Rice Scores Three in the Ninth to Down Memphis 7-6
May 15, 2011
HOUSTON, Texas – The University of Memphis baseball team (27-23, 10-11 C-USA) carried a 6-4 lead to the ninth inning, but No. 19 Rice (36-17, 15-6 C-USA) scored three runs in the inning to earn the come-from-behind victory and the series win.
Rice struck for one run in the ninth on an RBI single by J.T. Chargois. An intentional walk loaded the bases for Michael Ratterree with the potential tying run 90 feet away. Ratterree hit a two-run single to left to give the Owls the 7-6 come-from-behind victory.
Memphis loaded the bases in the seventh with a chance to increase their 6-4 lead. Owls relief pitcher Tyler Duffey would get out of the one-out bases loaded jam with a pop-out and a strikeout to give Rice a chance for a two-run comeback.
The Owls had the first opportunity to score after a leadoff double by Ratterree in the bottom of the second. A lineout to second kept Ratterree at second, but a ground ball to short let Ratterree move to third base. Tiger starter Clayton Gant would strand Ratterree at third with a diving grab by T.J. Rich at first base to end the inning.
The Tigers threatened in the top of the third, but Rice would strand two Memphis baserunners in scoring position. A two-out walk to Drew Martinez started the scoring chance and Martinez moved to second on an errant throw attempting to pick him off at first. Chad Zurcher singled to center, but Rice prevented Martinez from rounding third and scoring. A fly ball to center would end the scoring threat and leave the runners stranded in scoring position.
Memphis would plate a run in the fourth with an RBI single by Eli Hynes. A leadoff single by Rich started the inning and he moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Phillip Chapman. A groundout moved Rich to third and forced the Tigers to do the damage with two outs. Hynes singled up the middle to drive in Rich for the 1-0 lead, but the U of M loaded the bases and put more pressure on the Owls. Rice got out of the inning with a fly out to right and kept the score at 1-0.
Rice evened the score with an RBI-single by Craig Manuel. Chargois came around to score after leading off the inning with a walk. The Owls added a run off a sacrifice fly by Shane Hoelscher and would increase the lead to 3-1 following an RBI-double by Ryan Lewis. Michael Fuda singled to right to drive in the Owls fourth run of the inning before Gant got out of the inning with a groundout.
Two doubles in the fifth helped Memphis answer the Rice scoring. A one-out double by Jacob Wilson got the inning started and he would come around to score on a double by Chapman to cut the lead to 4-2. Chapman scored on a bloop single by Robby Graham to make the score 4-3. Memphis put runners on second and third with two out in the inning, but couldn’t tie or regain the lead.
Back-to-back singles by Rice forced the Tigers to go to the bullpen and reliever Tyler Farley got out of the inning without the baserunners advancing. Farley forced Anthony Rendon to pop-out in foul territory down the first base line and a strikeout and groundout would end the inning.
The Tigers regained the lead in the sixth as the Tigers loaded the bases and tied the game with a walk to Wilson. A sacrifice fly by Rich made the score 5-4 and the U of M increased the lead with a RBI-single by Graham to set the score at 6-4.
Five different Tigers recorded two hits and the U of M out-hit Rice 15-12 on the game. Memphis stranded 15 runners on base in the game.
Memphis closes the 2011 campaign with a four-game homestand that begins Tuesday at AutoZone Park. The Tigers take on Mississippi State at 6:30 p.m. before closing the season at FedExPark with a three-game set against Houston.