Baseball Continues Race for C-USA Tournament Bid with Weekend Series at Houston
May 2, 2008
HOUSTON - A week after dropping two C-USA games to Tulane, the University of Memphis baseball team finds itself in the same position as it did heading into last weekend's series. With nine games remaining in the league's regular season schedule, the Tigers remain in seventh place. They will put their positioning on the line this weekend as the take on the Houston Cougars in a three-game set at Cougar Field, May 2-4.
Saturday, May 3, 2008 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 4, 2008 1 p.m.
About the Tigers
Memphis (16-28, 4-10 C-USA) was swept by Tulane in two games last weekend, but benefitted from a Sunday rain out as they jumped UCF and UAB for the seventh-place slot in the league standings. Both UCF and UAB dropped their Sunday's games. The Tigers dropped their third straight game and 10th consecutive contest to Ole Miss on Tuesday, when the Rebels cruised to a 10-1 victory at Nat Buring Stadium.
The Tigers remain in last place in the league in hitting, batting at a .248 clip 48 games into the season. Freshman Chad Zurcher has taken over as the team's batting leader, checking in with a .288 average. He also leads the team with 32 runs score, while ranking second on the squad with nine doubles and nine stolen bases. Wiedman continues to provide the run production. He leads the team with 30 RBI and has accounted for a team-high 58 runs. He is joined by Brett Bowen for the team lead of five home runs.
Memphis has changed its rotation for the weekend, moving Will Hudgens to the No. 1 slot on Friday and pushing Scott McGregor to the Saturday start. Brach Davis, who has been starting on Saturday's makes the move to Sunday. McGregor leads all Tiger starting pitchers with a 4.14 ERA and 48 strikeouts. However, he has been plagued by low run support, which has resulted in a 1-5 record--the lowest winning percentage of his career. Hudgens has struggled in his last three starts, giving up 18 runs and fanning nine. His record is identical to McGregor's, but he has given up a 7.28 ERA. Davis is 2-2, with a 5.80 ERA. Middle reliever Neil Schenk leads all Memphis pitchers with a 2.41 ERA and a .215 opponent's batting average.
Scouting the Cougars
Bryan Pounds ranks second in C-USA with a team-leading .395 batting average. He also paces the team with 49 RBI to with 14 doubles, and eight homers. Jake Stewart is second in the league with a strong .667 slugging percentage. Stewart, who is the league leader with 53 runs scored, is second in the league with a team-best 12 homers. He also has 17 doubles to lead the Cougs. Ryan Lormand's 24 stolen bases is a team high and third-most by a C-USA player this year. The Cougars lead the conference with 106 steals.
Houston pitchers have combined to record a 5.30 ERA this year. Wes Musick is the Cougars' ace with a 7-3 record and a 3.92 ERA. He ranks ninth in the league in ERA and opposing batting average (.257). He ranks seventh in the league with 57 strikeouts. Reliever Ty Stuckey has held opposing hitters to a .227 average and has logged two saves. Chase Demsay has been tough on opposing hitters in the late innings of action. The UH closer is tied for second in the league with seven saves. At 4-1, with a 1.90 ERA, he holds opponents to a .219 average at the plate.
All-Time Series vs. Houston
Last Time vs. Houston
All nine Memphis starters hit safely as the U of M banged out a season-high tying 19 hits in the tilt. That output matched the 19 hits produced in the Tigers' 16-10 win over the Cougs in Memphis on May 12. Memphis crossed runs in every inning except the second and eighth. The 12 runs marked the most runs scored in an opening game of a C-USA Tournament, surpassing the 11 runs put up by UAB against Tulane in 2000.
In a game that featured six home runs, Amar and the Tigers hit four. The Tiger first baseman got Memphis on the board in the opening inning of action with a two-run line drive into the rightfield foul pole and homer for the second time in the sixth.
Last Time Out
Ole Miss 10, Memphis 1
Memphis starter Brennon Martin and Ole Miss starter Brett Bukvich locked up for a scoreless pitcher's dual in the first three frames, before Rebels outfielder Logan Power tucked a solo homer inside the leftfield foul pole to break the scoreless tie.
Ole Miss out-hit Memphis 10-7. Cody Overbeck and Tim Ferguson added hits each for Ole Miss.
Martin finished the night with five strikeouts in 4.2 innings. He allowed just three runs on four hits, but took the loss. Memphis pitchers struck out 11 Rebels in the game. Bukvich hauled in the win after giving up one run on five hit in 5.1 innings. He struck out four and walked four.