Memphis Rolls In C-USA Opener

A two-out, two-run home run by Adam Amar in the top of the first inning got the scoring started for No. 5 Memphis and the Tigers added three more long balls on Wednesday morning to down No. 4 Houston, 12-4, in the first game of the 2007 C-USA Baseball Championship at Clark-LeClair Stadium on the campus of East Carolina University. Amar finished the day 3-for-5 with two home runs and a team-high five RBI.

The Tigers finished the day with 19 hits, tying a season-high. The team also banged out 19 hits against the Cougars on May 12. Six players finished the game with at least two hits, led by Josh Irvin’s 4-for-4 performance. The four Memphis home runs on the day also tied a season high.

Irvin extended the Memphis lead to 5-0 in the top of the third with a three-run home run. The blast was his fourth of the season and he now has 39 RBI on the year.

The Cougars worked their way back into the game for a brief moment with back-to-back home runs to open the bottom of the third inning. The first came from designated hitter Chris Joseph, who hit a deep drive to left for his first home run of the season. Two pitches later, second baseman Ryan Lormand went deep to nearly the same spot in left field to close the Tiger lead to 5-2.

After scoring a single run in both the fourth and fifth innings, U of M tacked on three more runs in the sixth. Michael Murray started the inning off with his fourth home run on the year and two batters later, Amar hit his second home run of the game. Murray’s blast extended his hitting streak to 16 games.

The Tigers added runs in the seventh and ninth innings, while the Cougars scratched out single runs in the eighth and ninth for the final margin.

The six home runs tied the championship record for combined home runs hit in a single game and the Tigers’ 12 runs were the most runs scored in an opening game of the C-USA Championship.

Aaron Brown took the loss for the Cougars, only lasting 2.1 innings, while giving up five earned runs. Barry Laird and Shea Hancock both pitched three innings each for the Cougars, with Hancock fanning seven.

Brennon Martin tossed his first career complete game and improved to 4-1 with the win. The freshman scattered nine hits and struck out two, while walking only two.

Memphis advances to face the winner of Wednesday’s second game between UCF and Rice at 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, while Houston will play in Thursday’s first game at 9 a.m. against the loser of game two.