Baseball Heads to Millington for 2010 USA College Classic
Go Tigers! Ryan Fraser and the Tigers will take on Toledo, Pitt and Bradley in the trhee-game 2010 USA College Classic round-robin tournament.
Go Tigers!
Ryan Fraser and the Tigers will take on Toledo, Pitt and Bradley in the trhee-game 2010 USA College Classic round-robin tournament.
Go Tigers!

Feb. 25, 2010

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis baseball team will make the short trip north to Millington, Tenn. and USA Stadium to take on Toledo, Pittsburgh and Bradley in the round-robin 2010 USA College Classic. The Tigers will open the weekend up against Toledo on Fri., Feb. 26, before taking Pitt and Bradley on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Pitching Matchups
Friday, February 26, 2010 • 3:30 p.m.

Toledo - Kyle Shaw, So., LHP (2-1, 9.70 ERA) **2009 stats
Memphis - Brennon Martin, Sr., LHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Saturday, February 27, 2010 • 3:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh - Matt Iannazzo, So., LHP (1-0, 3.38 ERA)
Memphis - Ryan Fraser, Sr., RHP (0-0, 4.50 ERA)

Sunday, February 28, 2010 • 2:30 p.m.
Bradley - Jacob Booden, So., RHP (1-4, 7.40 ERA) **2009 stats
Memphis - Ryan Holland, Jr., LHP (0-1, 10.57 ERA) **2009 stats

Scouting the Tigers
Currently 1-2 on the year, Memphis has been solid in nearly every aspect of the game. However, the one area the Tigers have struggled has been offensively with runners in scoring position. Memphis hits .342 as a team, but the bottom half of the club's lineup has been unable to produce runs, checking in with a combined .148 average (4-for-27) with runners in scoring position.

The Tigers have six hitters with averages of .333 or better. Sophomore's Adam McClain and Jacob Wilson lead the way, hitting .583 and .538. Both have a team-high seven hits, while McClain has collected multiple hits in all three games. Sophomore Chad Zurcher and senior Tyler Huelsing both bat .455. Huelsing, a native of Munford, Tenn., paces the team with three doubles and four RBI. Sophomore outfielder Drew rounds out the Tigers' top five hitters with a .357 batting average.

 

 

On the mound, senior Brennon Martin was in usual form in last week's season opener. The southpaw from Memphis Harding Academy tossed seven shutout innings and fanned six. Senior Saturday starter Ryan Fraser was also strong in his 2010 debut. He scattered 10 hits and struck out six in 6.2 innings. Sophomore Heith Hatfield picked up the team's lone pitching win.

Scouting the Rockets
Friday's matchup with the Tigers will mark the opening of the 2010 season for Toledo. The Rockets went 24-30 to finish sixth in the Mid-American Conference and second in the West Division. UT returns 25 letterwinners from last year, including eight position starters and 11 pitchers.

Junior Chris Dudics is the club's returning batting champ after hitting .386 a year ago. The Rockets return its power contributors from last year as well, in juniors Jared Hoying and Dan Sherwood. Each hit a team-high 11 homers in 2009. Senior Tim Krofcheck is back after hitting .303 and swiping 12 bases in 51 starts. Sophomore Joe Corfman had a solid freshman campaign, hitting .314 with 30 RBI and 11 doubles.

The Rocket's pitching staff will be led by Second Team All-MAC selection Matt Kuna. In 12 starts, Kuna logged 61.2 innings and struck out 44. He finished the year with a 4.23 ERA and a 5-2 record. He will get help from relievers Matt Zahel and Jacob Bernath. Bernath made a staff-best 25 appearances, while Zahel was 2-0 with nine saves in 19 relief outings.

All-Time Series vs. Toledo
Memphis has never played Toledo in baseball.

Scouting the Panthers
Pitt is this week's lone opponent that got its season underway last week. The Panthers ousted Wofford 2-1 for the series win. Pitt hit a blistering .386 and scores 33 runs in its opening weekend series. Sean Toole racked up a team-best .833 average, while Philip Konieczny (.667) and Joe Leonard (.533) each hit over .500. Leonard started in all three games and collected eight hits to go with 11 RBI, four doubles and a home run. Danny Lopez got off to a hot start, batting .429 and leading the club with eight runs scored.

Coached by former Tiger Brandon Rowan, the Panthers pitching staff held Wofford to a .264 batting average last week and struck out 32 batters. All three Pitt starters were strong in their season debut. Nathan hood struck out seven in six innings, while Matt Iannazzo, Saturday's starter versus Memphis, fanned seven and gave up just five hits in 5.1 innings to pick up a win. Corey Baker also recorded a victory after striking out nine in seven innings.

All-Time Series vs. Pitt
Sunday's meeting between Memphis and Pitt will be the first. However, the 2010 season is not the first time they have been scheduled to play. The Tigers and Panthers were set to face each other in the 2009 Service Academies Classic, but due to rain and team travel plans, the two were unable to meet.

Scouting the Braves
Bradley opens the 2010 season this weekend at the USA College Classic. The Braves are coming off a tough 17-31 finish in 2009, but welcome 12 letterwinners back. To go with its core group of returning lettermen, the Bradley roster showcases 14 freshmen.

Sophomore pitcher Joe Bircher will lead the club into the 2010 season after leading the pitching staff with a 3.39 ERA, 63.2 innings pitches and a 4-2 record last year.

Catcher Kevin Sullivan and infielder Matt Fritz return as the top offensive leaders. Sullivan hit .227 with 15 RBI, while Fritz ended the year with a .272 average, 15 RBI and eight doubles.

All-Time Series vs. Bradley
Memphis is 8-13 all-time versus Bradley. The two programs have not met for the first time since 1975 (Memphis' final year as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference) last season. The series began in 1967 with Memphis handing Bradley a 4-2 defeat. The Tigers have claimed victory in five of the last eight meetings. Bradley won last year's contest, 5-1.

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