Tiger Baseball Stays Alive With 2-1 Victory Over USF In Final C-USA Series Opener
May 15, 2003
TAMPA, Fla.-- - Current and two-time winner of the C-USA Pitcher of the Week, Jarrett Grube shut the USF Bulls down allowing just one run, while striking out seven and Ryan Martin went 3-for-4 with a homer, as the Memphis baseball team kept its postseason hopes alive with a 2-1 win against USF Thursday evening at Red McEwen Field. The Tigers (21-31; 11-16 C-USA) surpass last season's 20-win total with the win and need just two wins to ensure an appearance in the C-USA tournament.
The Memphis bats put the Tigers on the board early as shortstop Brent Dlugach and designated hitter Ryan Martin teamed up for back-to-back home runs over the leftfield wall to give Memphis a 2-0 lead in the second. Dlugach's fourth homer of the season was a towering blast, while Martin's tied the team-high with his seventh on a line drive shot. Those two runs would prove to be all Memphis needed.
USF plated a single run in the sixth on Jermaine Smith' s solo homer to leftfield, to cut the Tiger lead in half at 2-1. Grube was able to regroup and set the next three Bulls down in order to preserve the Tiger lead.
Bull's catcher Devin Ivany led off the home half of the seventh with a single through the left side. With one out and Ivany on first, DH Kris Howell hit a drive to right centerfield that looked as if it may tie the game, but rightfielder Josh Payne was able to make a running catch for the second out. Welch then gunned Ivany down stealing to end the inning.
Bill Edwards came on, in the ninth, in relief of Grube to close the game and earn his team-leading third save in three consecutive opportunities.
Jon Uhl (6-4) was saddled with the loss for the Bulls allowing just the two solo homers and striking out nine Tigers in 8.0 innings of work.
Smith was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a runscored to pace USF offensively.
"Grube pitched another great game for us, our defense turned three big double plays and the two home runs held up." said Head coach Dave Anderson.
Memphis and USF will play Game two of the series Friday at 7 p.m. A series sweep would guarantee the Tigers an appearance in next week's Conference USA tournament, which is set for May 20-25. However, if Cincinnati wins their series with Charlotte, two wins would push the Tigers into postseason play.
The Memphis-South Florida series can be heard locally on 91.7 FM with Bob McCarter handling the play-by-play duties.