April 29, 2013
JONESBORO, Ark. – Looking to bounce back from two one-run losses at East Carolina, Memphis (26-19) travels to Arkansas State (24-20) for a midweek tilt at Tomlinson Stadium-Kell Field on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
LHP Michael Wills (3-3, 2.63 ERA) is slated to start for the Tigers. Arkansas State has named RHP Seth McWilliams (3-5, 5.20 ERA) its probable starter for the second meeting between the teams this season. Wills allowed no runs on five hits over four and two-thirds inning in the 3-2 10-inning loss at FedExPark on February 19. McWilliams picked up the win in the first matchup as he pitch two and two-thirds innings in relief without allowing a hit while striking out three and walking one.
Head Coach Daron Schoenrock announced Monday that Wednesday's possible game against Belmont at FedExPark is officially cancelled. Memphis and Belmont had the "57th" game scheduled in case each team needed to makeup a rain out. Neither Memphis or Belmont need to make up a game at this point, therefore the game will not be played. Memphis plays Marshall at FedExPark on Friday at 6;30 p.m.
The Inside Edge – Arkansas State
Arkansas State had a busy Sunday as the Red Wolves played 22 innings in a doubleheader against Middle Tennessee. Rain forced a schedule change for the weekend series, but ASU took two of three in the series. On Sunday, ASU took game one of the doubleheader 13-9 before dropping game two, 2-1, in 13 innings. On the year, ASU sports a 24-20 record, 15-11 at home, with a .259 average, 16 home runs and 194 RBI. Ryan Emery leads the club with a .329 average and is tied with Collin Massanelli for the team lead in RBI with 26. Massanelli and Logan Uxa lead the club with three home runs each. Massanelli has four of the Red Wolves 16 steals this season to lead the team. On the mound, ASU is tops in the country with 402 strikeouts on the season. ASU has a 4.32 ERA in 402.1 innings pitched with 162 walks.
Two Out Hitting Spark
Over the last 18 games in which the Tigers have a 12-6 record, Memphis is hitting .273 (51-187) with two outs in an inning, picking up 38 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 nine saves on the season, with the seventh of which setting a new career saves record at the University of Memphis. Van Eaton has 17 career saves after closing out Ole Miss on April 15 at AutoZone Park and East Carolina in Greenville on April 26. With nine saves this season, Van Eaton has tied Matt Yokley for the single-season saves record. The NCBWA recognized Van Eaton’s work, naming him to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Midseason Watch List.
Memphis has played 25 games decided by two runs or less and is 11-14 in those games. Under head coach Daron Schoenrock, the U of M is 96-118 in games decided by two runs or less.
Ducks on the Pond
Memphis has had 57 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. The Tigers have struck out nine times with the bases full, six of the nine via swing and miss strikeouts. 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. Memphis went 0-for-4 with the bases loaded over the last week (four games).
Shortstop Ethan Gross has made 138 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.
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 21-10 when 14 or more reach base and 5-9 when having 13 or fewer base runners in a game.
We Meet Again
Arkansas State was down to their final out before rallying for two runs in the ninth and a tally in the 10th to defeat Memphis in the first meeting this season. Dating back to 1987, Memphis is 20-11 against Arkansas State in the second meeting between the two clubs. Under head coach Daron Schoenrock, Memphis sports a 21-12 record in the second game of the home-and-home series with any team.
Parade of Lefties
The Tigers have played 45 games this season and the U of M has sent a left-handed starter to the hill in 43 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.
Speaking of Records
Not only is the pitching staff on a record pace, but the ace of the staff has a couple of top-five marks in sight. Sam Moll has 190 career strikeouts and could become the eighth pitcher to top 200 career strikeouts in a career. Moll’s 190 career strikeouts rank him ninth all-time. With 83 strikeouts this season, Moll is on pace 106 this season, which would rank sixth for single-season strikeouts.