May 5, 2013
Box Score (PDF)
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Marshall scored four runs over the first three innings but was held stagnant over the last six as Memphis defeated the Thundering Herd 8-5 and completed the Conference USA series sweep Sunday at FedExPark.
Marshall (18-29, 5-13 C-USA) led 4-1 in the third, but the Tigers (30-19, 12-9 C-USA) scored in every inning from the second to the seventh en route to their second C-USA sweep of the season.
Starting pitcher Michael Taylor (3-5) suffered the loss as the solo homer he surrendered to left fielder Colton Simbeck in the fourth gave Memphis a lead it did not relinquish. Taylor went five innings and gave up six runs (five earned) on five hits and three walks. He struck out one.
In the third, what should have been a five-pitch, 1-2-3 inning for the right-hander turned into a three-run surge where Memphis tied the game at four. With two out and the bases clear, Taylor induced a popup that dropped for a double when defensive miscommunication allowed the ball to land safely in shallow left field. A walk later, first baseman Tucker Tubbs smacked a three-run homer over the wall in center to tie things up.
The solo shot from Simbeck in the next inning also came with two out. In fact, five of the Tigers runs were scored with two out.
Marshall put its early lead together thanks to Eric Escobedo’s two-out double in the first and Gray Stafford’s two-out single in the second. Aaron Bossi also added an RBI in the third on a groundout to short.
The Herd, trailing 6-4 in the top of the sixth, cut the deficit in half when Stafford stroked a solo bomb to right field, but it would get no closer than that. The Tigers added a run in their half of the sixth and another in the seventh to close out the scoring.
Marshall stranded nine runners in the loss, including six which were left in scoring position. The Herd was 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position while Memphis recorded six hits (6-for-11) in such instances.
Stafford and Escobedo each finished the day 2-for-4 with a run. Stafford also drove in two while Escobedo drove in one.
Marshall has the midweek off and will return to action Friday for a meeting with C-USA foe East Carolina (26-22, 10-8 C-USA) at Epling Stadium in Beckley, W.Va. One of the hottest teams in league play, the Pirates have posted series victories over each of their last four weekends. Game times are 7 p.m., 7 p.m., and 1 p.m. Friday through Sunday.