NEW ORLEANS, La. – Memphis (12-8) opens its final season in Conference USA as the Tigers visit Tulane (12-11) for the three-game league series at Turchin Stadium.
LHP Sam Moll (4-1, 2.64 ERA) gets the nod in game one of the series on Friday at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, LHP Erik Schoenrock (2-1, 2.76 ERA) will make his second career conference start with first pitch set for 2:00 p.m. LHP Alex Gunn (1-1, 0.72 ERA) makes his first career road start in the series finale at 1:00 p.m.
Follow The Action RADIO – Radio broadcasts for this weekend’s series against Tulane will depend on result of women’s basketball game at Arkansas on Thursday night in the WNIT.
INTERNET - GoTigersGo.com will offer live play-by-play and statistics ... Live stats are available through GameTracker, linked on the preview for the game.
TWITTER - @UofMBaseball is the official Twitter account for Memphis Baseball. Follow the Tigers throughout the season for in-game updates, behind the scenes photos and much more.
March Baseball The Tigers have a record of 74-92 in the month of March since 2005. Memphis turned in their best March record in 2007, including an impressive 10-1 record at home. The Tigers have played well at home in the month of March, compiling a record 14 games over .500. However, Memphis is only 16-46 in road contests since 2005. Dating back to 1978, Memphis is 328-188-1 (.635) in March.
Tigers In League Opener Memphis opened Conference USA play in 1996 against Tulane at Nat Buring Stadium. In the final season as a C-USA member, the Tigers travel to Tulane. Dating back to 1996, Memphis is 18-32 in the first series of C-USA play. Last season, Memphis lost two of three to Rice at FedExPark to open league play. The U of M hasn’t won the opening series in league play since 2010, a 2-1 series edge against Rice.
C-USA Road Openers Memphis begins league play on the road for the first time since 2011 and the ninth time in the 18 years of the league. In the first C-USA series on the road each season, Memphis sports a 17-33 record. The Tigers swept Marshall in their first league road series last year.
stats versus Tulane Below is a look at current numbers for Memphis against Tulane.
Ducks on the Pond Memphis has had 33 official at-bats with the bases full this season. The Tigers have mustered seven hits in the situation, but have left the bases loaded in two of the losses this season. Zach Willis had a three-run double with the bases loaded in the win against Kent State on March 17. Bryce Beeler hit a bases clearing double in game two of the series against Buffalo for the Tigers fourth hit with the bases juiced and had another bases clearing double at UT Martin. Drew Griffin (1-for-5), Ford Wilson (1-for-3), Nate Rupiper (1-for-3) and Corey Chafin (1-for-1) have the other three Tiger hits with ducks on the pond this season.
Strong JUCO Arms Three junior college transfer pitchers have made an immediate impact for the Tigers this season. Alex Gunn (1-1, 0.72 ERA), Jon Reed (2-0, 3.31 ERA) and Conner Porter (1-0, 2.81 ERA) have combined for 57.1 innings pitched and a 2.05 ERA. The trio has walked only 11 batters while striking out 45. Allowing just 52 hits, the trio sports a 1.10 WHIP (walks+hits per inning pitched).
The Inside Edge – Tulane Tulane enters league play with a 12-11 record. The Green Wave lost to cross-town rival New Orleans on Tuesday, 5-4. Tulane is hitting .250 on the year with six home runs, 45 doubles and a pair of triples. Brennan Middleton paces the club with a .323 average while Sean Potkay has two home runs and 15 RBI. Garrett Cannizaro has a pair of home runs and 14 RBI while Andrew Garner has a home run and team-high 16 RBI. Middleton and Brandon Boudreaux lead the squad with four doubles and Tulane has swiped 14 on the season. On the mound, Tulane sports a 3.00 ERA with all three weekend starters sitting below 2.00. The Green Wave have posted 153 strikeouts against 66 walks and opponents hit .252 against the pitching staff.
Getting Runners On Base Last season, when Memphis had 14 or more runners reach base in a game, the Tigers had a record of 26-15. On the other side, when the U of M had 13 or fewer base runners in a game, Memphis had a 5-13 mark. So far in 2013, Memphis is 11-5 when 14 or more reach base and 1-3 when having 13 or fewer base runners in a game.
Ironman Shortstop Ethan Gross has made 113 consecutive starts dating back to the second game of a doubleheader at East Carolina on March 26, 2011. If Gross starts each scheduled game this season he would tie the record for consecutive games started, which is held by Mike Dlugach (149).
Stolen Base Numbers The Tigers lead Conference USA with 33 stolen bases on the season, nine better than second-place Houston. The 33 steals are the most for the Tigers among stats available that date back to 2008. Among the 33 steals, eight different players have swiped two or more steals. Ethan Gross leads the club with seven steals while Ford Wilson and Zach Willis have five each.
One Hit Away In seven of Memphis’ eight losses this season, the tying run has been on base, at the plate or on deck in the final at-bat. In the season opening loss to Illinois State, the tying run was on deck, but in the other six occasions, the tying run stood on the diamond. In the 10 inning losses to Arkansas State and Kent State, the tying run was on third and at the plate, respectively. Memphis had the bases loaded when the final out was record in two of the eight losses. The Tigers had the tying run at the plate against Alabama with one out in the ninth, but couldn’t make a comeback.
The Run Around Memphis pitching has posted a 2.93 ERA so far allowing a total of 75 runs, 59 earned, in 20 outings. Going back to 1978, there have been four other occasions in which the pitching staff held the opposition to 75 or fewer runs over the first 20 games. Prior to this season, the last time the Tigers allowed fewer than 75 runs was in 1993, allowing 74 runs. The table below shows the years that Memphis has limited opponents to 75 or fewer runs in first 20 games and the win/loss record in those games.
Quartet of Lefties Memphis has started a left-handed pitcher in all 20 games this season. Looking at every Division I baseball squad, the Tigers are the only team to have a lefty start every game this season. California started southpaws in their first 10 games. Kentucky started lefties in their first six games, but a right-handed pitcher started in each team’s next contest. Only 12 other teams started three lefties to start the season, but in their fourth game, a right-hander took the hill.
Double Double Memphis had nine doubles in Tuesday’s win at UT Martin, one double shy of the single-game record set in 2001 against UT Martin.
On The Road Again Having struggled on the road in the month of March (16-46 since 2005), the Tigers continue a four game road trip at Tulane. Dating back to 1978, the Tigers carry a 301-408-1 record on the road. The Tigers haven’t had a winning record on the road since 2006 (13-11), but the U of M was 13-13 in 2012. In the 35 year span, Memphis has posted a winning record on the road in 12 seasons, but only once since 1994.
Four Score and .... Since 1970, Memphis has an 857-183-2 (.823) record when opponents score four or fewer runs. Under head coach Daron Schoenrock the Tigers are 126-41 (.754) when the pitching staff holds the opposition under four runs, 10-3 in 2013. Year-by-year breakdown is below:
Record Pace Not only does the Tiger pitching staff sport an outstanding 2.31 ERA, the U of M pitchers are on a record pace for strikeouts and hits allowed in a season. The table below shows where the Tiger pitchers stack up against the record numbers.
Top Five In Record Book
Top Five In Record Book
Stick It To Cancer This season, Tiger baseball has teamed up with The Cure Baseball, to create awareness about cancer through the game of baseball. The Tigers are taking part in the Stick It To Cancer Campaign by placing The Cure Baseball's Logo sticker on the back of their batting helmets. The Tigers wear this sticker as a visual sign of support for every man, woman and child battling any and all types of cancer.
The Cure Baseball is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a goal of raising cancer awareness through the game of baseball. You can read more about the organization and its mission by visiting TheCureBaseball.org.