Tigers to Battle UCA and Austin Peay in Midweek Schedule
April 13, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Riding the momentum of its third weekend series win of the year, the University of Memphis baseball team will face a challenging pair of midweek contests this week. The Tigers will travel to Conway, Ark., to take on the Central Arkansas Bears on Tues., April 14. They will then make the first of two trips to Jackson, Tenn., and Pringles Park for a Wednesday matchup versus Austin Peay.
Wednesday April 15, 2009 6:30 p.m. Pringles Park
Scouting the Tigers
Offensively, Memphis hits .276 as a team and is led by junior catcher Shawn Ablett's .324 average. Ablett is followed by freshman Drew Martinez, who hits .315 with eight doubles. Junior first baseman Trey Wiedman rounds out the three Tigers hitting .300 or better. Wiedman hits .308 and is tied with Ablett for the team lead of 36 hits. The Memphis offense has gotten a much-needed lift from Adam McClain as of late. McClain currently holds a nine-game hit streak that has improved his batting average to .290. Senior Cole Shelton had a big week last week. The Tiger DH led the team in hitting and drove in 10 RBI. He is now the team leader with 27 RBI.
The weekend saw Memphis lower its staff ERA to 6.57 after allowing five earned runs in 25 innings of play. It will up to Ryan Fraser to continue that success, as he will toe the rubber for his second midweek start on Tuesday at UCA. Fraser earned the victory last Tuesday against Arkansas State that ended a nine-game midweek losing skid for the Tigers. The big right-hander brings a 3-3 record, with 5.57 ERA and 21 strikeouts into the contest. Memphis will send junior right-hander Marc Ashley to the mound on Wednesday. Ashley is 0-1 with an 8.24 ERA. The start will be his second the year. The Tiger bullpen worked well over the weekend. Three relievers combined to toss five scoreless innings to help the U of M win the series. Duke Williams and Marcus Barnes both hurled two scoreless frames to pick up saves on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Redshirt freshman Jonathan Jones pitched one scoreless inning on Sunday.
Last Time Out
SIU-Edwardsville (6-21) 010 101 0 - 3 6 1 Memphis (14-19) 000 110 x - 2 7 2MILLINGTON, Tenn.--Brach Davis scattered six hits and fanned a career-high eight batters in six innings, but the Memphis offense struck out 10 times and left eight runners in scoring position in a 3-2, rain-shortened loss to SIU-Edwardsville. The Tigers won Friday and Saturday to win the series.
Memphis had its chances to complete the sweep, but could never find the clutch hit it needed. After SIUE went ahead 1-0 in the second, the Tigers had multiple opportunities to score the equalizer in the bottom of the inning. Brett Bowen and Tyler Huelsing collected singles in successive at-bats to lead off the inning. Cole Shelton successfully executed a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position, but Jacob Wilson struck out and Chris Newsom lined out to left to end the inning.
Memphis was afforded another shot at tying the game in the third after Adam McClain drove a one-out triple to centerfield. This time SIUE pitcher Spencer Patton retired the next two Tigers on strikes to quiet the scoring threat.
SIUE plated another run in the fourth for a 2-0 lead, but Memphis answered with a run in the home half of the inning. Bowen drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Wilson then drove him in with a double to the leftfield corner. With the go-ahead run on second Patton again shut the Tigers down with an inning-ending strikeout.
The Tigers looked to put up a big inning in the fifth inning after Drew Martinez led things off with a double. Ablett drew a one-out walk and the duo posted a double-steal to put runners on second and third with one out. Patton again quieted the rally with a strikeout. Bowen was then hit by a pitch to load the bases and Memphis scored its only run of the inning on a catcher's interference error.
With the game tied at 2-all Brett Keeler lined the eventual game-winning hit up the middle to score Dustin Brooks to make it 3-2.
After the Cougars hit in the top of the seventh, a lightening delay was called and the rains fell until the game was officially called.
Patton fanned 10 in five innings en route to garnering the win. Andrew Beatty worked one scoreless inning to earn the save. Brach Davis was the loser, despite a solid performance on the mound. McClain was the only Tiger to post multiple hits, going 2-for-4.
Scouting the Bears
UCA hits .299 as a team and has blasted 30 home runs. Junior Tye Thornberry leads the team with a.375 average. Thornberry also paces the club with 31 RBI. Jonathan Yerby is the squad's big hitter, checking in with a .349 average and a team-high .643 slugging percentage, 44 hits, 29 runs scored, 10 doubles and nine home runs. He has 25 RBI as well. Three other Bears hitter swing it at a .300 or better average. Dillon Smith hits .336, Blake Roberts, .324 and Bobby Prichett hits .312.
The Bears pitching staff showcases a 5.16 ERA and a .278 opponent's batting average. UCA relies heavily on its bullpen with relievers Shaun McPeters and Matt Humphrey leading the staff with a 2.70 and 3.12 ERA, respectively. McPeters has a save in six appearances, while Humphrey is 1-1 with two saves in 12 relief outings. Prichett leads the team with five saves. Prichett is 3-1 with a 4.61 ERA and 38 strikeouts. He holds opposing hitters to a .266 batting average. Freshman Dustin Ward will take the mound for his fifth career start. Ward is 1-3 with a 6.41 ERA in 12 appearances. He has 18 strikeouts, 16 walks, five wild pitches and opponents hit .325 against him.
All-Time Series vs. UCA
Scouting the Governors
Much like Memphis, the APSU offense has struggled to find consistency and hits .280. Sophomore Greg Bachman leads the way, offensively with a .355 batting average. The Houston High product also paces the club with 44 hits and 39 runs. He is tied with Trey Lucas for the team lead with 15 doubles. Lucas hits .350, while Adam Browett checks in at .328. Matt Kole is the run-producer. Kole bats .320 and leads the team with eight home runs, a .590 slugging percentage and 31 RBI. When they get on base, the Govs will run. APSU has swiped 76 bags in 91 attempts. Four players--Browett (14-16), Jon Clinard (12-12), Bachman (10-12) and Michael Blanchard (10-10)--have 10 or more stolen bases and another (Jared DeLong) has nine.
Austin Peay has a 6.19 staff ERA. The bullpen has been successful, boasting seven saves in 14 wins. Daniel Tenholder leads the staff with five of the seven saves. He is 2-2 with a 4.71 ERA and 26 strikeouts. Jake Brisbin will take the mound against the Tigers on Wednesday. Brisbin, a senior, is 0-1 with a 6.17 ERA. He has made just one start in his 14 appearances this year. He has 21 strikeouts and a save to go with a .261 opponent's batting average.
Last Time vs. Austin Peay
Austin Peay (10-9) 111 100 000 - 4 15 2 Memphis (11-11) 100 001 000 - 2 6 1JACKSON, Tenn.--Austin Peay scored runs in each of the first four innings and five Governors pitchers combined to limit Memphis to just six hits to snap the Tigers' five-game win streak with a 4-2 decision at Pringles Park.
Led by Will Hogue's 4-for-5 performance, Austin Peay banged out a season-high 15 hits. The Govs got out early after Rafael Hill led of the game with a single up the middle and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by J.B. Gilbert. He swiped third and scored on a sac fly by Tyler Farrar.
APSU got a home run by Farrar in the third for a 3-1 cushion and sac fly by Gilbert made it 4-1 and that was all the Govs needed as Stephen Huff picked up the win after holding Memphis hitless in 1.1 innings. Daniel Tenholder came on in the ninth to shut down an attempted rally by the Tigers. Tenholder's save was his fourth of the year.
Memphis scored both of its runs off of hit batsmen. Brett Bowen was hit by a Jake Brisbin offering in the first and scored on an RBI-single by Trey Wiedman to tie the game and 1-1. Trailing 4-1 in the sixth, Eric Farrell was plunked. After advancing to second on a groundball out, and moving to third on a wild pitch, K.K. Chalmers, who led Memphis with two hits, singled up the middle to bring Farrell in and cut the deficit to two runs at 4-2. Chalmers then swiped the 100th base of his career to become just the third player in Conference USA history to reach the 100-stolen base plateau.
The two scores would be all Memphis could muster as the Tigers left two men on base in the ninth. For the game the U of M stranded 12 runners, seven of which were left in scoring position. They left the bases loaded in the fourth.
Brach Davis (2-1) was the losing pitcher. He struck out three and gave up four runs on 11 hits in 5.1 innings. Four Tiger pitchers combined for eight strike outs.
All-Time Series vs. Austin Peay