Walks Costly as No. 19 Rice Tops Tigers 10-6
May 13, 2011
HOUSTON, Texas- The University of Memphis (26-22, 9-10 C-USA) walked 10 batters in the first four innings and No. 19 Rice (34-16, 13-6 C-USA) held on to drop the Tigers 10-6 at Reckling Park on Friday.
Tiger starter Dan Langfield faced some early trouble on the hill, but he would work out of the jam with Rice not scoring a run. A leadoff single and a walk put two on with no out and the 2010 National Player of the Year Anthony Rendon to the plate.
Langfield would strike out Rendon for the first out and then retired the four-hole hitter on a pop-out in foul ground. After a walk loaded the bases, Langfield recorded a second strikeout to get out of the jam.
Memphis loaded the bases in the top half of the second inning on singles by Robby Graham and Eli Hynes and a walk to Bryan Picou. Ethan Gross grounded out to shortstop and Graham scored to give Gross his eighth RBI of the season and a 1-0 advantage for the U of M.
Rice put the pressure on Langfield once again in the third with two walks putting runners on first and second with no out. After Michael Ratterree popped out in foul ground for the first out, Langfield would walk Craig Manuel to load the bases. Shane Hoelscher would put the Owls on the board with a two-run double and a walk followed to load the bases once again. Michael Fuda walked with the bases loaded to give Rice a 3-1 lead and a sac fly by Derek Hamilton pushed the lead to 4-1. Blake Myers came out of the pen with runners on second and third and two out and forced a fly out to end the inning.
Rendon blasted a solo home run in the fourth to increase the Owl lead to 5-1. After Ratterree tripled down the rightfield line, a walk to Manuel put runners on the corners and one out for the Owls. Hoelscher would hit a single through the left side to take a 6-1 lead. A fielder's choice allowed the Owls to take a 7-1 lead, but Tiger reliever Jonathan Van Eaton uncorked a wild pitch that helped the Owls claim an 8-1 lead.
The Tigers cut into the lead with the help of an error by the Owls. After Chad Zurcher was hit by a pitch with two outs, Jacob Wilson hit a single to center and Zurcher moved to third. With runners on the corners, T.J. Rich hit a grounder to second, but the Owl second baseman made an errant throw allowing Zurcher to score.
Back-to-back singles in the seventh helped Memphis cut the lead again. With Gross on third and Martinez on second, Zurcher grounded out to second to drive in the run and cut the lead to 8-3. With runners on the corners and one out, Rich hit into a fielder's choice to drive in Martinez from third and slice the Owl advantage to 8-4. Rice answered the Memphis tallies with two runs of their own. A two-out double and two walks loaded the bases. Manuel would drive in two runs with a single to center and that gave Rice a 10-4 lead.
A leadoff single by Zurcher and two walks loaded the bases in the ninth for the U of M and a bases loaded walk drove in a run to make the score 10-5. After Rice summoned a reliever to face the bases loaded and nobody out, Ford Wilson was walked to bring in another run. Owl reliever Tyler Duffey would strike out the side to end it.
Jacob Wilson led the Tigers with two hits and four different Tigers collected RBI.
The Tigers look to even the series on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday's game will be aired on a tape delay on CBS Sports Network at 7 p.m. Sunday's series finale will be aired live on CBS Sports Network with first pitch at 1 p.m.