Tiger Baseball Outslugs East Carolina 11-10 to Earn Second-Straight Series Sweep
May 20, 2006
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
East Carolina (32-24, 10-14 C-USA) 400 210 003 - 10 15 2 Memphis (30-26, 13-11 C-USA) 200 002 331 - 11 18 1
Adam Amar led the Memphis offense with a 6-for-6 performance, including the game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth innings to lead the Tigers to an 11-10 come-from-behind win over East Carolina in the series finale. The U of M slammed a season-high six home runs in the contest, including back-to-back-to-back homers for the first time in 23 years. Memphis, who has now won six-straight C-USA games, finishes the regular season with a 30-26 record and a fourth-place finish in the Conference USA standings. The 30 wins marks just the second time since 1995 that the Tigers have reached the milestone win.
Trailing 7-2 after five innings, the Tigers staged a furious comeback that began with Amar's first drive of the afternoon, a solo shot over the centerfield wall. Kyle Norrid then doubled down the leftfield line and scored when Joey Lieberman produced an RBI-double to the leftfield corner to make it 7-4.
A three-run blast to rightcenter by Amar tied the tilt at 7-7 in the seventh. Memphis used the strength of back-to-back-to-back homers by Cory Barton, K.K. Chalmers and Will Petersen to take a 10-7 lead after eight. The three-straight home runs was the first time the feat has been accomplished Denis Gourgeot, Eric Kinnaman and Tim Dulin went deep in three consecutive at-bats against Tulane in 1983.
ECU answered in a big way in the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Adam Hodges led off with a single and a one-out, infield single by Jake Dean moved Hodges to second. Harrison Eldridge followed with a double to leftfield to close the Memphis lead to 10-8. Dean made it a one-run game when he scored on a wild pitch by Tiger freshman Matt Yokley. The next batter, Jake Smith singled up the middle to tie the game at 10.
The Tigers had more late-game heroics in store in the ninth. Barton was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Bill Moss also was hit by a pitch, setting up the game-winning single by Amar.
In an action-packed contest, things did not get off to a good start for the Tigers. Each of the first three ECU hitters reached base and a two-run blast by Ryan Tousley put the Pirates on top 4-0 early.
Moss crushed his sixth homer of the year over the leftfield wall to make it 4-2 after the first inning of play.
The Pirate offense then got back-to-back homers from Brandon Henderson and Tousley in the fourth, and another solo shot from Dale Mollenhauer in the fifth to take what looked to be a commanding 7-2 lead.
Memphis outhit East Carolina 18-15 in the contest. The Tiger offense, that is ranked 20th in the nation in scoring, has now reached double-digits in hits in eight of its last nine games. Chalmers added three hits, while Moss, Lieberman and Barton had two. Barton homered in his final official at-bat.
Yokley picked up the win after fanning two in two innings. Drew Jaudon had a solid "Senior Day" outing, holding the Pirates to just one run in four innings of relief. Cody Leggett was tagged with the loss.
No. 4 Memphis will now prepare for a meeting with No. 5 Southern Miss in the C-USA Tournament. The Tigers and Golden Eagles will play in the 7:30 p.m. game on Wed., May 24. Listen live to "The Voice of Tiger Baseball" Jeff Brightwell as he calls the play-by-play action on WUMR FM 91.7. Pre-game coverage begins at 7:15 p.m.