Nine-Run Second Propels Memphis to 15-3 Win at Houston
May 17, 2012
HOUSTON, Texas - Memphis (27-26, 12-10) recorded a season-high 23 hits and a nine-run second inning was all they needed in a 15-3 defeat of Houston (17-31-1, 5-16-1) on Thursday night at Cougar Field.
Memphis collected two hits in the top half of the first, but failed to advance the runners from first or second with one out in the frame. Houston produced one run with runners on and two outs, but a caught stealing with runners on the corners helped Memphis get out of the inning. Landon Appling led the inning off for the Cougars and scored on a RBI single by Chase Jensen, but Jensen was caught stealing to end the first.
The Tigers responded with a nine-run outburst to take a commanding 9-1 lead. Memphis pounded out the nine runs on nine hits, including three doubles. Houston faced 13 batters in the inning and after a leadoff groundout, Memphis had six-straight hits to score five runs. Bryce Beeler had a three-RBI double, Keaton Aldridge drove in two with a double and Ethan Gross, Jacob Wilson and Ford Wilson each added one RBI in the inning.
Dan Langfield faced trouble even though he held a 9-1 lead, but he managed to strand the bases loaded in the second and third inning while allowing one run on a wild pitch. In the second, the bases were juiced with one out, but a strikeout and ground ball ended the inning. Langfield allowed two hits and hit a batter to load the bases before a wild pitch allowed the Cougars second run to score. A walk loaded them up again, but Langfield notched his fourth strikeout of the game to end the inning.
After leaving three runners in scoring position over the third and fourth innings, Eli Hynes laced a single up the middle to increase the Tigers lead to 10-2. Memphis added two more runs in the sixth on a RBI double by Ford Wilson and Jacob Wilson drove in another with a single to center. Houston used a solo home run by Jake Runte to make the score 12-3.
The Tigers added three runs in the seventh to increase the lead to 15-3. Hynes was hit by a pitch and Derrick Thomas reached on a bunt single. T.J. Rich singled to left field and two runs scored after the ball got away in left field. Pinch-hitter Tucker Tubbs followed with an infield single to drive in Rich and with the two recording hits, 10 different Tigers had hits for the second-straight game.
Eight of the nine starters recorded multiple hits in the game and four different players had three or more hits. Ford Wilson led the club with four hits and Gross, Jacob Wilson and McClain posted three hits each. Michael Wills (4-1) pitched five innings in relief and allowed one run on four hits to notch the win. Wills win marked the sixth for the bullpen in the last 13 games and the bullpen sports a 1.88 ERA in those games.
After a 13-3 win on Tuesday versus UT Martin, Memphis' 12-run win marks only the second time since 1996 that the U of M has won back-to-back games by 10 or more runs. The back-to-back 10-plus run victories mark the ninth time in the same span that the Tigers have won back-to-back games with a plus-20 run differential. The 15 runs scored in a C-USA road game are the most for the U of M since a 21-13 win at Marshall on April 3, 2010. The Tigers collect just their second win at Cougar Field and improved to 2-20 all-time against Houston at Cougar Field.
The Tigers and Cougars meet for game two of the series on Friday at 6:30 p.m.