Making his first career start on Sunday, freshman Connor Alexander was superb for much of the afternoon, yielding two runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out four. The Bartlett, Tenn., native lasted six innings before giving way to the bullpen for what would be the game's final inning. The right-hander earned his first collegiate victory and improved to 1-0 on the year.
Senior Kane Barrow paced the offense by tying a career-high with three hits. The outfielder notched a triple, double and single in his first three at-bats and finished a home run shy of the cycle. Fellow senior Tucker Tubbs added a pair of RBI on the afternoon, giving the first basemen four for the weekend and eight on the season.
Memphis broke the scoring seal in the top of the second. Shortstop Jake Overbey led off the frame with a single through the right side and advanced to second on a slow rolling grounder to short. In his first at-bat of 2015, Tyler Dixon rifled a double down the right field line to score Overbey from second and stake the Tigers a 1-0 advantage.
Trouble brewed for Alexander in the top of the third after surrendering a one-out triple to Trent Leimkuehler. Braxton Martinez followed with a two-run shot over the wall in right to briefly give Saint Louis a 2-1 lead over the Blue and Gray. Alexander would settle into a groove following the home run, keeping Saint Louis off the scoreboard for the remainder of his outing.
With one out in the bottom of the third, Barrow belted a triple over the head of the centerfielder and cruised into third standing up. Tubbs followed with a productive groundout to score the Tigers' left fielder and tie the game at two.
The Tigers would take the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth following Barrow's third hit of the afternoon. Tubbs roped a double into the right-center gap to score Barrow easily from first after a bobble by the Billikens' cut-off man. Overbey singled two batters later to score Tubbs from second and give the Ole Miss transfer his second RBI with the Blue and Gray.
Memphis added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Brandon Montgomery lifted a 1-0 pitch into the alley for a double before Darien Tubbs reached after being plunked. A failed pickoff attempt at second allowed both runners to move up 90 feet when Carter White sent a towering fly ball into center for a sac fly and give the Tigers a 5-2 edge.
Saint Louis appeared as if it would cut into the Tigers' lead in the visitors half of the seventh. Alexander exited the game after throwing two-straight balls and suffering an injury. Ryan Garner surrendered a pair of walks before loading the bases on a bunt attempt. The southpaw elected to go to third on the play, but a low throw failed to produce an out. The Dyer, Tenn., native battled back to induce a shallow fly ball to center for the first out and picked up a big strikeout to cut down on the Billikens' scoring chances. Nolan Blackwood relieved the left hander and got a flyout to deep center for what turned out to be his third save of the season.
Saint Louis starter Connor Lehmann suffered the loss in the contest after giving up three runs over 4.1 innings.
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