Third Scrimmage of Spring Sees Possible Lineup Situation for @MemphisBaseball
Jan. 31, 2014
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Exactly two weeks away from opening day at FedExPark, the University of Memphis baseball team took the field for its third scrimmage of the spring.
Head Coach Daron Schoenrock and staff elected to split the squads where the potential position starters, the Grey team, faced off against a potential weekend starter on the Blue team.
"We were much, much better in dominating the routine play and if we're able to do that and throw strikes we're going to have a chance to win a lot of games," Schoenrock said. "We've got to clean up some defensive communication errors in handling the short game. Offensively, one team executed in the important situations and won and the other team failed on four big opportunities. Those are the moments that are veteran hitters have to learn to grab."
After striking out two in his first inning of work, sophomore K.C. Abney returned for a second inning of work. Sophomore first baseman Michael Sillyman got the Blue side off to a start with a double off the centerfield wall and two bunts later, scored the first run of the day. Outfielder Zac Carter reached on a bunt single and later scored on a sacrifice fly by catcher Damo DeMatteo. Sophomore Corey Chafin drove in the first run and eventually scored on the double-steal attempt to make it 3-0.
Junior right-hander Dylan Toscano started for the Blue side and had a solid three-inning outing. Toscano allowed a two-out single in the first to Tucker Tubbs, but the Grey team did no further damage. Toscano was perfect in the second frame, striking out two. Jake Little led off the third with a double down the leftfield line, but Toscano retired the next three hitters to keep the Grey side scoreless.
Pitching continued to dominate the afternoon as redshirt-freshman Connor Mahoney was effective in two innings of work. For the Grey squad, Mahoney pitched a scoreless third, but allowed a tally in the fourth. Chafin drew a one-out walk and moved to scoring position on a passed ball. Zach Willis helped Chafin score for the second time on the day with a RBI single.
Blue added two runs in the fifth to take the 6-0 lead. Austin Hatfield led off with a double down the leftfield line and moved to third on a groundout. A passed ball allowed Hatfield to score. With two outs in the inning, Tyler Dixon blasted a solo home run to left-centerfield to set the score at 6-0.
Freshman left-hander Ryan Garner worked the final three innings for the Blue team and managed to keep the Grey team scoreless. Garner was perfect in the fourth inning, but allowed a leadoff single in the fifth to Kane Barrow. Garner struck out the next hitter, but a failed pickoff attempt put the runner at third with one away. Garner escaped the jam with another strikeout and groundout. In the sixth, Garner allowed back-to-back singles with one out, but the runner was stranded at third once again.
"I thought both Dylan (Toscano) and Ryan (Garner) were very good," Schoenrock added. "Dylan continues to make progress and Ryan continues to show signs in his freshman year of who we think he can be."
Chafin paced the Blue side with a 1-for-2 effort with an RBI, walk and two runs scored. Bryce Beeler had a pair of singles and Zac Carter had two hits, two stolen bases and a run scored. Jake Little highlighted the Grey team offensively, going 2-for-2 with a double.
"We're going to stack Jon Reed and Colin Lee on one team tomorrow," Schoenrock said. "It'll be a similar situation tomorrow and it'll come down to grabbing the offensive moments when they come. We'll see how those guys attack the stacked lineup."
The Tigers hit the field at FedExPark for scrimmages on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. All scrimmages are FREE and open to the public. The season opener is Friday, Feb. 14 at 4:00 p.m. against Western Michigan.
Season tickets are on sale now for $50. The season ticket includes 29 games at FedExPark plus the game against Ole Miss at AutoZone Park. Call (901) 678-2331 to purchase tickets or order online here. More information on season tickets, the Leftfield Deck or having a birthday party at FedExPark can be found here.