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Memphis Baseball Goes 3-2 in First Full Week of Season

Memphis' Austin Baskin waits for a pitch. The Tigers took two out of three against Bowling Green.
Memphis' Austin Baskin waits for a pitch. The Tigers took two out of three against Bowling Green.

The Memphis Tigers baseball team went 3-2 on the week and won their weekend series versus Bowling Green, getting to .500 on the year.  

This was about as eventful of a first full week as you could possibly imagine for Coach Riser’s club. There was the high of Wednesday’s power surge, the sobering lows of Tuesday and Friday, and the roller coasters of Saturday and Sunday.   

Memphis 4 – Arkansas Little Rock 10  

Snapshot: Memphis musters just four hits in road loss. 

Memphis 14 – Central Arkansas 4 

Snapshot: Tigers tie school record with seven home runs to win home opener. 

Memphis 1 – Bowling Green 9 

Snapshot: Newman throws seven shoutout innings in Bowling Green route. 

Memphis 14 – Bowling Green 13 

Snapshot: Will Marcy walks off the Falcons in Saturday thriller. 

Memphis 13 – Bowling Green 7 

Snapshot: Tigers scored 8 runs in the 4th inning to win the weekend series. 

To start off with the positives, the baserunning this week was excellent. The Tigers were aggressive all week on base and were able to take the extra base often. In total Memphis was able to swipe ten bags on the week, including six on Saturday. 

The bats were mostly solid this week. Friday’s one-run showcase can’t be held too harshly against Memphis, as Bowling Green’s DJ Newman was in complete control on the mound. For most of the week, Memphis could drive the ball and put pressure on the opposing pitcher. Wednesday and Sunday showed how dangerous the team can be when they take control of the count and get on base early. Memphis drew fourteen walks in the last two games of the series, which helped them score a combined twenty-seven runs.  

The one issue however is strikeouts. The Tigers recorded double-digit strikeouts in both losses, and it’s a big reason why the Memphis offense was never a threat in those outings. It’s something fans will likely have to accept given the Tigers' playstyle, but sometimes the patience at the plate combined with a team that wants to swing for the fences is going to lead to some stinkers.   

The fielding left a lot to be desired, and five errors in one game is unacceptable. While Sunday’s fielding was very good, for most of the weekend Memphis struggled on defense. Ten errors in total versus Bowling Green just isn’t good enough, especially given some of the early struggles for the pitching staff. It’s nothing to get too worked up about yet, as it is just the first full week of ball games.  

The bullpen as it stands right now is a liability. It’s still early so there’s still plenty of time for the arms to get going. However, what the Tigers have shown so far in relief is shaky at best. Memphis nearly gave up a 10-0 lead on Saturday and was close to letting the Falcons tie the game on Sunday after being up 11-2. On Tuesday and Friday, while the bats struggled, the pen didn’t give Memphis much of a chance to make a comeback.  

There were bright spots, as Waylon Sebren showed great stuff on Wednesday and Brayden Sanders looked sharp on Saturday. J.T Durham notched his first career save, and he could provide bullpen flexibility to the coaching staff on certain nights.  

Pitchers in general seemed to have a hard time finding the zone to start the season. Memphis surrendered ten walks as a team on Friday, coupled with four hit-by-pitches. The Tigers’ pitchers find themselves in 2-0 or 3-0 counts far too often. There are quality pitchers on this staff, but no pitcher is going to find success if they give control of the at-bat to the opposing batters.  

Player of the Week: Will Marcy 5-15, 1 2B, 2 SB, 2 BB, 3 RBIs 

Will hit the walk-off winner on Saturday, but he provided far more than just that one at-bat. Throughout the week he produced solid at-bats and gave himself opportunities to make plays. He showed excellent plate vision, with just two strikeouts in four games. He did not display much power, but he showcased his overall athleticism that’ll make him a vital part of this team throughout the season.  

The Tigers will be home next week with another five-game slate. They’ll play UT Martin on Tuesday and Wednesday at 4 PM before a three-game weekend series against Wright State. Game times and streaming information can be found on the Memphis baseball website.  

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