Three Outfield Assists In Seventh Inning Help @UofMBaseball Hold Off SEMO
May 16, 2013
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Southeast Missouri State (22-31) scored five runs on seven hits against two Memphis (33-21) relievers in the seventh inning, but the Tigers recorded three outfield assists in the inning, two at the plate, to hold off SEMO for an 8-6 victory Thursday.
Memphis wasted little time in taking a lead for the southpaw Moll. A one out walk to Ethan Gross followed by Carter White being plunked with a pitch put two on for the Tigers. Tucker Tubbs lifted a single to centerfield to load the bases and the Tigers got on the board with catcher's interference during Drew Griffin's at-bat.>Keaton Aldridge bounced a single through the right side and two runs scored to give the Tigers a 3-0 advantage. A double steal by Griffin and Aldridge put two Tigers in scoring position and designated hitter Nate Rupiper grounded out to second for the RBI groundout. The four-run first marked the first time the Tigers had scored three or more runs in their first at-bat since March 27 against Middle Tennessee.
After Moll retired the first six hitters he faced, Nolan Fisher doubled to the gap in left-centerfield for the Redhawks first hit and base runner in the game. Back-to-back sacrifice bunts brought in Fisher, cutting the Tigers lead to 4-1. Gross single handily gave the Tigers a 5-1 lead as he just missed his first career home run as he laced a ball off the wall in left-centerfield for a triple. The throw to third was errant and bounced into the third base dugout to score Gross.
Going back to the two sacrifice bunts, Moll retired seven-straight before Dalton Hewitt hit a one-out single down the leftfield line for the Redhawks second hit of the game. A high chopper off the bat of Fisher couldn't be picked up in time for a double play so the Tigers went for the sure out at first, but Hewitt advanced to scoring position. Moll struck out his sixth of the night to end the threat for the Redhawks and the sixth strikeout of the night was No. 206 in Moll's career moving him to sole possession of seventh on the all-time strikeouts list.
The Tigers added a run in the sixth to lead SEMO 6-1. Tubbs started the frame with a double in leftfield and an infield single by Griffin put runners on the corners with no outs in the inning. Aldridge picked up his third RBI of the night laying down a safety-squeeze bunt to score Tubbs from third. Griffin advanced to third with two outs in the inning, but the Tigers left him stranded there to end the sixth.
The Tigers went to the bullpen in the seventh after Moll threw six solid innings, allowing one run on two hits, walking none and striking out seven. His seventh strikeout was his 100th of the season to make him the sixth pitcher in program history to reach the 100 strikeout milestone in one season. Moll marks the second of those six in the last two seasons as Dan Langfield struck out 111 last season.
SEMO used a leadoff walk followed by a single and a double to put runners on second and third with no out after plating a runner to make it 6-2 after three batters in the bottom of the seventh. A single through the right side by Hewitt brought in both runners to cut the Tigers lead to 6-4. The second walk of the inning and an infield single on the bunt loaded the bases for SEMO and the Tigers went to the pen once more.
Three runs scored and no outs in the inning, Clayton Gant entered from the bullpen with the bases loaded. Pinch hitter Josh Meade doubled to the leftfield corner but the Tigers were able to throw out the runner from first on the play to keep the score at 6-6. The relay throw from left was quickly returned to third base to retire Meade trying to advance on the throw. With two outs, Jason Blum singled through the right side and advanced to second on a passed ball. Clayton Evans got the Redhawks seventh hit of the frame, but right fielder Carter White, making his first career start in right field, threw a bullet to the plate to end the frame with the second putout at the plate.
The Tigers responded in the eighth, but it took a couple of Redhawks errors to bring in the run for the U of M. Tubbs got his third hit of the night with a one out single and Griffin reached on an error. After a strikeout, Tubbs and Griffin advanced to second and third with a passed ball by the SEMO catcher. A comebacker to the SEMO reliever Bobby Hurst was bobbled allowing Tubbs to scamper home for the go-ahead run. Memphis left runners on the corners to end the inning, but freshman reliever>Colin Lee retired the side in order to have the Tigers ahead 7-6 going to the ninth.>Ford Wilson blasted a solo home run to lead off the top of the ninth inning for the Tigers. The home run was the first allowed by Redhawks pitcher Bobby Hurst this season and the first of the season for Wilson.
Lee went to the mound in the ninth and retired the leadoff man via a called third strike. A one-out single and wild pitch put a runner on second and a walk to the next hitter put runners on first and second. SEMO elected to lay down the sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third with one out.>Jonathan Van Eaton entered the game for the save opportunity and forced a ground ball to third and with the out Van Eaton completed his 12th save of the season.
Tubbs led the Tigers offense with three hits on the night and five other hitters had hits for the U of M. SEMO out-hit the Tigers 10-8 on the game. Gant picked up the win to improve to 3-3 on the season as he allowed no runs on three hits in one inning of work.
With the win tonight at SEMO, the 2013 squad is the first team at the U of M to avoid losing three-straight games since the 1994 season. With 33 regular season wins, the 2013 club is the seventh to post 33 or more wins in the regular season.
Memphis and SEMO meet in game two of the series on Friday at 7 p.m.