Pitching Controls @MemphisBaseball Scrimmage Early Before Offense Erupts
Feb. 1, 2014
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Pitching held the offense at bay for five innings in Saturday's University of Memphis baseball scrimmage before the offense erupted for 12 runs over the next five innings at FedExPark.
Head Coach Daron Schoenrock and staff decided to play a 10-inning scrimmage on Saturday with the forecast on Sunday calling for rain.
"I was excited that we got a chance to see our entire staff today with the weather coming tomorrow," Schoenrock said. We saw a lot better things today. The intensity was solid over 11 innings today. We played nine solid innings with minimal freebies until late in the game. We talked a lot about concentration and we were encourage by that today."
"We're starting to see some guys seperate themselves defensively. We've got some great battles going on rotation wise. These opportunites to evaluate are important with the weather like it is. It was great to get Caleb Wallingford in the game today after he missed all of the fall with the injury."
Junior utility player Bryce Beeler started the game on the mound for the Blue team and was effective. Beeler allowed two hits in his two innings of work and struck out two. The Grey side scored one tally in the second, but didn't get a chance to add more as Damo DeMatteo was thrown out at second attempting to stretch a single to a double.
Senior right-hander Jon Reed will likely make a start on opening weekend and Saturday he showed why. In his three innings of work, Reed faced one over the minimum as he allowed just one hit and struck out five. Reed retired the first six he faced before catcher Keaton Aldridge hit a double to the gap in right-centerfield. Reed stranded Aldridge at second by striking out the next three batters to finish his outing.
Blue evened the score at 1-1 in the fourth against lefty Colin Lee. Ford Wilson drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on Ethan Gross' single to right-centerfield. Gross attempted to steal second and was caught in the rundown, but Wilson was able to score from third. Lee escaped the jam and finished the day with three innings pitched allowing one run on three hits while walking one and striking out two.
In the seventh, Blue added three more runs to grab a 4-1 advantage. Gross picked up his second hit of the day to start the frame and he scored on Tucker Tubbs' sacrifice fly. Jake Little singled to right-centerfield and later scored from third on a squeeze bunt by Drew Griffin. Kane Barrow also singled in the inning and scored on an errant throw on a pickoff attempt at first base.
Three more runs scored in the eighth for the Blue as the squad padded the lead to 7-1. Chris Carrier walked to start the frame, moved to third on a single by Darien Tubbs and scored on a bunt by Ford Wilson. On Wilson's bunt, an errant throw allowed Darien Tubbs. Wilson went to third on the error and scored on a sacrifice fly RBI by Jake Little.
Grey squad pitchers Jacob Moody and Nolan Blackwood combined for four innings of shutout ball. Moody walked one and struck out one as he faced seven hitters. Blackwood was perfect in two innings, striking out one.
"Nolan continues to seperate himself as a guy who is going to carry a big load for us out of the bullpen," Schoenrock said. "He's so efficent on the mound and if we can put a defense out there that can make plays, Nolan becomes even more valuable."
The Grey side got two runs back in the ninth with a two-RBI single by Michael Sillyman. Two walks and a single loaded the bases with nobody out and Blue squad pitcher Conner Porter forced a flyout and strikeout to put two outs on the board. Sillyman singled through the right side to drive in two runs to make it 7-3.
Blue put up three more runs in the ninth to make it 10-3. Back-to-back singles by Kane Barrow and Nate Rupiper brought Keaton Aldridge to the plate with no outs. Aldridge smashed a double to the wall in left-centerfield to drive in two runs. Darien Tubbs traded places with Aldridge with two outs in the frame, as he double down the rightfield line to collect the RBI. Blue added one more run in the 10th to set the final score at 11-3. Tucker Tubbs doubled and Kane Barrow drove him in with a single.
"We're trying to move Zach (Scrhitenthal) around a lot to make him a utility player," Schoenrock said. "He's going to be an outstanding player for us, but we're throwing a lot at him right now. He's handling it fine, but with any freshman it's about slowing the game down. The more the freshmen learn to slow it down, the better we'll be."
The season opener is Friday, Feb. 14 at 4:00 p.m. against Western Michigan.
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