Baseball set for Midweek Challenge at Ole Miss
Feb. 21, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Riding the wave of a convincing series sweep of Evansville, the University of Memphis baseball team will hit the road for the first time, on Tuesday, when it takes on Ole Miss at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.
Scouting the Tigers
At the plate, Memphis has gotten off to fast starts in all three contests. Behind the bats of Drew Martinez and Chad Zurcher, the Tigers scored 13 runs in the opening inning this weekend. Memphis scored six runs in its first at-bat of the year and followed with three scored in the opening inning of Game 2. The Tigers wrapped the weekend up by plating four runs in the first inning of the series finale.
Phillip Chapman leads the club in hitting, with a .667 average, while Rick Russell (.571), Zurcher (.545), Martinez (.500) and Adam McClain (.500) each hit .500 or better in the weekend series. Jacob Wilson batted .471 and drove in seven runs in the opening series. Junior college transfer Eli Hynes homered twice, including a first-inning grand slam, a no-doubter to right, came on the first pitch of his first at-bat as a Tiger on Friday. He is the first Tiger do homer on his first pitch in the Blue and Gray since Joey Lieberman did so against Notre Dame in 2006.
Memphis will send senior right-hander Dane Sharp to the mound for the first start of his career. Sharp was perfect in one inning of relief in Sunday's 17-6 win over Evansville.
Scouting the Rebels
The Rebels were solid at the plate and on the mound in the first weekend of action. They batted a collective .362, while logging a 3.54 ERA.
Sophomore outfielder, Tanner Mathis, led the club with a .462 batting average in the early goings of the year. Miles Hamblin hit .444, while Matt Smith bats .417. Jackson, Tenn., native, Preston Overbey leads the Rebels with six RBI. The freshman batted .385 with a home run in his first weekend of collegiate baseball.
Senior lefty Matt Tracy will make the start on Tuesday. Tracy has yet to pitch in 2011, but bats .333 with four runs scored and a pair of RBI.
#15 Ole Miss (23-11) 120 000 020 - 5 9 3 Memphis (15-18) 100 120 20x - 6 10 1MEMPHIS, Tenn.--Drew Martinez went 3-for-5, Trey Wiedman drove in three runs and Ryan Fraser closed the door with a scoreless ninth as Memphis upended 15th-ranked Ole Miss, 6-5, in non-conference action Tuesday night at AutoZone Park. The win snapped a streak of 13-straight losses to Ole Miss and improved the Tigers to 15-18 on the year.
The win was Memphis' third over a top-20 team and fourth against a team ranked in the top-30.
The Tigers used a healthy performance by its bullpen to clinch its first win over the Rebels since 2003. When starter Marcus Barnes was lifted after giving up three runs on four hits in just 1.2 innings, the Tiger's stable of arms went to work and held the Rebels scoreless for the next 5.2 innings.
Brandon Showmar was the first out of the pen and the freshman allowed just one hit in 1.1 innings. Ryan Holland, Marc Ashley, Dan Langfield and Chase Joiner then held Ole Miss off the board for an inning each.
Ole Miss threatened to put up a big inning, loading the bases with one out. Alex Yarbrough knocked an RBI-single to rightfield, but with a run already in, Matt Smith got caught between third and home and was eventually thrown out at the plate to slow the rally. Barnes was able to retire the next batter to end the threat.
The Tigers quickly evened the slate with its first three batters in the home half of the first. Drew Martinez pushed a bunt single to second to start the rally and Chad Zurcher followed with a single thru the right side. That set up an RBI opportunity for the Tigers top run producer Tyler Huelsing, who came through with an RBI-single.
Ole Miss regained the lead in the second on the strength of a solo home run by David Phillips. Barnes then plunked Tim Ferguson and issued consecutive walks to Kevin Mort and Matt Smith to load the bases. Barnes was then relieved in favor of Showmar, who promptly plunked Zach Miller for a 3-1 Ole Miss lead.
While the bullpen quieted the Ole Miss bats, the Tigers chipped away at the Rebels lead with a solo shot to left by Heith Hatfield in the fourth.
Memphis took its first lead of the night in the fifth behind a run-scoring single by Jacob Wilson and a sacrifice fly from Wiedman that gave the Tigers a 4-3 advantage.
Wiedman's bat provided the Tigers with two critical runs in the seventh. After Zurcher reached on an error and Huelsing singled, the duo successfully executed the double steal. Wiedman then drove a two-run single deep to the gap in right centerfield to make it 6-3. That single proved to be the game-winner as Ole Miss rallied for two runs in the eighth to make it a one-run game.
Fraser would then deny the Rebels another chance at breaking the hearts of the Tigers as he struck out the side in the ninth to seal the win. The save was the first of Fraser's career. Ashley was the winning pitcher and improved to 1-1 on the year.
Memphis out-hit Ole Miss 10-9. Behind three hits from Martinez, the Tigers got two hits from Huelsing. The duo scored two runs each.