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Memphis Baseball Wins Home Opener; Ties School Record for Home Runs in a Game

Memphis outfielder Pierre Seals rounds third base after his first of two home runs.
Memphis outfielder Pierre Seals rounds third base after his first of two home runs.

The Memphis baseball team defeated Central Arkansas emphatically, winning 14-4 in an eight-inning, mercy rule contest. Getting to play in front of family and friends for the first time, the Tigers’ bats showed up in a big way, tying the school record for home runs in a game with 7. 

The Tiger offense was aggressive from the first pitch they saw. Jake Curtis hit a leadoff double that hugged the left-field line. It was the first of six leadoff hits for Memphis, which helped set the tempo for a big night at the plate. While the Tigers wouldn’t capitalize in the first inning, there was a feeling in the stadium that it was just a matter of time before the team got rolling.

Memphis fell behind 3-0 after the top of the 2nd, as starter JT Durham had some struggles. However, a Daunte Stuart single in the bottom of the frame set the table for Pierre Seals to take his first at-bat in front of the Memphis fans. He delivered with a 380-foot shot into left field to cut the lead to one and get the home crowd into the game.  

The Memphis offense would continue to flex their muscles in the third. Austin Baskin hit a three-run bomb into the parking lot out in left to give the Tigers a 5-3 lead. With two outs in the inning, Pierre Seals hit his second homer of the game just over the center field wall, and then Brennan Dubose hit his own homer on the new Central Arkansas pitcher to extend the lead to 7-3. 

At that point, it was Memphis’ game to lose, and they made sure momentum wasn’t going to flip the other way. A Daunte Stuart 2-RBI double in the 4th and a Jake Curtis homer in the 5th helped push the game out of reach. Two more home runs would help push the lead to 12-4 in the eighth before the final blows.  

A Brennan Dubose RBI double pushed the score to 13-4, and, after Alex Fernandes walked, one more special moment was in store for the crowd. Redshirt freshman C.J Willis pinch-hit and recorded his first-ever collegiate hit to send the fans home happy: a double down the right field line to run-rule Central Arkansas in the eighth inning. 

Pierre Seals and Austin Baskin each hit two home runs, and, as a team, the Tigers sent seven balls over the wall. That ties the school record for most-combined home runs in a game with the 2001 outing versus Depaul.  

“It feels great,” said Austin Baskin postgame. “Us coming out after last night and just being able to find barrels left and right.” 

This was an important win for a Memphis team that had come out of the gates a bit slower than anticipated. A loss on Wednesday would’ve put a big damper on the optimism heading into the season. Instead, the Tigers dazzled the home crowd and showed how exciting this lineup can be at hitter friendly FedExPark. Memphis was able to flex its muscles at the plate with twelve extra-base hits on the night. 

The Tigers will be in action all weekend at home versus the Bowling Green Falcons. Game times and streaming information can be found on the Memphis baseball website.  

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