Tigers Swept At Southern Miss
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Southern Miss (23-16, 7-5 C-USA) turned a failed pickoff attempt into the winning run as the swept the series with Memphis (17-23, 6-9 C-USA) following a 2-1 win on Sunday at Pete Taylor Park.
Memphis used a walk and Southern Miss error on a sacrifice bunt to put the first two batters on base. Making his first career start, Golden Eagles pitcher Mason Robbins worked out of the jam as he retired the next three batters to end the inning. For Memphis, it was the 19th-straight inning in the series without an RBI.
The Tigers ended the 19 inning drought without a RBI as Ethan Gross singled to left field to give Memphis a 1-0 lead. Tucker Tubbs hit a two-out double to right-centerfield and Keaton Aldridge followed with a two-out infield single to put runners on the corners for Gross. Gross laced the single to left and Memphis gained its first lead of the weekend on the RBI single.
Southern Miss put pressure on the Tigers in the second and third, but starter Chase Joiner worked out of jams in each inning. In the second, the Golden Eagles had runners on the corners with one out, but two fly outs ended the frame. With the bases loaded and one out, Joiner recorded back-to-back strikeouts to keep Memphis in front 1-0. For the series, the teams were a combined 0-for-6 with six strikeouts with the bases loaded.
Two walks and a single loaded the bases for the U of M in the sixth, but once again a strikeout ended the threat. The Tigers faced trouble in the bottom of the seventh, as a leadoff single, stolen base and sac bunt moved the tying run to third base with one out. A sac fly by Kameron Brunty knotted the score at 1-1.
A leadoff walk came back to haunt the Tigers in the bottom of the eighth. With the defense playing in for the bunt, Memphis reliever Jonathan Van Eaton attempted a pickoff at first, but the bag was uncovered allowing the runner to advance to third with no outs. A single through the left side by Isaac Rodriguez plated the go-ahead run and Southern Miss took a 2-1 lead.
A leadoff single by pinch-hitter Bryce Beeler put the Tigers in rally mode and a walk put two on with no outs. Keaton Aldridge laid down a sac bunt to move the tying run to third. A ground ball to third was fielded and the lead runner was thrown out at the plate on the fielder’s choice. With runners on the corners and two outs, Southern Miss reliever Bradley Roney recorded a strikeout to complete his seventh save of the season.
Joiner pitched 6.2 innings and allowed one run on nine hits for the 26th quality start for the Tigers this season. Cameron Giannini (2-2) picked up the win as he allowed no hits over 2.1 innings. Erik Schoenrock (1-2) was tagged with the loss as he allowed one run in a third of an inning.
The Tigers return to the Bluff City to host Ole Miss on Tuesday at AutoZone Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.