swept UAB (26-23, 7-11) with an 8-6 win, Sunday, at FedExPark.
Willis, who was in an 0-for-11 slump entering the game, entered the game in seventh inning and delivered the game-winning RBI in the eighth. Adam McClain reached on a Blazer error and Eli Hynes followed with a single through the right side. Derrick Thomas executed the sac bunt and UAB intentionally walked T.J. Richto load the bases for Willis. Facing reliever Ryan Nance, Willis ripped a 1-0 pitch through the right side and plated two runs for the Tigers.
After the Blazers had a runner thrown out in a rundown between third and home in the top of the first, the Tigers pounded out four hits to grab an early 3-0 lead. Jacob Wilson blasted his third home run of the weekend to give Memphis a 1-0 lead and two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Colton Simbeck, who was hit by a pitch. Bryce Beeler legged out an infield single and the U of M carried a 3-0 lead after one. Wilson added his fourth home run of the series as he belted a solo shot to left field to give Memphis a 4-0 lead. The Blazers responded with a run in the third on a bases loaded infield single by Jeff Schalk, but Memphis shortstop Ethan Grossmade a leaping grab on a line out to leave the runners stranded.
The Tigers added two runs in the third to open a five-run lead. Simbeck got it started with a one-out single and Beeler followed with a walk. Keaton Aldridge was walked to load the bases and Ethan Grossdelivered a two-RBI double to give Memphis the 6-1 advantage.
UAB plated three runs in the sixth to slice into the Memphis lead, but two Tigers errors led to one unearned run. A one-out walk and error put runners on the corners for the Blazers and Ryan Ussery drove in a run with a double down the left field line. Two more runs scored on a single up the middle from Keith DePew.
The Tigers chance to add to the lead was dashed with a strikeout with runners stranded at second and third in the bottom of the sixth. Two walks and a fly out put runners on the corners, but UAB reliever Chase Mallard struck out T.J. Richto get out of the jam.
UAB struck for two runs in the seventh to knot the score at 6-6, but a thrown out runner at third kept the potential go-ahead run from scoring. Harry Clark reached on an infield single and Ivan De Jesus scored from second to make the score 6-5. The Blazers tied it on a wild pitch, but an attempted double steal was foiled as Aldridge threw out the potential go-ahead run at third.
Jacob Wilson, McClain and Hynes each recorded two hits on the day while Wilson, Willis and Gross recorded two RBI apiece. Jonathan Van Eaton(4-2) picked up his second win in as many days as he allowed no runs on two hits in two innings of work. Mallard (3-3) was tagged with the loss, allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits in 4.2 innings pitched.
The Tigers have won five-straight games against C-USA opponents for the first time since 2007 and the seventh time since joining the league in 1995. Memphis has two sweeps against league foes for the first time since 2007 as well. Memphis' five-game win streak is the 14th of five or more games since 1996. Jacob Wilson has 14 home runs on the season, most since Joey Lieberman and Bill Moss each hit 14 in 2007.
Memphis hosts the University of Tennessee at FedExPark, Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Extra seating will be available for the first meeting between the two schools in the Bluff City since 1993. That game will also be televised live on FoxSportsSouth.