May 4, 2012
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. ---- Memphis scored five times in the first inning and received seven shutout innings from starter Ryan Langfield as the Tigers defeated UAB, 8-1, on Friday night at FedExPark.
The loss dropped UAB to 26-21 overall and 7-9 in league play, while Memphis improved to 21-24 and 9-10 in Conference USA action.
Memphis native, Harry Clark, finished 2-for-3 in his hometown to pace the Blazer offense, posting his seventh multi-hit game of the season.
On the Memphis mound, Langfield (6-6) tied a season-high with 11 strikeouts, scattering six hits and walked only one batter to even up his record on the season.
Things started off rocky for starter Dillon Napoleon (4-3) in the bottom half of the first, as the first three batters in the Memphis lineup reached base. Cleanup hitter Eli Hynes stepped in with the bases loaded and started the big inning for the Tigers by roping a RBI single to plate the first run of the ball game. The next batter, Derrick Thomas, laced a base hit to left, which appeared would score two more runs.
Unfortunately for the Blazers, the ball was misplayed in the outfield and rolled all the way to wall, opening the flood gates allowing four runs to come home on the play for a five-run first frame.
“It’s tough to learn a new arm slot in a week. But, if you going to be able to use it, like we did with Napoleon, you have to try,” head coach Brian Shoop said. “It was tough to dig a hole and be down five when you are facing a possible third round pick (in Langfield), who is very, very good.”
An inning later, UM tacked on a run when Jacob Wilson launched his first of two homers in the ball game, a solo shot, extending the home squad’s lead to 6-0.
Napoleon, though, would settle down after a tough first, and only allowed a pair of Wilson long balls over the next five innings. He induced nine ground outs and seven fly outs, while walking a pair and striking out one in the loss.
Despite the impressive strikeout total from Langfield, the Blazers had chances to score, but were unable to take control of their scoring opportunities.
“When you are facing a good arm, you’re not going to have a ton of chances, but you’re going to have some and you’ve got to come through in those times. Tonight we didn’t take advantage of those situations,” Shoop said.
After stranding a pair of base runners in the fourth, UAB loaded the bases with one out in the fifth. Tanner Bryant and Clark hit consecutive singles and Ryan Prinzing walked to put a Blazer on each base. Langfield geared up and forced a pop out in foul territory to the catcher and a fly out to center to keep UAB off the scoreboard.
In the ninth, UAB broke up the shutout bid, when Frost knocked in the lone Blazer run of the night.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday at FedExPark, with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. CT.