MEMPHIS, Tenn. - In the final home weekend of the season, Memphis (27-19, 9-9 C-USA) is scheduled to play Marshall (18-26, 5-10 C-USA) at FedExPark beginning Friday night.
LHP Erik Schoenrock (5-3, 3.05 ERA) is penciled in to get the start on Friday at 6:30 p.m. against Marshall LHP Wayland Moore (2-1, 3.77 ERA). The Thundering Herd have not announced a starter for games two and three in the series, but the Tigers will send LHP Sam Moll (6-3, 2.50 ERA) and LHP Alex Gunn (3-2, 2.39 ERA) to the hill on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Rain is forecast for the weekend in Memphis and could alter the weekend schedule. Stay up to date with potential game time changes by following the Tigers on Twitter @UofMBaseball and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MemphisBaseball. Any updates on game times will be posted quickly on social media sites before an official release on GoTigersGo.com.
Head Coach Daron Schoenrock and staff will recognize the four seniors before Saturday's game.
Eight Shutouts by Tiger Pitching The Tigers pitching staff has posted eight shutouts on the season, the third-most in single season history and most since 1976. 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-Marshall Marshall picked up a pair of midweek victories to improve to 18-26 on the season. The Thundering Herd defeated Eastern Kentucky, 7-4, on Wednesday after topping Morehead State, 4-1, on Tuesday afternoon. Offensively, Marshall is led by Andrew Dundon (.313) and Isaac Ballou (.312). As a team, Marshall is hitting .264 with nine home runs and 164 RBI. Nathan Gomez and Eric Escobedo share the team lead in RBI as each have 22 on the season. From the mound, Marshall sports a 4.16 ERA with 321 strikeouts and 174 walks in 378.2 innings of work. 30 Win Season Sitting at 27 wins entering the weekend, the Tigers are three wins shy of doing something that hasn't been done in almost 20 years at the University of Memphis. The Tigers posted 30 wins in 2011 and 32 last season, but you have to go all the way back to 1993-1995 seasons to find the last time the Tigers put together three-straight seasons with 30 or more victories.
Two Out Hitting Spark Over the last 19 games in which the Tigers have a 13-6 record, Memphis is hitting .285 (57-200) with two outs in an inning, picking up 40 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. The two-out hitting seems to be a key as 55 percent (40-72) of the Tigers RBI in the last 19 games have come with two outs.
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.
Nail Biters 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.
Give Me Five With a pitching staff that sports an ERA below 3.00, Memphis' magic number on offense is fairly low. The Tigers are 20-2 this season when scoring at least five runs this season. The two losses in which Memphis scored five or more runs were 9-8 decisions against Buffalo and UAB, respectively.
Ironman Shortstop Ethan Gross has made 139 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).
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 22-10 when 14 or more reach base and 5-9 when having 13 or fewer base runners in a game.
Ducks On The Pond Memphis has had 58 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 is 0-for-8 with the bases loaded since Keaton Aldridge's sacrifice fly RBI against Ole Miss at AutoZone Park on April 15.
The Series With Marshall The Memphis and Marshall has series has seen the road team have much success since the two teams first met in 2006. In the series, the road team sports 14-7 record. The Tigers swept the Thundering Herd in Charleston last season, but Marshall has won the series on all three occasions in the Bluff City. In fact, the road team has outscored the home team 191-108 in the series, an average score of 9-5. Marshall swept the Tigers in 2008 in West Virginia for the only series victory for the home team in the seven series played.
Hold Four Since 1970, Memphis has an 869-189-2 (.821) record when opponents score four or fewer runs. Under head coach Daron Schoenrock the Tigers are 138-47 (.746) when the pitching staff holds the opposition under four runs, 23-9 in 2013.
Parade of Lefties The Tigers have played 46 games this season and the U of M has sent a left-handed starter to the hill in 44 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.