@UofMBaseball Hosts Mississippi State on Tuesday at AutoZone Park
Go Tigers! LHP Michael Wills is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in four appearances at AutoZone Park
Go Tigers!
LHP Michael Wills is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in four appearances at AutoZone Park
Go Tigers!

April 22, 2013

Game 42

April 23, 2013 - AutoZone Park



22-14 (7-5 C-USA)

Memphis Notes PDF logo

Media Guide

C-USA Notes PDF logo

Game 42 -Tuesday - 6:30 PM

Mississippi State

Mississippi State

32-10 (10-8 SEC)

Mississippi State
Notes PDF logo

Media Guide

LHP Michael Wills
(3-2 1.96 ERA)

RHP Evan Mitchell
(0-1 4.12 ERA)

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. - At 6-1 against the SEC this season, Memphis (25-16) faces its final SEC foe of the season as Mississippi State (32-10) travels to AutoZone Park for a 6:30 p.m. matchup against the Tigers on Tuesday.

The Tigers and Bulldogs tilt follows the Memphis Redbirds and Iowa Cubs game scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at AutoZone Park on Tuesday. All tickets for Tuesday's game are sold exclusively through the Redbirds ticket office. Fans can purchase tickets to the game by calling (901) 721-6000 or online through the Redbirds' web site.

Coming off seven shutout innings against Ole Miss last Monday, LHP Michael Wills (3-2, 1.96 ERA) will make his final start at AutoZone Park. Wills is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two starts and four appearances at AutoZone Park in his career. Mississippi State counters with RHP Evan Mitchell (0-1, 4.12 ERA), who pitched against the Tigers at AutoZone Park in 2011 and allowed no runs on four hits in 4.1 innings.

Back-to-Back Shutouts
Memphis shutout No. 17 Ole Miss on April 15 at AutoZone Park 4-0 and followed that up by blanking Murray State 5-0 at FedExPark on April 16. The back-to-back shutouts marked the first time that has happened since March 16 and 17 of 1991 against Northern Iowa.

Speaking of Shutouts
The Tigers pitching staff has posted seven shutouts on the season, the fourth-most in single season history and most since 1983. Memphis has two shutouts over top-20 programs - No. 19 Houston (1-0) and No. 17 Ole Miss (4-0) - two of seven in program history.

The Inside Edge
Ranked inside the top-15 in all major polls, Mississippi State carries a 32-10 record into Tuesday's meeting with the Tigers at AutoZone Park. The Bulldogs won two out of the three in the series against Auburn over the weekend. RF Hunter Renfroe leads the club with a .407 average, 13 home runs and 42 RBI. On th season, Renfroe has 27 extra base hits, 12 doubles and two triples to go with 13 homers. As a club, Mississippi State is hitting .296 with 24 homers and 238 RBI. On the mound, the Bulldogs sport a 2.37 ERA with 353 strikeouts and 141 walks in 376.1 innings.

Welcome to the Zone
Mississippi States presents the Tigers their second test of the season at AutoZone Park. Eight days ago the Tigers shutout Ole Miss, 4-0, to improve to 17-27 in 44 games played at AutoZone Park. Memphis carries a 2-4 record agains the Bulldogs at AutoZone Park with the last win coming on April 8, 2008 (9-8).

Rank And File
Quietly, Memphis has won five of its last six games against top-10 foes. The win at Ole Miss on Feb. 26 was the fourth-straight win against a top-10 opponent. The Tigers defeated No. 4 Rice in the C-USA Tournament and won games two and three of the series at No. 7 UCF in 2012. Previous to the UCF series, the U of M defeated then-ranked No. 7 Rice at FedExPark in the series finale, 6-2.

Two Out Hitting Spark
Over the last 14 games in which the Tigers have a 11-3 record, Memphis is hitting .291 (43-148) with two outs in an inning, picking up 31 RBI. In the first 27 games of the season, the Tigers were hitting .228 (62-272), driving in 42 runs with two outs in an inning.

Answering the Call
Memphis closer Jonathan Van Eaton has eight saves on the season, with the seventh of which setting a new career saves record at the University of Memphis. Van Eaton has 16 career saves after closing out Ole Miss on April 15 at AutoZone Park. With eight saves this season, Van Eaton has equaled his save total from 2012, which ranks tied for second among single-season leaders in program history.

Nail Biters
Memphis has played 22 games decided by two runs or less and is 10-12 in those games. Under head coach Daron Schoenrock, the U of M is 95-116 in games decided by two runs or less.

Ducks on the Pond
Memphis has had 53 official at-bats with the bases full this season. The Tigers have mustered 14 hits in the situation, but have left the bases loaded in two of the losses this season. Bryce Beeler is 3-for-4 with the sacks full this season while Jake Little is 2-for-3. Ford Wilson is 2-for-5 while Ethan Gross is 2-for-7. Drew Griffin is 2-for-9 in the situation and Nate Rupiper is 1-for-3. Zach Willis (1-for-6) and Corey Chafin (1-for-1) have the other two Tigers hits when the bases are loaded.

Shortstop Ethan Gross has made 134 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).

Lineup Move Paying Off
Head Coach Daron Schoenrock moved freshman outfielder Jake Little to the nine-spot in the lineup in game two of the series against UCF. Since that move, Little has hit at the bottom of the order in eight games and the Tigers are 5-3 in those games. Little sports a .500 average, going 13-for-26 with four doubles, a triple, 11 RBI and two runs scored.

Familiar Position
Memphis lost game 39 and game 40 of the 2012 season to Southern Miss. The Tigers lost the same this season, games No. 39 and No. 40 to the Golden Eagles this past weekend. After the loss in game 40 last season, the Tigers went 12-3 to finish out the regular season. The Tigers are 1-0 in hopes of going on a similar run this season.

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 20-8 when 14 or more reach base and 5-8 when having 13 or fewer base runners in a game.

Parade of Lefties
The Tigers have played 41 games this season and the U of M has sent a left-handed starter to the hill in 39 of those games. Memphis started a lefty in the first 32 games before right-hander Dylan Toscano started against UAPB on April 10. Toscano has since made two starts, allowing two hits over nine innings of work.

6-1 Vs SEC
With two wins over Ole Miss and a sweep of Missouri in addition to a split at Alabama, Memphis sports a 6-1 record against the SEC this season. Dating back to the 2012 season, Memphis has won eight of its last 10 contests against SEC opponents and the U of M has Mississippi State lurking on the schedule on April 23. 

Midweek Success Key?
Two wins this past week improved the Tigers to 8-3 in midweeks games on the season. Below is a look at key stats back to 2008, comparing midweek and weekend numbers.

Year AVG






2013 .280 1.73 8-3 .272 2.97 17-13
2012 .289 4.39 7-7 .290 3.84 22-19
2011 .287 4.75 4-9 .312 5.06 25-16
2010 .309 6.03 6-7 .329 6.11 21-20
2009 .267 7.69 4-12 .274 5.72 17-20
2008 .280 6.23 7-10 .220 6.33 11-28

Record Pace
Not only does the Tiger pitching staff sport an outstanding 2.63 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.


Year Number



2013 325 41 7.93
Top Five In Record Book
2010 462 58 7.97
1999 435 55 7.91
2011 434 57 7.61
2004 433 57 7.60
2008 417 55 7.58
Hits Allowed
Year Number Games Average
2013 297 41 7.24
Top Five In Record Book
1986 379 56 6.77
1993 407 57 7.14
1992 423 51 8.29
1997 439 51 8.61
1981 443 59 7.51

Stick It To Cancer
The Cure BaseballThis 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.



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