The Bright Side With Jeff Brightwell - Week Nine Update
April 14, 2011
It's been a week of highs and lows for the Tiger baseball team. After taking two of three from 14th-ranked Southern Miss over the weekend, Memphis has now lost three-straight after being swept by Arkansas State in two mid-week games.
After beating Ole Miss last Tuesday, the Tigers won the series over 14th-ranked Southern Mississippi last weekend at FedExPark. Memphis won 6-5 in a ninth inning come-back Friday and the offense exploded Saturday in a 16-8 win. The Golden Eagles were able to salvage a game on Sunday, coming from behind to knock off the Tigers 8-5.
First-baseman T.J. Rich was named Conference USA's Hitter of the week after going 9-for-13 in the Southern Miss series with two homeruns.
"I've just been trying to stay with my approach, stay aggressive at the plate," said Rich following Friday's game. "I've been doing a good job of that lately."
Meanwhile, freshman Sam Moll (St. Benedict) was named the CUSA Co-Pitcher of the week after his outing last Tuesday against Ole Miss.
"It was awesome for those awards to go to two new guys in the program," said Tiger head coach Daron Schoenrock.
The Tigers were swept in their midweek series with Arkansas State, falling 9-8 in 10 innings on Tuesday night at FedExPark and 5-4 in Jonesboro on Wednesday.
With the two losses to ASU, post-season for Memphis will hinge on their success in Conference USA, which continues this weekend in Birmingham against UAB.
"Conference weekends are huge for teams that are middle of the pack in their league around the country," said Schoenrock following Wednesday's game. "We'll have our normal Thursday night practice, we'll try to get some pep back in our step, and get ready to battle a tough UAB club."
The Blazers are one of four teams in first place in C-USA at 6-3. The Blazers have won each of their three league series, taking two of three from Marshall, ECU, and Houston, while getting mid-week wins over Alabama and Mississippi State.
UAB is strong on the mound and in the field, currently third in the league with a 3.36 era and they feature two of the leagues "Pitchers of the Week". Ryan Wooly shared the award this week with the Tigers' Sam Moll. Wooly is currently 5-3 with a 2.35 era while his teammate Dillon Napoleon won the award last week. Napoleon is 5-1 with a 1.70 era on the season.
Memphis has 18 C-USA games left which provides the Tigers a great opportunity to make a run in one of the toughest conferences in the country. The Tigers face the Blazers in Birmingham, Ala., tomorrow night at 6:30, Saturday at 2:00, and Sunday at 1:00.