Four AAC series wins
Two one-run games gave way to a 10-run mercy rule blowout as the Knights beat out Memphis to take a three-game series last weekend in Tennessee. The Knights took their fourth-straight American Athletic Conference series in the process, jacking their record to 22-15 overall and 10-2 in the conference.
Shortstop Tommy Williams blasted in three runs for the Knights on a three-run shot in the sixth inning, as the Knights added four of their 10 runs in one frame of the last game of the three-game series. Dylan Moore and Jordan Savinon added two RBI each to pad the already massive scoring gap. Meanwhile Ryan Meyer put together a two-hit shutout in 6 2/3 innings to bamboozle the Tigers and give himself a 3-0 record from the mound.
That decision was decidedly different from the game before, when the Knights won a nail-biter on two runs in the ninth to come back to beat Memphis. The Knights would use 18 position players and seven pitchers in that slugfest, with Tommy Williams coming through with another massive performance, knocking in four RBI on three singles, plus two stolen bases.
And for their efforts going 3-1 in the last four games, two players — Williams and pitcher Eric Skoglund — were awarded American Athletic Conference player of the week honors.
Team-wise the Knights are crushing the rest of the AAC in the standings, with their 10-2 conference record a full three games ahead of Louisville and five games ahead of USF.
Coming up for the Knights, three tough games are on the horizon after they played Florida A&M at press time Tuesday night. They’ll host Louisville for a three-game series starting at 6:30 p.m. April 17, then 6:30 p.m. April 18 and 11 a.m. April 19.
Nine straight losses have done the Tars no favors in the hunt for the Sunshine State Conference championship.
Six games into the streak they looked poised to finally shake it off with a wild 15-inning road game at Saint Leo. They used 15 batters in the process and sent designated hitter Matt Hendricks to the mound in the bizarre game. And Hendricks would deliver more than any other player, knocking in four runs and striking out four batters and giving up only two runs on two hits in 4 1/3 innings of work.
But despite plate heroics by several players, especially Christian Coburn’s 4-for-8 performance, it wasn’t enough, with the Tars putting in a wild two-run effort to tie it up in the ninth, but never scoring another run in the game.
Six full scoreless innings later, after the Tars left two stranded after Hendricks, as DH, was intentionally walked, the Tars watched a wild pitch sail to the backstop and let the winning run score.
The Tars (13-23, 1-17) return to Alfond Field at 6 p.m. April 17 against Florida Southern (26-13, 9-6), then 1 p.m. April 18 and 4 p.m. April 18.