Tiger Baseball Snatches Doubleheader From Cincinnati
May 15, 2004
Memphis, Tenn. - The University of Memphis swept a Conference-USA baseball doubleheader from Cincinnati blanking the Bearcats 3-0 in game one in 10 innings, then taking game two with a 7-3 victory Saturday at Nat Buring Stadium.
Memphis (24-25, 12-13 C-USA) took sole possession of sixth place in the C-USA standings with its two wins Saturday while the Bearcats were eliminated from the race for a spot in the conference tournament. The top eight teams advance to the postseason tournament in Houston May 26-30.
Catcher Kurt Welch produced the Tigers' three runs in game one with a walk-off home run while Chad House threw out a pair of runners at the plate in the doubleheader and had four hits in game two to highlight an 11-hit showing by the Memphis offense.
In game one, Welch lifted a one-one offering from UC reliever Tony Maynard over the leftfield wall just out of the reach of Bearcat leftfielder Eric Eitel to end what had been a scoreless game to that point. The three-run shot was the Tigers' first walk-off home run of the season.
Grube did not allow a hit until a two-out single by Jon DeLuca in the fourth and struckout 10 Bearcats in 7.2 innings of work. Kines (2-3) picked up the win after holding Cincinnati to one hit in 2.1 innings of relief. Maynard (2-5) was tagged with the loss after UC starter Aaron Moll tossed nine scoreless innings for the visitors, but earned a no decision.
Both teams had decent chances to score in the sixth, but the opposing defenses came up with big plays. The Bearcats had a runner thrown out at the plate by House when Mark Muscenti tried to score from second on a single by Jack Nelson. For Memphis, shortstop Brent Dlugach belted his second double of the game, but was tagged out later in the frame trying to get back to third after a sharply hit ground ball to first by Ryan Martin.
Cincinnati loaded the bases in the eighth with two outs before Grube gave way to Kines. The right-hander got UC catcher Steve Pickerell to chase the first pitch as he grounded out to third to keep the game scoreless.
Moss had the Tigers' third double of the game in the eighth, but he was left stranded at second. The Tigers' fourth double came in the ninth off the bat of Kyle Scott, but his pinch-runner Patrick Hope was retired at third after a failed sacrifice attempt by Josh Payne. Jordan Hart was robbed of a potential game-winning hit as a great catch by Matt Ogden in the left-center field gap sent the game into extra innings.
In the Tigers' tenth, Moss registered his third hit of the game and Brent Dlugach walked to set the stage for Welch's third long ball of the season. With his three RBI, Welch equaled his career-high of 36 set last season.
In game two, House had the Tigers' first four-hit game of the season as he helped lead Memphis to a doubleheader sweep of Cincinnati with a 7-3 victory. Memphis starter Derek Hankins (7-5) allowed three runs on 11 hits in eight innings to record the win. UC starter Chase Lampl (1-4) took the loss.
The Bearcats had viable chances to score in several innings, but Hankins worked through the jams as Cincinnati left nine men stranded in the game. UC threatened in the fourth as a double by Jon LeDuca put runners on second and third with only one out, but Hankins retired the next two Bearcats to end the frame.
In the fifth, House, who switched to center in game two, prevented a Bearcat lead for the second straight game as he threw out Jim Olds at the plate as he tried to score on a bloop single by Drew Saylor.
House had the only two Tiger hits before Martin led off the fifth with a double down the rightfield line. Martin advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Adam Amar to give Memphis a 1-0 lead. House came through with his third single of the game to plate another run and Lewis raced around from first on the play after UC rightfielder Brian Beltz overran the ball to increase the Tigers' lead to 3-0.
In the sixth, the Bearcats put together a pair of hits in an inning for the third time in game two, but once again came up empty. An error by Lewis at second loaded the bases, but Hankins got a one-two-three double play, then forced pinch-hitter Aaron Moll to ground out to third. Memphis tacked on a run in its half of the sixth to take a 4-0 lead on a RBI-single by Amar.
Dlugach put the Tigers up 7-0 in the seventh with his team-leading eighth home run of the season. House had his fourth hit of the game as he led off the inning with a double. Dlugach's home run tied his career-high set as a freshman in 2002.
Cincinnati pushed across three runs in the eighth and ninth off Hankins as the right-hander surrendered three solo home runs to Pickerell, Jim Olds and Drew Saylor. Memphis reliever Brandon Rowan came on following Saylor's home run to retire the first three batters he faced to end the contest.
House had his 11-game hitting streak snapped in the opening game. Grube moved into the school's top 10 list for strikeouts in a season taking over fifth place after reaching 91 with his 10-strikeout performance in game one.
Memphis and Cincinnati conclude their three-game series Sunday as 10 Tiger seniors will be honored prior to first pitch at 1 p.m.