The University of Memphis baseball team (13-28, 1-11 American Athletic Conference) will try to salvage their sub-par 2018 season with less than 15 games remaining.
The Tigers started the season with a 4-6 record through 10 games and never recovered. They had a chance to rebound early in the season at the Tri-Star Classic in Knoxville, Tennessee. They won their first game of the classic versus Middle Tennessee but faltered in the following two games, losing to Tennessee and East Tennessee.
The month of March essentially sealed the fate for the Tigers’ season, even though many games remained. The Tigers lost four straight games, won two and then lost another five to finish out their 20 games in March with a 4-16 record. Their misfortunes in March set the tone for the rest of the season.
The first game in April was one of the worst losses of the season. The Tigers played No. 3 Ole Miss at AutoZone Park on April 4 and were shut out 12-0 by the Rebels.
After the shutout loss to Ole Miss, Memphis lost three consecutive games at Cincinnati. The Tigers rebounded with back-to-back wins against Arkansas State, and two days later they defeated Baylor 7-2. The win over Baylor marked their 12th win of the season. The Tigers had just two back-to-back wins this season.
Following the Baylor series, the Tigers played their best game this season in a five-run victory over Mississippi State at AutoZone Park. Pitcher Connor Alexander won his second game of the season, and Hunter Smith pulled off his second save of the season as Memphis held MSU to one run.
Memphis lost three games to No. 11 East Carolina last weekend and failed to score more than two runs in each of the games. They head to No. 20 South Florida this Friday for a three-game series.
The Tigers have one win in AAC play and will look to make up some wins with 12 conference games remaining. They will travel to Tampa, Florida, this Friday for a weekend series at No. 20 South Florida.
The Tigers will need their top players on the roster to produce if they intend to conclude the season on a positive note.
Senior outfielder Tyler Webb is one of the players Memphis has relied on all season. He is one of two Tigers to have more than 150 at-bats this season and has the highest batting average on the team (.303). He leads the team in hits (47) and runs (20). Webb has gotten on base in 28 out of 40 games and has at least one hit in 10 of the 13 wins this season. Webb will look to provide a spark in the final 14 regular season games of his collegiate career in hopes of making the AAC Tournament.
Memphis currently is in last place in the AAC and trails Wichita State by three games. The Tigers will need to win the majority of their 12 remaining conference games and need teams like UConn and Wichita State to drop games if they want to have a chance at the postseason.
The Tigers still have a chance to make something out of a forgettable 2018 campaign. They have four AAC series in the coming weeks starting with No. 20 USF. They will finish out their conference schedule against UConn, Tulane and Wichita State.
Jonathan Bowlan pitches against Ole Miss. The Arlington, Tennessee, native started the Tigers 2018 season opener against Western Kentucky.
Connor Alexander gets set to pitch. The Bartlett native pitched in 19 games for the Tigers during his 2017 campaign