The Memphis baseball team finished another series victorious, taking three out of the four games against Middle Tennessee State over the weekend.
This was the second home series in a row the Tigers (9-8) took. Memphis earned all three of their wins by one run. Two of the wins the UofM celebrated were 1-0 games. Middle Tennessee (11-8) took game two and nothing more. The series began five days after the Tigers won the three-game Miami (OH) series in Memphis.
Game 1, Memphis wins 1-0
Game one started and ended as a complete pitcher's duel. Memphis sent Blake Wimberley to the mound. Wimberley was previously 0-2 on the season. Middle Tennessee put Aaron Brown on the mound, who was 3-0 prior to game one.
Wimberley pitched a nine-inning show, striking out 12 batters, walking two and allowing three hits. His performance kept him on the mound all game. He threw 118 pitches and faced 30 batters in his complete game show.
Brown was in all game for the Blue Raiders and he pitched eight innings. By the end of the day, he earned 13 strikeouts, walked one and allowed four hits. Brown tallied 107 pitches thrown and 31 batters faced.
The only run of this game was achieved from Ben Brooks. The Memphis shortstop slammed a home run in the second inning that made the difference. Jaylen Wilbon also had two hits, while Taylor Howell got one himself.
Game 2, MTSU wins 8-2
The following day, both teams set up for a doubleheader. The Blue Raiders got their only win of the series in the first game of the day.
Memphis took a heavy loss in the seven-inning game. The Blue Raiders finished the top of the fourth inning with a 8-0 lead. The Tigers earned two runs in the bottom of the fourth, but no scoring happened for the rest of the game.
The UofM started Jackson Cothren and three innings later he was pulled. Cothen got three strikeouts, walked three batters, gave up six runs and five hits.
Middle Tennessee racked up 10 hits in the game, Memphis had five. MTSU's designated hitter, DJ Wright, had three RBIs.
Game 3, Memphis wins 1-0
Another seven-inning game followed game two of the series. The last game of the doubleheader went to Memphis.
Game three started with Hunter Goodman hitting a single homerun in the bottom of the first. The fireworks subsided for the remainder of the game. The UofM had only one other hit for the rest of the day.
The Blue Raiders tallied five hits but could not get someone around the bases to tie it up. When the seventh inning went quiet for MTSU, the Tigers cheered having earned their second shutout in two days.
Game 4, Memphis wins 8-7 in extra innings
A game that could have gone either way went straight to the Tigers. A nine-inning game became 11 innings and half of the runs Memphis earned were in the extras.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Middle Tennessee responded by tying it up after a run in the fifth and the sixth. In the top of the eighth, MTSU took a 4-2 lead. That lead remained intact until the bottom of the ninth.
The Tigers had the prime of their lineup upcoming in the bottom of the ninth. After two singles and a batter struck by a pitch, bases were loaded. A double play occurred bringing one runner home, but notching two outs. Down 4-3 with two outs, Memphis popped another single bringing a runner home. Tied 4-4, the final batter struck out looking with a man on first.
In the top of the tenth, MTSU had two outs and two men on base while tied 4-4. The Blue Raiders hit a three-run homer taking the lead 7-4. MTSU did no more damage in the rest of the inning.
Memphis was down three runs and had one inning to do something. Goodman walked up to the plate with two men on base and one out. Goodman swung and homered to right field, tying the game 7-7. But the Tigers had to wait another inning to close it out.
At one point in the eleventh inning MTSU had runners on third and second. The Blue Raiders lost that chance when a pop-out that ended the inning. Memphis got their chance with a tied 7-7 game. Soon after, the Tigers had a man on third and a flyout welcomed the man on third home, giving the Tigers a 8-7 win at home and winning the series.
Memphis finally rose above a .500 win percentage and a 8-2 home record. They hit the road to Fayetteville for their scheduled two game series with the Arkansas Razorbacks on March 23 and 24.
The Tigers won three of their four games against Middle Tennessee State University. After winning the first and dropping the second, the Tigers won 1-0 and 8-7 in their final two games.