Baseball Preps for Four Games in Four Days
Go Tigers! Brennon Martin will take the mound for Friday's series opener versus Oakland.
Go Tigers!
Brennon Martin will take the mound for Friday's series opener versus Oakland.
Go Tigers!

March 4, 2010

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -

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The University of Memphis baseball team will set off a stretch of four games in four days beginning with tomorrow's series opener against Oakland. The Tigers will play a three-game weekend set with the Grizzlies before hosting Portland in a Monday afternoon tilt at FedExPark. Game times for the weekend series with Oakland are set for 4 p.m., 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., while Monday's game has been rescheduled for 12 p.m.

Scouting the Tigers
Memphis brings a 2-5 record into the weekend after dropping Tuesday night's contest at Ole Miss. That loss was just the second time this year that the Tigers have been defeated by more than one run. The other was an 8-6 loss to Toledo, last Friday, at the USA College Classic in Millington. The Tigers have suffered losses in four of the last five outings. Three of those have been by two runs or less.

Offensively, the Tigers team batting average has dipped under .300 for the first time as they check into the weekend series with a .297 average. However, six regulars hit .333 or higher. Sophomore Chad Zurcher leads the way with a .393 clip, while sophomores Jacob Wilson and Adam McClain check in at .385 and .367, respectively. Drew Martinez and Tyler Huelsing hit .333, while freshman Derrick Thomas rounds out the top starters at .320. Huelsing paces the club with four doubles and joins Zurcher as the team leaders with six RBI.

On the mound, junior Ryan Holland put together a career performance in his last outing and has a 0.00 ERA in six innings of work. Tiger ace Brennon Martin has recorded a pair of no-decision appearances and has posted a 2.57 ERA in 14 innings. He leads the staff with 15 strikeouts. Senior Sunday starter Ryan Fraser is second on the staff with 14 K's in 12 innings. He has a 5.25 ERA and has also earned a pair of no-decisions. Marcus Barnes has been the top hurler out of the Memphis bullpen. The southpaw has fanned eight in just five innings of relief and maintains a 1.80 ERA in three outings. As a staff, Memphis has a 4.94 ERA with 76 strikeouts. Opponents hit .275 against the Tigers.

Scouting Oakland
Just like Memphis, Oakland comes into the weekend's action after losing to Ole Miss. The Grizzlies, 0-3, were swept by the Rebels in their season-opening series, 9-1, 10-2 and 9-3.

The Grizzlies had a tough go of things in Oxford, hitting just .211, while the pitchers were touched for a .300 average, six homers and a 9.38 ERA. Ole Miss pitchers fanned 18 OU hitters in the season opener.

Tim Ryan leads the Grizzlies starters with a .333 average at the plate. Mike Carson hits .300 with a team-high three runs scored. He has the club's lone homer.

Eleven OU pitchers got work in last weekend. Kevin Korkate proved to be the most successful performer, holding the Rebels hitless in a pair of appearances. Of this weekend's starters, Connor Mielock, who will start Sunday's series finale, came away with the least damage. He posted a 9.00 ERA in four innings. Matt LaMothe and Kyle Teague, Friday and Saturday's starters, respectively, both worked into the sixth inning of the first two contests. LaMothe allowed nine runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings. Teague gave up seven runs on five hits in five innings. They both fanned four.

All-Time Series vs. Oakland
This weekend's set marks the first-ever baseball games between Memphis and Oakland.

Last Time Out
#18 Ole Miss 7, Memphis 2

Memphis (2-5)		200 000 000 - 2 3 0
No. 18 Ole Miss (7-1)	101 002 21x - 7 8 0
OXFORD, Miss. - Three Ole Miss pitchers combined to strike out 15 Memphis hitters en route to a 7-2 defeat of the Tigers Tuesday night in non-conference action at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. Memphis falls to 2-5, while 18th-ranked Ole Miss improves to 7-1 on the young year.

The loss was Memphis' 13th-straight setback to the Rebels dating back to the 2004 season. Since the 1999 season, Ole Miss has claimed 21 of 24 games.

Memphis got out of the gates quickly behind a leadoff double by Drew Martinez and a walk by Chad Zurcher. Senior Trey Wiedman lined a single down the leftfield line to bring Martinez home and give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Zurcher then scored on a passed ball.

Memphis starter Heith Hatfield fell to 1-2 on the year after giving up four runs (all earned) in 5.1 innings. The sophomore fanned six, but walked five in his first start of the year. Marcus Barnes provided the Tigers with damage control in the sixth, holding the Rebels to just two runs after entering the game with the bases loaded and one out. The southpaw struck out a pair in 1.1 shutout innings and allowed just one hit.

Super Sophs
The Tiger offense has been successful primarily due to the success of its sophomore class. Sophomores Chad Zurcher (.393), Jacob Wilson (.385), Adam McClain (.367) and Drew Martinez (.333) rank as the club's top four hitter and have combined for a .368 batting average. All four have started in all seven games this year. The crew has produced 15 multiple hit games. They have tallied 42 of Memphis' 73 hits (58%), 20 of the team's 33 runs scored (61%), four of the 12 doubles (33%), two of three home runs (67%) and 12 of 28 RBI (43%).

On Deck
After the four-game homestand, Memphis will hit the road for three games next week. The Tigers will travel to Monroe, La. to take on ULM in a single-game at 6:30 p.m. on March 10. They will then bus over to Dallas, Texas for a three-game weekend series versus Dallas Baptist, March 12-13. The Tigers and Patriots will play at 3 p.m. on Fri., Mar, 12, before playing a 12 p.m. doubleheader on Sat., Mar 13.



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