March 21, 2004
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Ryan Frith's single in the bottom of the ninth to lift 18th-ranked Southern Miss to a 4-3 win over the University of Houston baseball team Sunday in the finale of a Conference USA series at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
UH had jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first two-and-a-half innings before USM chipped away and tied the game in the bottom of the eighth on Jason Lowery's two-out RBI-single.
In the ninth inning, Marc Maddox reached on a one-out single and moved to second on a wild pitch. After an intentional pass to Jarrett Hoffpauir, Frith blasted a line drive into right center to score Maddox and send more of the 2,683 fans in attendance into hysteria.
UH reliever Kevin Roberts collected the loss after giving up a run off two hits with a strikeout in 0.1 innings. USM reliever Austin Tubb improved to 4-0 after pitching a shutout ninth inning.
Roberts and shortstop Patrick Gaylord each rapped out three hits to lead the Cougar offense, which outhit USM 12-11. Travis Tully and Patrick Breen also added a pair of hits apiece in the losing effort.
Maddox led the Golden Eagles, batting 3-for-4 with a run. Hoffpauir, Carlos Velasquez and Lowery also added two hits for USM.
The Cougars continue their season at 7 p.m., Friday when they meet Texas Tech at First American Bank Ballpark in Midland, Texas. UH will have revenge on its mind after the Red Raiders took a 12-7 win in 11 innings on Feb. 14 during the Minute Maid Park College Classic.
The game can be heard live on KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com with 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.
The Cougars grabbed the lead in their first at-bat, thanks to two hits and a USM error. After Tully and Roberts led off with back-to-back singles, Brett Cooley loaded the bases when his fly ball into center field was misplayed. Rob Johnson then grounded into a double play, allowing Tully to score from third and give the Cougars a 1-0 lead.
UH struck for a pair of runs in the third inning. Gaylord slapped a single up the middle to lead off and Tully drew a walk to put runners on second and third. After Roberts laid down a bunt single to load the bases and a flyout, Johnson reached on a fielder's choice that scored Gaylord from third. Patrick Breen then slapped an RBI-single into right field to score Tully and give the Cougars a 3-0 lead.
In the third inning, USM cut into that lead when Hoffpauir's RBI-single single into right field score Matt Shepherd from second base. One inning later, the Golden Eagles made it a one-run game when Lowery's RBI-single up the middle plated Velasquez, who led off the frame with a double to right center.
The score remained that way until the bottom of the eighth inning when USM knotted the game at 3-3 on Lowery's RBI-single up the middle.