Tigers win again in C-USA Tourney
Houston, TX-Memphis (35-23) raced to a 4-0 lead but had to hold off UAB (22-36) 6-5 after the Blazers scored four runs over the sixth to eighth innings in game two of the Conference USA Tournament at Reckling Park for the Tigers.
With the win, Memphis has assured itself of a chance to play for a spot in the Conference USA Championship game on Sunday. The Tigers face No. 1 seed Rice on Saturday at 11 a.m. With a win, Memphis will play in the C-USA Championship game for the second-straight season.
Memphis wasted little time in jumping out to a 4-0 advantage on UAB. A fielding error allowed Ethan Gross to reach before Carter White singled and Tucker Tubbs walked to load the bases with one out. A wild pitch scored Gross, but a double by Drew Griffin broke the game open as two runs score for the Tigers 3-0 lead. Bryce Beeler laced a two-out single to leftfield and Griffin scored to make it 4-0 before the Tigers were caught in a run down to end the frame.
UAB started a rally in the second as the Blazers loaded the bases with one out. Memphis starter Michael Wills induced the comebacker to the mound to start the 1-2-3 double play to end the inning. UAB loaded the bags once again in the third, this time with two outs, but Wills used a called third strike to strand three on the bases. The Tigers removed Wills from the game after three innings in which he allowed no runs on four hits while striking out and walking two.
The Blazers got on the board in the fourth, but it took a Tiger error to help the cause. Jacob German led off the inning with a ground ball to short, but the ball was misplayed resulting in the error. With one out, reliever Heith Hatfield hit Adam Lau with a pitch to put two on with one out. Hatfield struck out his second of the frame, but Ryan Prinzing singled to leftfield and German came around to score, unearned.
The Tigers got the run back in the fifth off the bat of Tucker Tubbs. The sophomore first baseman slugged a two-out home run over the leftfield fence for his fourth home run of the season. Griffin followed the home run with a single up the middle and he ended up on third after stealing second and error allowed him to advance to third. Memphis left Griffin standing on third, but the Tigers led 5-1 going to the bottom of the fifth.