PEARL, Miss. - Memphis (31-27) plays in its first Conference USA Championship title game on Sunday against UAB (31-27) in a rematch of the 1993 and 1994 Great Midwest title games. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss.
Live Coverage Live stats are available on GoTigersGo.com. You can also listen to the games on WUMR 91.7 FM. Follow Tiger Baseball on Twitter (@UofMBaseball) for in-game updates. The game will air live on CBS Sports Network with James Bates and Kevin Stocker on the call.
Memphis in C-USA Tournament The Tigers carry a 12-18 record all-time in the C-USA Tournament and went 1-2 in the pod play last season at Trustmark Park.
Title Time Making an appearance in their first C-USA Championship title game, Memphis appears in the first tournament championship game since the 1995 Great Midwest Conference title game. The Tigers are 4-2 all-time in conference championship games, winning the title in 1976, 1978, 1993 and 1995.
The Tigers are 1-1 after a loss in championship games as the previous meetings game against UAB in the 1993 Great Midwest Tournament (4-3, W) and the 1980 Metro Conference Tournament against Florida State (7-11, L).
May Baseball The Tigers carry a 200-193 record in games played in May since the 1977 season. Memphis has had one season above .500 under Coach Schoenrock, a 9-7 record in 2006. Including postseason tournaments, the Tigers have been .500 or better in three of Schoenrock’s seven previous seasons. Memphis is 47-62 under Schoenrock in May.
Hey, I Know You Head Coach Daron Schoenrock will look across the diamond to the first base dugout and see a familiar face in UAB head coach Brian Shoop. Schoenrock was an assistant under Shoop at Birmingham Southern in the mid-1990s and the pair have both learned from current UAB volunteer assistant, and former Mississippi State head coach Ron Polk.
The Series With UAB Heading into the meeting at FedExPark earlier this season, UAB held a slim 40-39 edge in the series. Following the Tigers three-game sweep, Memphis leads the series 42-40. The two clubs have met nine times in league tournaments and the Tigers hold a 5-4 record in those meetings, breaking the 4-4 tie in those meetings last year with a 5-4 victory in Pearl, Miss.
Behind The “Eight” Ball The eighth inning haunted the Tigers for much of the season, but over the last 29 games, Memphis has outscored opponents 30-6 in the eighth inning. On the year, Memphis carries a 6.35 ERA in the eighth inning. The club has allowed 43 runs, 40 earned, on 72 hits. Opponents have 21 extra-base hits including 16 doubles in the eighth inning. On the season, Memphis has been outscored 43-41 in the eighth and against C-USA foes, Memphis holds a 30-19 edge. Opponents have five big innings (scoring three or more runs) in the eighth against Memphis.
How Hot Are the Tigers? Although Memphis lost 7-3 to Houston on Friday, the Tigers have won 14 of the last 18 games to improve from 17-23 on the season on April 22 to a 31-27 record entering the C-USA Championship game. Since joining C-USA the 14-of-18 wins are the best over a 18-game stint and the nearest mark is 13-of-19 wins by the 2007 club in the middle of the year.
Over the streak, the Tigers are hitting .312 with 11 HR, 105 RBI, 125 runs, 31 doubles and 25 stolen bases. The pitching staff has a 3.51 ERA in that span, but most impressive is an 8-1 record and 2.28 ERA by the bullpen.
Program Firsts During C-USA League Play Before the loss to Houston on Friday, Memphis won 10-straight games against a C-USA opponent. Those 10-straight wins count for a program-best against C-USA foes and most since the 1994 club won 21-straight games in Great Midwest action.
With a 14-10 record in the C-USA schedule, the squad posted the highest win percentage by a U of M club with a .583 percentage. Memphis’ 14 conference wins are the most since the league realigned in 2006 and most since 1999, when the conference schedule consisted of 30 games.
The Key To Recent Success? Jacob Wilson was moved to the No. 2 spot in the batting order back on April 24 and since that change the Tigers are 14-4. Wilson is hitting .333 with 8 HR and 23 RBI in the stretch. Adam McClain hits .431 while Eli Hynes is .397 as the three, four hitters, respectively, since Wilson moved to second in the order.
Quality Starting Pitching Memphis has 34 quality starts from its pitching staff in 58 games, 17 more than the staff posted all of last season. The Tigers have a 21-13 record in the 34 quality starts. Against C-USA opposition, Langfield, Moll and Joiner have a combined 3.22 ERA with 138 strikeouts in 176.1 innings. Moll has a 2.16 ERA in league games and he has allowed 14 earned runs in 58.1 innings of league play. Sunday’s starter Chase Joiner has a 3.67 ERA in 54.0 innings against C-USA opposition.
Double Trouble The Tigers have recorded 105 doubles this season, but after averaging over two doubles per game the first 32 games this year, the squad has 38 in the last 29 games. Eli Hynes and Jacob Wilson pace the club with 17 doubles and Adam McClain has added 13. Memphis has recorded two or more doubles in 30 of 58 games, including the first 10 in a row. The Tigers posted nine doubles in the three-game series at Missouri, the most in a three-game set this season.
Good Start, But What About Finish? Last season, the Tigers pounced on opponents early, outscoring its opponents 156-81 in the first three innings. In the sixth through the final out, Memphis was outscored 156-115. So far in 2012, Memphis is outscoring opponents 115-79 in the first three and the Tigers have outscored opponents 150-119 after the fifth.
Top-10 Chase Jacob Wilson and Adam McClain are in pursuit of top-10 positions in the record books for career numbers. McClain (264-2nd) and Wilson (256-3rd) are neck-and-neck as they ascend up the career hits list. Wilson tied Steve Moss for the career doubles lead and needs one to take sole possession of first. Wilson tied K.K. Chalmers for games played with 224 on Friday night and will take first if he takes the field on Sunday. Wilson recorded his 189th career RBI on May 23 to move three RBI shy of tying for first all-time. Wilson needs to score 14 more runs to K.K. Chalmers for first all-time in runs scored. Dan Langfield became the seventh pitcher with 200 career strikeouts and Langfield needs 14 punch outs to pass Lonnie Glass for second all-time.
Three Complete-Game Shutouts Chase Joiner became the third pitcher in program history to toss three complete-game shutouts as he achieved the feat at Houston on May 19. Joiner shutout Siena on March 17 and No. 7 UCF on April 29. Joiner’s complete-game shutout against Siena was the first by a Tiger pitcher since Jarrett Grube achieved the feat on April 9, 2004. Joiner is first U of M hurler to post two or more complete-game shutouts since Collins Day recorded two in 1994. His three complete-game shutouts tie him for the second most all-time with Mark Bowlan.
Take Them How You Can Get Them Memphis has scored 325 runs this season and the Tigers have produced those runs in 18 different ways. Singles (106), home runs (71) and doubles (60) account for most of the run producers this season. Sacrifice flies (19), fielding errors (15), throwing errors (11), passed balls (9), triples (8), fielder’s choice (7), wild pitches (7), groundouts (5), infield single (4), double plays (4), bases loaded walk (5), safety squeeze (4), hit batter (3), catcher’s interference (1) and balk (1) are the additional ways Memphis has put runs on the board.
Three’s Company Jacob Wilson hit a walk-off single with two outs in the ninth inning to give Memphis a 3-2 win over Austin Peay on March 13. The win was Memphis’ 15th when scoring three or fewer runs and first since March 26, 2011. Since 2006, Memphis is 19-107 in games where they score three runs or less. Last season, the Tigers were 1-15 with three or fewer runs scored. This season, Memphis is 5-17 when scoring three or fewer runs.
Quick Starters The Tigers have pounced on opponents early as the U of M has outscored the opposition 39-17 in the first inning this season. Memphis has scored in the first inning 18 out of 55 games and carries a 13-5 record in those games. The Tigers ended an 11-game drought without scoring in the first with the help of a two-run homer by Jacob Wilson at Murray State on April 18.
Sam Moll Throws One-Hitter Sam Moll tossed the first complete-game one-hitter since 1994 in the Tigers 7-0 win over Marshall on April 7. The sophomore southpaw took a no hitter to the seventh and Marshall recorded its lone hit of the game with an infield single to short. The Lakeland, Tenn., native has allowed one earned run on 13 hits in his last four starts (30.2 innings), three against C-USA opponents. The one-hitter marked the first for the pitching staff since four pitchers combined to one-hit UT Martin on February 27, 2007. Moll was named the NCBWA and C-USA Pitcher of the Week on April 9 for his performance.
No Need For Bullpen Today Memphis starting pitching has combined to record six complete-game efforts this season. The six complete games are the most since the 1999 club posted six. This year’s pitching staff has the most complete-game shutouts (four) since the 1985 squad had six complete-game gems.
Out of the Pen The Memphis bullpen has keyed the Tigers surge lately. The bullpen sports 2.28 ERA in the last 18 games and an 8-1 record. Opponents are hitting .223 against the bullpen arms and have just seven extra-base hits in that span.
Cardiac Kids The Tigers played several nail bitters last season and in games decided by two runs or less, Memphis finished 9-14, 7-6 in league play. The Tigers had five come-from-behind wins and nine one run losses. The Tigers are 9-12, 4-5 in league play, in games decided by two runs or less this season. The Tigers are 49-48 all time in C-USA games decided by one run. In C-USA games decided by two or fewer runs, the Tigers sport a 74-80 record.
Strikeouts Adding Up For Langfield Dan Langfield has ascended up the record books for career strikeouts and he has 252 career strikeouts, third all-time. He leads C-USA with 111 punch outs this season.
Bounce Back Memphis is 99-143 under head coach Daron Schoenrock following a loss. After a 9-32 record in the 2005 season following a loss, the Tigers are 90-111 since. In the last three seasons, the U of M is 45-36 following a loss. This season, the Tigers are 15-11 following a loss.
Two-Out Hits Memphis is hitting .274 (171-625) with two outs this season compared to .300 (192-641) at this point last season. The Tigers had 133 two out RBI and 365 runs scored last season, but the U of M has mustered 104 two-out RBI so far this year with 345 runs scored.
Young Lineup Head Coach Daron Schoenrock has penned a lineup 58 times this season and each game has seen five or more underclassmen making starts. Memphis has had six underclassmen in the lineup in nine games and five underclassmen in 51 games.
Road Trippin’ Since the 2005 season, the Tigers are 67-98 in road games. The last time Memphis had a winning record on the road came back in the 2006 season when the Tigers were 13-11. The Tigers were 13-13 on the road this season to tie the 2006 squad for wins, most since the 1994 squad had 23 road wins.