Mississippi State Topples Tigers 8-3 at AutoZone Park
May 17, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Mississippi State (33-19) hit two home runs and walked 11 times to defeat the University of Memphis baseball team 8-3 on Tuesday night at AutoZone Park.
After a walk and error put runners on the corners in the first, Erik Schoenrock worked out of a jam with a strikeout. Two walks in the second would hurt the freshman southpaw, as Wes Thigpen would put the Bulldogs on the board with an RBI-single up the middle. A double by C.T. Bradford then gave Mississippi State a 2-0 lead. The Bulldogs would add another run off a wild pitch to take a 3-0 advantage. MSU would strand the bases loaded in the second after Jaron Shepherd struck out looking for a second time in as many innings.
Jarrod Parks hit the first of two Bulldog home runs with a solo shot in the top half of the fourth, but Memphis answered with a run of their own to cut the MSU lead to 4-1. Jacob Wilson led off the inning with a walk and would come around to score on an RBI-single to right by Robby Graham.
A one-out double by Drew Martinez sparked the Tiger offense in the fifth inning. Chad Zurcher hit a double down the left field line to drive in Martinez and slice the Bulldog lead to 4-2. T.J. Rich then hit a single to left-center to plate Zurcher and trim the lead to 4-3.
Mississippi State extended the lead to 6-3 with a two-run home run to left field by Nick Vickerson. A walk to Jonathan Ogden came back to hurt the Tigers as he stole second and moved to third on an errant throw. Ogden scored after Thigpen roped a single through the left side and increased the MSU lead to 7-3.
The Tigers put two runners on in the seventh after Zurcher singled and Wilson walked. After Bulldog reliever Evan Mitchell recorded a strikeout for the second out, a balk advanced the runners to scoring position. Mitchell would strikeout another Tiger batter to strand Memphis’ fifth and sixth runners in scoring position on the night. Eli Hynes doubled with one out in the eighth, but was stranded on second after Mitchell recorded back-to-back strikeouts.
A leadoff triple Brent Brownlee helped the Bulldogs add a run in the ninth. Brownlee scored after Ryan Collins hit an RBI-single through the left side. MSU loaded the bases in the ninth, but the runners were stranded to end the frame.
Zurcher led the Tigers with three hits, his 11th three-plus hit game of the season. Hynes and Phillip Chapman each collected two hits and the Tigers out-hit Mississippi State 12-9 on the game.
Memphis returns to FedExPark to close the regular season with a three-game series against Houston. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.