Pitching Shines in @MemphisBaseball Scrimmage Sunday
Feb. 9, 2014
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Two days of cold temperatures and snow kept the University of Memphis baseball team from scrimmaging at FedExPark, but Sunday the Tigers hit the field in the last tune-up before the season begins on Friday.
Blue grabbed a 1-0 lead as back-to-back walks sparked the scoring opportunity in the bottom of the second. Nate Rupiper put a bunt down the first base line and reached for the bunt single that loaded the bases. Michael Sillyman hit a chopper back to the mound, but the Grey side couldn't complete the double play. Zac Carter ripped a single to right field and Michael Dixon scored to give Blue the lead. Ryan Garner escaped the jam by forcing a ground out to shortstop to end the frame.
Grey answered back with a two-out rally in the third. Jake Little made a spectacular throw to the plate to get the second out of the second inning and came up with a double in the top of the third. Little doubled down the leftfield line and scored on a Tucker Tubbs double to the left-centerfield gap to knot the game at 1-1.
"We're going to throw pretty good from the outfield in all three spots," head coach Daron Schoenrock said. "Jake (Little) has great athleticism out there and that is a key for us. He did a good job of coming up and getting that ball. That was a big momentum shift with the bases loaded and nobody out. We got a comebacker for one out and then throw a guy out at the plate to get the young freshman Ryan (Garner) get out of the jam. That's where the defense has to come up big and they did just that."
Right-hander Dylan Toscano started for the Blue team and had a productive day on the bump. Toscano tossed four innings, allowing one run on five hits. He walked none and struck out three. Toscano was opposed by lefty Ryan Garner. Garner pitched four innings and allowed one run on three hits while walking three and striking out one.
"Dylan had a strong outing, pitching in the bottom of the strike zone which is where he has to be," Schoenrock said. "He did a great job of elminating freebies and letting the defense do the work. These are the kind of days with cool temperatures where it is hard to generate offense unless you give stuff away and he did a good job of not giving anything away."
"Defensively we made the routine plays. I continue to be encougared with how we are handling the short game both offensively and defensively. We are getting better at that short game which is very important for this team early in the season."
Pitching continued to control the game as the six-inning scrimmage ended in a 1-1 tie. Blake Myers pitched two innings in relief and allowed no runs on three hits. Connor Mahoney pitched two innings of relief and allowed no runs on no hits while walking two batters.
"I hope we are able to get outside and work this week," Schoenrock added. "We haven't had the chance to get out and take ground balls or fly balls in the last week because we've been inside a lot. Hopefully this weather gets out of here so we can get some repitions on the infield and get that down."
The Tigers turn the focus to game week preparations. Memphis opens the season on Friday at 4 p.m. against Western Michigan at FedExPark.