ORLANDO, Fla. – Chase Joiner tossed a complete-game shutout and Memphis (20-24, 8-10) topped No. 7 UCF (35-10, 13-5) 1-0 to win the series at Jay Bergman Field on Sunday.
UCF threatened to score early as a leadoff walk and stolen base by Ronnie Richardson put a runner at second with no outs. Two fly outs had the runner on second with two outs and an infield single put runners on the corners. Memphis starter Chase Joiner got out of the jam with a ground out to third.
In the second, JoMarcos Woods led it off with a single for the Knights. He later stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Joiner once again avoided trouble as he stranded Woods on third following a fly out to end in the inning.
Memphis collected two hits in the first three innings, but a leadoff double by Ethan Gross in the fourth put pressure on the Knights. T.J. Rich was hit by a pitch to put two on with no outs and a sac bunt by Tucker Tubbs moved both runners to scoring position. A fly out to shallow center and a strike out looking ended the inning as UCF starter Brian Adkins escaped the jam.
Derrick Thomas delivered the clutch two-out RBI in the Tigers win on Saturday and the redshirt-sophomore repeated the feat to give Memphis a 1-0 lead in Sunday’s game. Adam McClain hit a one-out double to left and scored on the RBI single by Thomas. Ford Wilson was hit by a pitch to start the eighth and he moved to third on two-straight groundouts. Eli Hynes, who was 2-for-3 in his first three at-bats, flew out to right and Adkins again escaped trouble with runners in scoring position.
Joiner retired 14-of-15 batters following the third inning jam, only allowing a two-out walk in the seventh. Ronnie Richardson doubled off the left field wall with one out in the eighth to spark the UCF offense. A fly out was tracked down by McClain in left field and Rich fielded a grounder and stepped on first to strand Richardson at second.
Alex Friedrich dropped a one-out double in left field and a grounder to first moved the tying run to third. Joiner faced Jeramy Matos with the complete-game shutout on the line and Joiner forced a groundout to end the game.
For Joiner, it was his second complete-game shutout this season and fifth complete game for the Tiger pitching staff this season. Joiner allowed five hits over nine innings and struck out four. Hynes and Gross paced the Memphis offense and the Tigers out-hit UCF 8-5.
The series win at No. 7 UCF marked the first series win for the Tigers over a top-15 club since the 1988 club won two-of-three at Florida State. The series win is the first for the U of M program against a top-10 program since the Tigers took two-of-three from No. 8 Ole Miss in 1972 (based on final rankings).