April 13, 2007

Tigers sneak out with 7-6 win

K.K. Chalmers used his speed to add to give the Tigers an insurance run in the ninth. After a leadoff walk, he stole second and then beat the throw to third on a sacrifice attempt. He scored on a misplayed pop in short center.

That run was huge since UAB’s Ryne Lovdahl led off the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run.

After a two out single brought the potential game-winning run to the plate, Yokley struck out pinch hitter Billy Lichtner looking to end the game.

UAB making it interesting

UAB mounted a rally in eighth loading the bases with no outs on a walk and two singles off tiring starter Ben Grisham. Tiger closer Matt Yokley entered and struck out Tyler Rollin but walked Steven Turner on four pitches to force in a run. Yokley rebounded to strike out Levi Patmon but Blazer Phil Bell smacked a 2-2 two-out pitch into left to score a pair.

We go to the ninth Memphis leads 6-5.

Starters going deep

UAB starter Mitch Kloskowski has pitched well behind a heavy breaking curve ball. His fastball is mid-to-high 80s. Memphis' Joey Lieberman slammed a leadoff home run in the sixth to stretch the Tiger lead to 4-2.

Kloskowski just finished the seventh inning - likely his last. He allowed seven hits and four runs, fanned four and walked three logging 119 pitches.

Ben Grisham is still going for Memphis. He started the seventh with 94 pitches.

With a heavy weather front on the way, this series could be altered significantly. Saturday's game is set for 2 although the rain is expected to alter that start time. The teams will wait until the morning, watch the radar, and decide whether to try to play Saturday or schedule a seven-inning doubleheader Sunday.

Irvin doubles for Tiger lead

As the UAB pep band plays Thriller, Memphis leads 3-2.

Josh Irvin just doubled in two more runs giving him a pair of doubles and three ribbies tonight.

This one should end up with a lot of runs before we are done. The batting orders are beginning to get a bead on the starting pitchers as we go through the order for the second time. Both teams have struggled in the pen with pitching depth.

Blazing start

UAB scored two in the first off Memphis starter Ben Grisham on three hits. J.R. Bond capped the rally with an RBI double. Memphis responded with a run on a Josh Irvin double.

Young Memorial Field has a few interesting quirks. They have a female PA announcer who immediately brings to mind the Bull Durham with the southern belle dialect.

They also have a pep band here that played the National Anthem and also plays between innings. There is an older gentleman throwing out candy here. That isn't unique here. Many places have that. But my guess is that this candyman is the only one who accidentally threw candy in a tuba.

2-1 mid 2nd

Coach Rock

I visited with Memphis coach Daron Schoenrock a few minutes ago in the Tiger dugout. He was still stinging from a pair of midweek losses to Murray State.

Due to injuries, the midweek pitching options have been limited.

Six of their top arms from the fall out but the coach hopes to get three of them back.

They also hope to get a boost from the football team as Will Hudgens will come over fulltime after splitting between the sports this spring. Hudgens is playing in Memphis’ spring football game this weekend and did not travel to UAB. The quarterback, who has suffered a pair of broken legs in his Tiger football career, has been very impressive in ten appearances this fall. Hudgens is 3-0 with a 1.65 ERA in 16 1/3 innings.

Seeing what all the fuss is about

The Memphis Tigers have caught my eye the past two weeks with a series sweep of Southern Miss and a road series win at Tulane. Wins over those two perennial powers has them in the CUSA race with a 5-4 mark. It also has them thinking about their Regional appearance since 1994.

Tonight the Tigers visit UAB who has a 4-2 CUSA record and has not lost a home CUSA game this season. Their new coach Brian Shoop is doing all he can to change the culture of losing at UAB.

We have a 7 p.m. CT starttime at Young Memorial Field. Ben Grisham (1-1/4.50) starts for Memphis while Mitch Kloskowski (4-2/3.67) goes for UAB.

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