March 19, 2004
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Marc Maddox clubbed a pair of home runs to help lead 18th-ranked Southern Miss to an 8-3 win over the University of Houston baseball team Friday during the first game of a Conference USA series at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field in Hattiesburg, Miss.
The Golden Eagles (16-2, 1-0 C-USA) outhit the Cougars 10-7 with half of that total going for extra bases. Maddox led all players, batting 2-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs Ryan Frith also went 3-for-4 with two runs, a home run and RBI.
UH starter Brett Cooley dropped to 1-2 after allowing six runs off seven hits with five strikeouts in 5.1 innings. USM starter Anthony DeWitt improved to 4-0 after holding the Cougars to only three runs (one earned) off seven hits with four strikeouts in six innings.
The Cougars continue the series at 3 p.m., Saturday at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field. The game can be heard live on KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com with C.B. Devoy and Pat Cauley calling the action. Fans also can follow the action through live stats by clicking on the Gametracker at the bottom of the main page at www.UHCougars.com.
Freshman righthander Shea Hancock (0-1, 2.87) is expected to make the start for the Cougars with Southern Miss slated to start righthander Cliff Russum (4-0, 0.64).
The Golden Eagles grabbed a lead in their first at-bat on Maddox's solo home run to left field.
Two innings later, USM pushed its advantage on 3-0 when Matt Shepherd laced a triple down the left field line to score Beau Griffin, and Maddox homered again with a two-run blast down the left field line.
In the top of the fourth, the Cougars took advantage of three hits and an error to score their first two runs. Johnson slapped a single up the middle and moved all the way to third base on Breen's double to left center.
The Cougars pulled to within a run in the fifth inning with a two-out rally. After Cooley drew a walk, Johnson laced a single down the right field line to put runners at first and third. Patrick Breen then smashed a single to right field to score Cooley and put the score at 4-3 USM.
However, the Golden Eagles pushed their lead to two runs in the next half inning when Matt Shepherd scored from third on a wild pitch.
In the sixth inning, Jason Lowery slapped an RBI-single up the middle to score Ryan Frith, who led off with a double off the center field wall.
Frith added a solo home run and Beau Griffin smashed an RBI-single in the eighth inning for the final margin of victory.