April 5, 2012
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Memphis (12-17, 2-4) visits Appalachian Power Park for its first Conference USA road series against Marshall (11-16, 1-2) beginning Friday at 6:05 p.m. (CT). Game two is slated for 6:05 p.m. (CT) on Saturday and the series finale is at 12:00 p.m. (CT) on Sunday.
Live stats are available on GoTigersGo.com and HerdZone.com provides live streaming video. You can listen to the game on WUMR 91.7 FM or on Memphis TigerVision at GoTigersGo.com.
The Tigers carry a 363-302-1 record in games played in April since the 1977 season. Memphis has had four seasons above the .500 mark under head coach Daron Schoenrock and last year’s club posted a 12-8 record in April. Under Schoenrock the Tigers are 59-73.
Behind The “Eight” Ball
An 11.39 ERA haunts the Tigers in the eighth inning as the club has allowed 38 runs, 35 earned, on 52 hits. On the season, Memphis has been outscored 38-11 in the eighth and in C-USA play, opponents hold a 17-4 edge. Opponents have five big innings (scoring three or more runs) in the eighth against Memphis.
Quality Starting Pitching
Memphis has 17 quality starts from its pitching staff in 28 games, but the Tigers are 9-8 in those games. Dan Langfield has provided a quality start in five of his seven starts, but carries a 4-3 record. Midweek starter Michael Wills has three quality starts, but has two no decisions to his credit.
The Series With Marshall
The Tigers and Herd meet for the 20th time on Friday and Marshall carries an 11-8 edge in the series that started in 2006. Marshall has won three of the last four meetings and the Herd took two-of-three at FedExPark in the series last season. In eight of the 19 previous meetings, a team has scored double-digit runs. In 13 of 19 meetings, the margin of victory has been three runs or less and Memphis is 6-7 in those games. The Tigers are 5-4 in games played at Marshall.
The Inside Edge - Marshall
Marshall carries an 11-16 record into the weekend series and their midweek tilt with Ohio was washed out. Alfredo Brito leads the club with a .344 batting average and three home runs. Marshall hits at a .263 clip and averages roughly five runs per game. Isaac Ballou paces the team with 14 stolen bases and the Herd have swiped 36 bags this season. On the mound, Marshall sports a 5.10 staff ERA and the pitchers have 208 strikeouts in 231 innings of work.
Tigers In C-USA Road Opening Series
Memphis opens the road portion of the league schedule at Marshall for the third time since joining C-USA. Overall, Memphis carries a 14-33 record in the first C-USA road series of the season. The Tigers have won five of the 16 series, but have been swept seven times. Memphis’ last series victory in the C-USA series opener on the road came in 2010 at Marshall, but the Tigers have just two series wins on the road since 2000.
The Tigers have recorded a league-best 64 doubles already this season and are on pace to approach the single season record of 137 set in 2007. Eli Hynes leads the team with nine doubles on the year and Zach Willis, Adam McClain and Derrick Thomas have each added eight. Memphis has recorded two or more doubles in 21 of 28 games, including the first 10 in a row, but Tennessee held the Tigers offense with a double on April 4 for the first time this season.
Good Start, But What About Finish?
Last season, the Tigers pounced on opponents early, outscoring its opponents 156-81 in the first three innings. In the sixth through the final out, Memphis was outscored 156-115. So far in 2012, Memphis is outscoring opponents 61-50 in the first three, but opponents have outscored the Tigers 72-61 after the fifth.
Jacob Wilson hit a walk-off single with two outs in the ninth inning to give Memphis a 3-2 win over Austin Peay on March 13. The win was Memphis’ 15th when scoring three or fewer runs and first since March 26, 2011. Since 2006, Memphis is 16-100 in games where they score three runs or less. Last season, the Tigers were 1-15 with three or fewer runs scored. This season, Memphis is 1-10 when scoring three or fewer runs.
Off The Beaten Path
Memphis carries an 11-6 record when holding a plus margin when combining walks, hit batters and opponent errors. When Memphis combines for more walks issued, batters hit and errors committed, the Tigers are 0-9 on the season. For example, Memphis walked eight times and Tulane committed one error while the Tigers issued six walks giving the U of M a plus-three margin in the 10-0 win on March 30.
Jacob Wilson and Adam McClain are in pursuit of top-10 positions in the record books for career numbers. McClain (220-8th) and Wilson (217-9th) are neck-and-neck as they ascend up the career hits list. Wilson has 54 career doubles which is fourth all-time. The two seniors are also climbing the charts in games played as Wilson (195) and McClain (19`) could each eclipse the top-five with 35 games played this season. Wilson recorded his 156th career RBI on April 1 to move to third place all time in career RBI.
The Tigers have pounced on opponents early as the U of M has outscored the opposition 22-10 in the first inning this season. Memphis has scored in the first inning 12 out of 29 games and carries a 7-5 record in those games.
The Tigers played several nail bitters last season and in games decided by two runs or less, Memphis finished 9-14, 7-6 in league play. The Tigers had five come-from-behind wins and nine one run losses. The Tigers are 2-6, 0-1 in league play, in games decided by two runs or less this season. Young Lineup
Head Coach Daron Schoenrock has penned a lineup 29 times this season and each game has seen five or more underclassmen making starts. Memphis has had six underclassmen in the lineup in eight games and five underclassmen in 21 games.
Memphis is hitting .257 (78-304) with two outs this season compared to .319 (102-320) at this point last season. The Tigers had 83 two out RBI and 203 runs scored through 29 games last year, but the U of M has mustered 46 two-out RBI so far this year with 165 runs scored.
Since the 2005 season, the Tigers are 58-94 in road games. The last time Memphis had a winning record on the road came back in the 2006 season when the Tigers were 13-11.
Hynes Breakout Season
Eli Hynes hit .246 with seven home runs and 30 RBI in his first season at the U of M. In 29 games this year, Hynes has hit .345 with seven home runs and 29 RBI. Currently, Hynes is on pace (calculated for 56 game schedule) for 14 home runs, 56 RBI.
Memphis is 92-140 under head coach Daron Schoenrock following a loss. After a 9-32 record in the 2005 season following a loss, the Tigers are 83-108 since. In the last three seasons, the U of M is 38-33 following a loss. This season, the Tigers are 8-8 following a loss.
Friday Night Lights
Memphis has struggled this season under the Friday night lights as the Tigers are 1-5 on Friday’s. Memphis is hitting .243 on Friday’s compared to .299 in the other 22 games. The Tigers average 4.00 runs per games on Friday and 6.27 in other games. On the mound, the Tigers have a 3.00 ERA in Friday games and carry a 4.81 ERA in other games.
Mixing It Up
Head Coach Daron Schoenrock has penned 24 different lineup combinations in 28 games this season. Eleven different players have 13 or more starts on the season. Memphis freshmen have started a combined 59 games in the field this season with Carter White leading the freshmen with 17 starts. Keaton Aldridge has 16 starts behind the plate.
C-USA Nail Biters
The Tigers lost to No. 7 Rice 1-0 on March 23 in the league opener and that dropped the Tigers to 46-47 all time in C-USA games decided by one run. In C-USA games decided by two or fewer runs, the Tigers sport a 70-77 record.
The Tigers complete the five-game road trip with a 6:30 p.m. contest at Arkansas State.