Erik Schoenrock Pitches @UofMBaseball to Series Win At No. 17 Rice
May 11, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas - Tigers southpaw Erik Schoenrock tossed his fifth complete game of the season to lead Memphis (32-19, 14-9) to a series victory at No. 17 Rice (32-17, 11-9) with a 3-1 win at Reckling Park Saturday.
With the win, Memphis collects its first-ever series victory at Rice and has won four-straight against the Owls. The Tigers sit at 14-9 in league play entering the final C-USA regular season game for the program. With a win Sunday, the 2013 club would set the program record for wins in the 24-game league format. Last season, the Tigers went 14-10 in league play.
Schoenrock allowed Rice to score in the sixth, but the run was unearned to extend the lefties streak to 18 innings without allowing an earned run. Schoenrock pitched a complete-game shutout at FedExPark last weekend against Marshall and followed it up with his fifth of the season today at Rice. Schoenrock is the first Tiger to toss back-to-back complete games since Scott McGregor had back-to-back shutouts in March of 2006.
A pitcher's duel over the first three innings, Carter White registered the only two hits for the Tigers in the first four frames. White hit a one-out single to left-centerfield and a walk to Tucker Tubbs put two runners on. A hit-and-run was put on, but a swing and a miss at the plate resulted in Tubbs being caught stealing while White advanced to third. Rice forced a groundout to end the frame, stranding White at third to end the inning.
The Tigers again tried scratch their way into the score column, but a double play ended the threat for the U of M. Drew Griffin was issued a leadoff walk and sacrifice bunt moved Griffin to scoring position. A one out walk to Colton Simbeck put two runners on, but the Tigers bounced into the double play to end the inning.
The two innings of scratching and clawing paid off in the sixth as the Tigers loaded the bases with one out before tallying two runs to take the lead. Zach Willis led off the inning with a single and a sacrifice bunt advanced the go-ahead run to second.
Rice intentionally walked White to put two on with one out and Tucker Tubbs laced a single to leftfield to load the bases. Bryce Beeler grounded to shortstop, but the Beeler beat the throw to first before it bounced into the dugout allowing two runs to score. The Tigers left Beeler stranded at second, but not before grabbing a 2-0 lead.
Rice answered back in the sixth to cut the lead, but the Tigers limited the damage by stranding runners on the corners to end the frame. After a fly out got the first out on the board, Ford Stainback singled to left and an error at third base put two runners on with one away. Following a strikeout, Michael Ratterree came through with the clutch two-out RBI single to make it 2-1. Memphis ended the inning with a grounder to third, taking the 2-1 advantage to the seventh.
Memphis took advantage of the Owls second error in the game to add to the lead in the eighth. Two walks had runners on first and second with one out in the frame. Rice relief pitcher Zech Lemond struck out the next hitter, but a ground ball to third base was misplayed allowing Gross to score from second to make the score 3-1.
In the eighth, Rice attempted to rally to tie the game at 3-3, but Schoenrock had no part of it as he kept the Owls off the board. A four-pitch walk opened the door for Rice, but Schoenrock came back to strikeout the next hitter. Leon Byrd reached on an infield single to put two on with one away. A ground ball to first was fielded by Tubbs and he threw to second for the second out. With runners on the corners, Schoenrock forced a fly out and ended his 17th consecutive inning without allowing an earned run. Schoenrock retired the side in order in the ninth to seal the 3-1 victory for the U of M.
Willis and White paced the Tigers offense with two hits each on the afternoon. The Tigers and Owls each had six hits on the day, but two errors by the Owls were costly.
Memphis plays its final C-USA regular season game on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Rice.