Ryan Holland Notches First Career C-USA Victory with 4-0 Win Over Houston
May 20, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Ryan Holland pitched 6 2/3 innings and matched a career high with 10 strikeouts to carry the University of Memphis baseball team (29-24, 12-11 C-USA) to a 4-0 victory over Houston (24-30, 11-12 C-USA) on Friday at FedExPark.
The senior southpaw earned his first career victory in Conference USA play with the strong outing in the last regular season start of his career. Holland had a 0-7 record with 12 no decisions prior to Friday’s outing against the Cougars. The Tiger pitching staff records a shutout of a C-USA foe for the first time since a 3-0 victory on May 15, 2004 against Cincinnati.
The Knoxville, Tenn. native walked the Houston leadoff man Landon Appling, but struck out Ryan Still looking for the first out of the game. After Appling stole second, he would advance to third on a groundout. Holland would strand the runner on third as a groundout would end the frame.
Memphis would get the offense going quickly as three-straight singles loaded the bases for T.J. Rich. A groundout to first was productive for the team leader in RBI as he collected his 52nd RBI to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead on the play. Following a strikeout, Eli Hynes walked to load the bases again for the U of M. Robby Graham singled up the middle to drive in two runs and increase the Tiger lead to 3-0. Ethan Gross hit a bloop single down the right field line to plate Memphis’ fourth run of the inning.
Two walks and a hit by pitch loaded the bases in the top half of the third inning, but Holland would once again work out of the jam. Second baseman Chad Zurcher made a diving grab on a lineout to second to end the frame and strand the bases full.
Houston benefited from three walks in the fifth to load the bases for the second time in the game. Facing a full count, M.P. Cokinos chopped a grounder to third and Tiger third baseman Jacob Wilson fielded the ball and stepped on third for the force out.
Chase Jensen registered the first hit for the Cougars with one out in the top of the sixth inning. After stealing second later in the inning, Holland recorded his eighth strikeout on the night to strand the runner at second.
Holland started the seventh inning on the mound and struck out the first two batters he faced to match a career-high with 10 strikeouts. After a two-out single and a walk, Holland was lifted for reliever Ben Paullus. A fly out to center would strand two runners on and keep the Tigers ahead at 4-0.
Memphis put just one runner in scoring position after the four-run first inning and collected just one hit after the bottom of the first. Eli Hynes doubled in the sixth, but was stranded on second after a flyout ended the inning.
Holland finished the game allowing just two hits in 6 2/3 innings on the mound. He struck out 10, walked seven and threw 123 pitches. Paullus earned his fourth save of the season, allowing no runs or hits in 2 1/3 innings of work.
Six different Tigers collected hits and the U of M limited the Cougars to just two hits on the night. The two hits that Memphis allowed is a season low and the fewest hits allowed by the U of M since four pitchers combined for a one-hitter at UT-Martin on February 27, 2007.
The Tigers go for the three-game sweep at FedExPark on Saturday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. and the senior class will be honored prior to the game. Saturday’s game is also FedEx employee recognition day at the ballpark.