MEMPHIS -The University of Memphis baseball team won its fourth-straight game on Saturday afternoon, rallying from a three-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth to defeat South Florida, 7-6, at FedExPark Avron Fogelman Field. With the win, Memphis clinched its first American Athletic Conference series win of the season.
The Tigers improve to 25-22 (7-10 AAC) on the season after the victory. The Bulls slipped to 18-30 (6-11) on the year with the loss.
“Our guys battled,” head coach Kerrick Jackson said. “They really grinded today and it shows our guys’ resolve. They gave me a heart attack. I wish they’d have that a little earlier, but you have to appreciate the way they fought back and just kept believing. One thing we’ve preached all year is that as long as there are outs left on the board, we have a chance to win. Now we need to come out and finish with a sweep tomorrow, we can’t be satisfied with just a series win.”
• South Florida took a 3-0 lead into the sixth inning after scoring on a solo home run in the first, an RBI single in the third and a second solo shot in the third inning.
• The Tigers got on the board in the sixth inning when Logan Kohler went down and got a low pitch and deposited it over the right-field wall for a solo shot – his eighth of the season.
• Memphis tied the game at 3-3 in the eighth inning on RBI singles by Will Spears and Anthony Hansen.
• After a quick first out of the ninth inning by Memphis closer Dalton KendrickUSF reached on a dropped third strike and a single to set up a three-run home run by lead-off hitter Bobby Boser that gave the Bulls a 6-3 lead.
• Cameron Benson pinch hit to lead off the bottom of the ninth and smacked a double to dead center off the batter’s eye on the inning’s first pitch and then Jake Curtis was hit by a pitch. Austin Baskin singled to center field to score Benson from second and Kohler followed suit with an RBI single to center field for the inning’s second run.
• USF made a pitching change, but it didn’t matter. Spears came through with his second RBI single in as many innings to tie the game at 6-6. The Bulls elected to intentionally walk Hansen to load the bases and bring up Braden WebbOn a 1-0 count, a wild pitch by USF’s Tanner Mink went to the back stop and allowed Kohler to sprint home from third base and beat the throw, making the Tigers walk-off winners.
• Four Tigers logged a pair of hits in the game (Curtis, Kohler, Spears and Hansen). Curtis scored a pair of runs, Kohler scored three and drove in a pair, Spears knocked in two runs and Hansen drove in one.
• Tiger starter Dalton Fowler pitched six innings in his 12th start of the season. He allowed three runs on seven hits and struck out eight to bring his season total up to 96. He ranked seventh in the nation with 88 entering today’s game.
• Jackson Lyons pitched two perfect innings of relief, adding a pair of strikeouts.
• Kendrick gave up three runs on the ninth-inning home run but struck out a pair and earned the win to go to 2-3 on the season.
• Benson pinch hit to lead off the ninth inning and doubled to extend his on-base streak to 16 games, matching Jonah Sutton‘s 16-game streak from earlier this season for the longest by a Tiger this year.
• Sutton started and went 1-for-3 at the plate with a double.
• Four-consecutive wins is the second-longest win streak for Memphis this season. The Tigers won five-straight games Feb. 25-March 3.
• The Tigers are back at FedExPark Avron Fogelman Field tomorrow afternoon with a chance to complete the series sweep of the Bulls at 1 p.m.