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Memphis Baseball Goes 1-3 on the Week

First baseman Jacob Compton heads to the dugout after recording an out against Ole Miss.
First baseman Jacob Compton heads to the dugout after recording an out against Ole Miss.

The Tigers had an unideal beginning to AAC play, dropping the last two games to USF and going 1-3 on their week away from home. 

All the progress the pitching staff made last week suddenly vanished as they struggled for most of the week. On Tuesday they blew a 9-3 5th inning to lead with 14 runs given up in the last three innings of work. Saturday, the Tigers were able to make a late comeback until an eight-inning grand-slam by John Montes blew the game wide open. Even in the win on Friday, they gave up seven runs and an eight-run top of the third by Memphis prevented the staff from feeling much pressure. While on Sunday they gave up just five runs, it’s another week where the staff struggles to get outs. 11 errors in four games certainly does not help a laboring pitching staff, and the defense has become a massive problem for the club. The number of walks the staff gives up is the biggest thing keeping them back. 

The lineup did some special things this weekend, despite the losing record. Daunte Stuart hit for the cycle on Friday, going 5-5 with four runs.  

“Really proud of him and his efforts,” said Coach Riser after the performance.  

Alex Fernandes had four walks that same game, and the offense hit five homers. A Tiger had multiple hits in each game this week, and the first five innings of offense against Mississippi State on Tuesday were magical.  

There were some rough spots throughout the week. The bats went cold the last four innings on Tuesday and there were some controversial calls on Saturday and Sunday that went against Memphis.  

“We got to be able to overcome some of those moments that’s the reality,” said Coach Riser Sunday. “Got to keep going on.”  

As conference play begins it’s apparent that this team is going to have to be carried by the bats. Memphis leads the American in almost every single offensive category and has been arguably a top 25 offense in college baseball so far. Outside of strike outs there isn’t another weakness on this offense, and it should be considered the scariest lineup in the AAC this season. It’s the pitching and defense where the trouble arises.  

While the Tigers can outscore anybody they face in conference play, there is no ability to prevent other teams from scoring. If they can get into the eighth or ninth inning the Tigers should be able to pull out most wins, but getting to the latter innings is proving to be a challenge. It’s what will likely prevent Memphis from finishing in the top three of the American, especially given the strength at the top of the conference. However, the Tigers should be able to lean into their bats to stay competitive within conference play.  

Player of the Week: Daunte Stuart. 8-15, 6 Runs, 2BB, 1 HR, 1 3B, 1 2B, 1 RBI 

When you hit for the cycle, you get player of the week. Daunte had a magical Friday night with a 5-5 performance that ended in a cycle. His incredible performance was the highlight of a rough week for the Tigers. 

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