MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Tucker Tubbs and Derrick Thomas each hit solo home runs and Memphis (16-19, 6-5) recorded 12 hits in a 5-2 win over No. 24 East Carolina (24-10-1, 7-3-1) in Conference USA action Saturday afternoon at FedEx Park. With the win, Memphis has tied the series at one-game each with the rubber match set for Sunday, Apr. 15 at 2 p.m. (EST).
With the game knotted at two in the sixth frame, Memphis scored a pair of runs on three hits to take a 4-2 lead and cruised to its sixth win in league play. Adam McClain and Jacob Wilson each singled to start the stanza and Eli Hynes drew a walk to load the bases for Thomas, who lifted a 1-1 offering deep to left-center that hit off the wall scoring McClain for the eventual go-winning run. After junior Andy Smithmyer relieved starter Tyler Joyner (5-1), Tubbs flew out to center pushing across Wilson for a two-run Memphis advantage.
Sam Moll (4-3) notched the win allowing two runs (both earned) on nine hits with four punch outs and a walk. Right-hander Jonathan Van Eaton recorded his third save of the season tossing a perfect 1 2/3 innings of relief.
Joyner was touched for four runs (all earned) on nine hits in five innings. The left-hander struck out a pair and walked one in his first loss of the 2012 season. Smithmyer allowed one run in 2 2/3 frames on three hits with three strikeouts before passing the ball off to Dylan Dickens with two outs in the eighth, where he got Ethan Gross to fly out to center to end the frame.
Memphis jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third thanks to McClain's RBI single. Gross stroked a base hit to right center with one out, moved into scoring position on a wild pitch and landed on third on Ford Wilson's grounder to short. McClain, who was 2-for-4 at the dish, laced a shot through the left side plating Gross for the games first run.
Tubbs put the Tigers up 2-0 in the fourth on a solo home run to left center with two outs.
ECU finally scratched across a couple of runs in the fifth tying the game at two. Zach Wright singled to start the inning and took second when Thomas bobbled the ball in right field. Jack Reinheimer followed with an infield single behind second base pushing across Wright for the Pirates first run. Philip Clark kept the inning going with a two-out single and Timothy Younger followed with a single to right field scoring Reinheimer from second base.
Memphis would tack on an insurance run in the bottom half of the eighth on Thomas' third home run of the season, a solo shot to left center.
Offensively for the Pirates, Reinheimer, Wright and Younger each collected two hits, while Memphis had four players with multiple base knocks.