Baseball Opens Conference USA Play This Weekend versus UAB
Go Tigers! Trey Wiedman leads Memphis with five home runs.
Go Tigers!
Trey Wiedman leads Memphis with five home runs.
Go Tigers!

March 20, 2008

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis baseball team will look to put together its first three-game win streak on Fri., Mar. 21, when it opens the 2008 Conference USA season versus UAB. Friday's contest has a 6:35 p.m. scheduled first pitch and will kick off a three-game weekend series with the Blazers at Nat Buring Stadium.

Friday, March 21, 2008 • 6:30 p.m.
UAB - Jr., RHP, Mitch Kloskowski (2-1, 2.01 ERA)
Memphis - Jr., RHP, Scott McGregor (0-2, 4.78 ERA)

Saturday, March 22, 2008 • 2 p.m.
UAB - Sr., RHP, Brandon Wallace (1-0, 1.86 ERA)
Memphis - Jr., RHP, Will Hudgens (0-2, 5.60 ERA)

Sunday, March 23, 2008 • 1 p.m.
UAB - TBA
Memphis - TBA

Tiger Tracks
Winners of its last two games, Memphis (8-10) has yet to string together three consecutive wins this year. Three times this year the Tigers have been denied its third straight win. Memphis routed Samford 18-9 in its last outing. The 18 runs on 17 hits was a season-high for Head Coach Daron Schoenrock's crew.

Memphis improved its numbers with that 18-run barrage and now hits .247 as a team. Sophomore first baseman Trey Wiedman has led the team in hitting from the outset of the year and currently checks in with a .383 average at the plate. His 23 hits, 16 RBI, 13 runs, five homers and .682 slugging clip lead the Tigers. Just one other Memphis hitter--Adam McClain at .311--bats over .300. Freshman Chad Zurcher is swinging a hot bat in the last seven games. The Tiger shortstop has hit safely in a season-long seven games. In that stretch, Zurcher hits .300 with eight runs and four runs driven in.

 

 

Tiger pitchers have been stiff this year, behind the arms of ace Scott McGregor, Neil Schenk, closer Matt Yokley, Marcus Barnes and Brach Davis. Despite an 0-2 mark, McGregor has been strong, striking out 21 in 26.1 innings. He has just walked two and holds a 4.78 ERA. Yokley and Schenk continue to dominate, posting a 1.93 and 2.13 ERA, respectively. Yokley is 1-0 with a pair of saves in five outings. He has fanned 15 in 9.1 innings and opposing hitters hit just .121 against him. Schenk has also recorded two saves. He has 16 K's and holds opponents to a .222 clip at the plate. Barnes and Davis have both been impressive. Barnes, a middle reliever, had 16 strikeouts, while logging a 1-2 record and a 3.09 ERA. Davis is 2-0 in consecutive midweek starts.

Scouting the Blazers
UAB enters the weekend with a 6-10 mark after taking a 24-10 thumping from Mississippi State on Tuesday. A junior-laden squad, the Blazers rosters showcases eight seniors and 12 juniors. Senior Ryan Keedy leads the offense with a blistering .460 batting average. He paces the team with 11 doubles and 20 RBI. Phil Bell ranks second on the squad with a .354 clip and 12 RBI. The Blazers hit .274 as a team. Sophomore Jonathan Merritt has a team-best six stolen bases.

Weekend starters Mitch Kloskowski and Brandon Wallace anchor the pitching rotation. Friday night starter, Kloskowski is 2-1 and maintains a 2.01 ERA. He leads the staff with 19 strikeouts and holds opponents to just .152 hitting. Wallace (1-0) has given up a .286 average to opponents, but has a strong 1.86 ERA in 19.1 innings of work. Reliever Kyle Roberson has been the answer out of the bullpen. He ranks second on the UAB staff with 17 strikeouts and a save in 14 innings.

All-Time Series Versus UAB
Memphis is 29-35 all-time against UAB. Four of the last five series have resulted in sweeps, with Memphis being on the winning side of those decisions twice (2004, 2007). The Tigers took a pair of one-run wins for the sweep. The Blazers swept the Tigers in 2003 and 2005.

Tigers in C-USA Openers
Memphis is 4-8 all-time in Conference USA openers. The Tigers have won just one of the last four league-openers, with that win coming over No. 14 Tulane in 2006. The last time Memphis opened the C-USA schedule against UAB was in 1997, and the Blazers blanked the Tigers 2-0.

On Deck
Memphis will travel to Jackson, Tenn. for its next contest. The Tigers will battle Austin Peay in a 2007 NCAA Regional rematch on Tuesday at Pringles Park-home of the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The Tigers will then return to the "Nat" on Wed., Mar. 26 to take on the Arkansas State Indians at 6:30 p.m. Next weekend, Memphis will be in Charleston, W. Va. for a three-game series versus Marshall.

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