July 15, 2024

Daunte Stuart’s Cycle Powers Memphis to Explosive Win Over South Florida in AAC Opener

Credits - Memphis Baseball

Daunte Stuart’s Cycle Powers Memphis to Explosive Win Over South Florida in AAC Opener

On an electric Friday night at USF Baseball Stadium, Daunte Stuart, the senior second baseman for the University of Memphis, achieved a remarkable feat, hitting for the cycle and propelling the Tigers to a commanding 16-7 victory over South Florida in the American Athletic Conference opener.

The Tigers clawed their way back to a .500 record, now standing at 12-12 overall and 1-0 in the AAC, while the Bulls’ defeat dropped them to a 12-10 season and 0-1 in conference play.

University of Memphis head coach Matt Riser praised his team’s performance at the plate. “I was really proud of our offense,” he said. “They were as locked in on a Friday night guy as they could possibly be. We had a great approach and did some great things in advantage counts, and a great job with two strikes and getting guys in from third.”

The Offensive Onslaught

Credits – Memphis Baseball

The game began with South Florida’s Ben Rozenblum swinging momentum in favor of the Bulls with a two-run homer in the first inning. But Stuart was quick to respond, launching his fourth home run of the season in the second inning and kickstarting his cycle bid.

Despite the Bull’s Drew Brutcher putting South Florida up 3-1, the Tigers unleashed an offensive juggernaut in the third inning, matching their highest-scoring inning of the season with eight runs. This barrage of hits included a two-run homer by Austin Baskin and a two-run double by Pierre Seals.

Jacob Compton continued the home run parade with his AAC-leading ninth of the season, while Seth Cox kept the streak alive in the fifth inning. By the end of the fifth, the Tigers had surged to a 15-3 lead.

South Florida fought back with a pair of home runs but was ultimately overpowered by Memphis’s relentless offense. Stuart capped off his historic night with a triple in the ninth, igniting the Tiger dugout with enthusiasm.

Historic Night and Notable Performances

Credits – Memphis Baseball

The Tigers’ 16 runs were just one shy of their season-high and marked the eighth time this season they’ve tallied 12 or more runs in a game. Stuart’s perfect 5-for-5 performance at the plate, including four runs and a walk, highlighted the night. According to the Memphis record books, Stuart is the 4th Tiger to hit for the cycle. He joins Ben Brooks, against Wichita State on May 1, 2022, Taylor Howell, against Western Illinois, on March 1, 2020, and Barrett Smith, who hit for the cycle on May 11, 2001, against Cincinnati. . 

Compton and Seals also had standout performances, contributing three hits each to the Tigers’ dominant offensive display.

Looking Forward

The series continues with game two set for Saturday at 1 pm, promising to deliver more excitement. Fans won’t want to miss a moment of the action, with the games available for streaming on ESPN+.

The Tigers, with this high-octane start to conference play, have made a resounding statement in the AAC. If they can sustain this level of play, they’ll be a formidable force as the season progresses.

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