July 14, 2024

Tigers Drop Final in Season Opening Series to Samford 9-8 in Extra Innings  

Memphis baseball started this weekend’s opening season series with Samford 2-0 coming into today’s final game. In that game, we got free baseball as it would go to extra innings. Memphis would fall to Samford 9-8 in eleven innings. We will look at the game and what took place, and what is next on the schedule. What happened today in the final game of the opening series? 

Sunday 

Memphis won the first two games of this home game and season opener. On Friday, Memphis would claw back to win 7-4, and get head coach Kerrick Jackson his first win as a Tiger. They would follow this up with an 11-run outing that included three long balls to win 11-6. Memphis was looking to start 3-0 for the first time since the 2021 season when they started 4-0.  

Fast Start

Memphis would get the bats going early as they scored four runs in the bottom of the first. Autin Bakin, Logan Kohler, and Brennan Dubose would all score as Baskin would hit a three-run home run. This would be followed up by a Logan Kohler RBI when he would single to left and Jake Curtis would make it 4-0. Memphis would score two more in the bottom of the fourth inning when Tyler Heckert hit a two-run home run that would also score Baskin to put Memphis up 6-0.  

Free Baseball

Samford would score a run in the top of the 5th when Blake Bortak would double down the right field line and Jayden Davis would get the Bulldogs on the board with a 6-1 score. Samford would score five runs in the top of the 7th to tie the game at six. Memphis would answer in the bottom half of that inning to take a one-run lead. Samford would tie the game in the top of the 9th to force extra innings. The game would go to the 11th until anyone would score as Samford put two runs on the board in the top of the inning. Memphis would answer with one run but that would be all they could score as they would fall at home to finish the series.  

Analysis

From The Plate and Mound

Offensively, Memphis would finish the game 11-44 {.250} from the plate, 6-18 {.333} with two outs, 4-15 {.267} with the runner on base, and 4-11 {.364} from the leadoff position. On the mound, Memphis threw 158 total pitches with 106 being strikes and 52 balls. This computes to a 67.1 strike percentage for the game. Memphis pitchers would finish 2-10 vs leadoff hitters, 6-21 with runners on base, 1-8 versus left-handed hitters, and 2-14 with two outs.  

Defense

 Behind this pitching, the Tigers had 33 putouts, 11 assists, and 1 error on the day. This gives the Tigers a fielding percentage of .978. Memphis pitching would force 13 fly balls, and 11 ground balls, and allow three extra-base hits. Even in a close loss, this Memphis team through the first three games has shown that defense is a must. This opening series has been refreshing to see this program have fun playing the game of baseball again.  

What’s Next?  

Up next for the Tigers will be a mid-week game as well as a weekend series at home. The one game will be on Wednesday, February 22nd, against Mississippi Valley State University. This game will begin at noon. The weekend series will see Youngstown State come to town on Friday, the 24th, and go on through Sunday, the 26th. The Friday contest will start at 6 pm and be broadcast on ESPN+. The Saturday slate will feature a doubleheader. The first game will begin at noon with the final game starting at 3:30. The final game of the series, on Sunday, will begin at 1 pm.  

Further reading

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