May 16, 2001
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Memphis held off a late UC rally, escaping a bases-loaded, no-out situation with just one run allowed in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the Bearcats 8-5 in the opening round of the 2001 Fed Ex Conference USA Tournament at Zephyr Field on Wednesday afternoon. The Bearcats hit four solo home runs in the loss, including two by senior Matt Singer (Cincinnati, Ohio/Purcell Marian).
Senior Kevin Youkilis (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore) and junior Brett Clark (Elk Grove, Calif./Sacramento City C.C.) each belted homers in the contest, with both tallying two hits, as did sophomore Chris Hamblen (Fort Thomas, Ky./Highlands). UC's top four hitters went 8-for-18 with four homers and four RBI, while the bottom five went 0-for-17.
Memphis' Barrett Smith continued his torrid hitting against UC on the evening after he was left off the All-Conference USA team, smashing a three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to give the Tigers their final margin. He went 2-for-4 with four RBI on the afternoon. Gabe Interiano, Paul Reuer and Justin Thomas also added two hits apiece in the win.
Singer started UC off on the right foot with a solo shot, the 51st homer of his career, in the bottom of the first inning. Cincinnati continued the home run barrage with two more solo blasts in the third off the bats of Clark and Youkilis to make the score 3-0.
Memphis got on the board in the fourth with a sacrifice fly by Barrett Smith, cutting the Bearcats' lead to 3-1 before Cincinnati got the run back on Singer's homer in the fifth inning.
The Tiger offense finally got to Borsa in the sixth inning, scoring three runs to tie the game and hitting back-to-back doubles off Kyle DiEduardo (Boca Raton, Fla./Olympic Heights) to take the lead for the first time at 5-4.
The Bearcats loaded the bases in the ninth inning, scoring a run on a wild pitch before Joshua Cartwright retired the final three hitters without allowing another run, ending the game by fielding a soft grounder off the bat of freshman Justin Niefer (Cummin, Ga./St. Joseph's).