Baseball Tripped By Memphis, 9-6
April 4, 2003
MEMPHIS- Sparked by seven RBI from the bottom third of its batting order, Memphis shocked TCU 9-6 Friday evening at Nat Buring Stadium. The victory was just the second Conference USA win of the season for last-place Memphis (9-19, 2-8 C-USA) while the loss dropped TCU (19-14, 6-4 C-USA) into fifth place in the league standings.
The Horned Frogs appeared to be headed to a big inning in the first inning as they loaded the bases with just one out. However, Memphis starter Stephen Gostowski pitched his way out of the jam to hold the Frogs scoreless in the first.
The Memphis offense then rewarded its hurler for the escape act by plating a run in the first, four in the second and one more in the third to jump out to a 6-0 lead. No. 9 hitter Josh Payne's fourth home run in two games, a three-run blast to right center field in the second, was the big blow in the Tigers' eruption.
After a pair of scoreless stanzas, TCU cut the deficit to one run by scoring five in the top of the sixth inning. Two-run homers by third baseman Jared Lundeen (Fountain Hills, Ariz./Burnsville) and second baseman Will Lewis (Texarkana, Ark./Texarkana) led the Horned Frogs back into the contest.
The Horned Frog rally was short-lived, however, as U of M designated hitter Ryan Martin led off the bottom of the sixth with a homer to left center, upping the Tigers' advantage to 7-5.
Memphis stretched the lead to 9-5 with single runs in the seventh and eighth, the latter on Martin's second home run of the evening.
TCU center fielder Terry Trofholz (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior) registered his first home run of the season in the ninth, but it was not enough to spark a Horned Frog comeback.
Combined with its 24-1 pasting of Tennessee-Martin on Wednesday afternoon, Memphis has now scored 33 runs in its last two games. Prior to the shellacking of UTM, the Tigers had posted just 125 runs in their first 26 games of the season.
Trofholz and Jake Duncan (Marshall, Texas/Marshall) each recorded multi-hit games to lead the Frogs. Both went 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of walks, while Trofholz scored two of TCU's six runs.
TCU was without its hottest hitter, third baseman Mike Settle (Fort Worth, Texas/Country Day). The senior, who is riding a season-long eight-game hitting streak, was unable to leave the hotel while battling a case of food poisoning.
The two squads will meet again Saturday afternoon for game two of their three-game weekend series. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Nat Buring Stadium.