Junior Grayden Griener came off the bench to go 2-for-2 in Friday's Conference USA contest against Memphis.
April 6, 2007
METAIRIE, La. - The Green Wave piled up 12 hits, including two by reserve infielder Grayden Griener, but it was not enough as the Tulane University baseball team dropped game one of a Conference USA weekend series to Memphis, 14-5, Friday evening at Zephyr Field.
The offense posted its fourth straight day with a double-digit hit total, but the Tigers were equally up to the task in pounding out 15 hits, which marks the best offensive day by Memphis in C-USA action so far this year. And while, the Tigers had just three more hits than the Green Wave, Tulane wound up leaving 14 runners on base, including 10 over the first five innings.
"Memphis pitched well and took us out of some innings early," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "They played very well offensively and had good at-bats with two outs and runners on. They just outplayed us. They played very well and we did not. With the combination of those two things, it was a disappointing night for us. We've got to be better tomorrow."
The Tigers got a solid effort out of starter Ben Grisham, who allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits and four walks while striking out one in 4.1 innings. The winning pitcher, however, was right-hander Dusty Davis out of the bullpen. Davis (4-1) did not allow an earned run (two unearned) while scattering five hits and no walks with two strikeouts over the final 4.2 frames.
Memphis wasted little time in jumping out to the early lead as K.K. Chalmers walked to open the game, advanced the bases on a steal and a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a groundout off the bat of second baseman Bill Moss. After a scoreless second, designated hitter Joey Lieberman made it a 3-0 ballgame with a two-run single through the left side of the infield before the Tigers blew the game open with a five-run fourth.
Catcher Chris Kirkland got things going for Memphis with an RBI-single to left and Chalmers got a ball up into a gusting wind blowing out to right for his first career grand slam. Tulane got a run back in the bottom of the inning when sophomore right fielder Warren McFadden scored on a fielder's choice grounder off the bat of sophomore first baseman Jonny Weiss, but the Tigers came right back with three more runs in the top of the fifth, including a two-run homer by first baseman Adam Amar.
Tulane cut the lead to 13-3 in the bottom of the sixth on a pair of bases-loaded walks, but Davis came on to put the fire out and kept the Green Wave at arm's reach for rest of the day. The Tigers added a little insurance in the sixth with an RBI-single by shortstop Michael Murray - as part of a 5-for-5 day - a bases-loaded walk by Kirkland and a sacrifice fly by Chalmers.
The Green Wave closed out the scoring in the seventh when sophomore designated hitter Aja Barto hit a leadoff double, went to third on a single and scored on a bobbled ball in right field by the Tigers' Josh Irvin.
Tulane starter Sean Morgan (6-2) was tagged with the loss after giving up 10 runs on nine hits and four walks while striking out a pair in 4.0 innings. Freshman right-hander Taylor Rogers went the next four frames for the Green Wave, allowing four runs on six hits and a pair of walks with two strikeouts, and sophomore southpaw Peter Connick tossed a scoreless ninth.
"(Morgan) just had problems with his command, and Memphis was able to take advantage of some things," Jones. "He just missed on some, but his command wasn't what it normally is. He pitched behind in the count a little bit and Memphis put some good swings on it and had some good at-bats in hitters' counts."
Tulane and Memphis continue the series on Saturday at 2 p.m. before closing out the weekend on Sunday with a nationally televised game on College Sports Television (DirecTV Channel 610, DISH Network Channel 152) with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. For ticket information for this weekend's games, as well as future Green Wave athletic events, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE. The Zephyr Field Ticket Office is located on the third-base side of stadium and will open approximately two hours before first pitch for each Tulane home game.