May 15, 2003
HOUSTON - Jeff Cook went 3-for-5 with two home runs, four runs and four RBIs to help lead 17th-ranked Southern Mississippi to a 19-11 win over the University of Houston baseball team on Thursday in the opener of a Conference USA series at Cougar Field.
The Golden Eagles, who clinched at least a share of the C-USA regular-season championship with the win, jumped out to a 19-0 lead after six innings and then held off a late Cougar rally to win the contest. USM broke the game wide open in the fourth inning, batting around twice on the way to 12 runs in the frame.
However, the Cougars would not go quietly into the night and scored 10 runs of their own in the seventh inning and a single run in the ninth before being retired.
With the loss, the Cougars dropped to 30-24 overall and 17-11 in C-USA play to fall into a tie for fourth place with East Carolina, which was an 8-7 winner at Tulane on Thursday.
The series continues at 7 p.m., Friday before wrapping up at 1 p.m., Saturday. Fans can catch the action on KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com with pregame slated to begin about 15 minutes before the first pitch. Fans can also catch the action batter-by-batter by visiting www.UHcougars.com and clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the Daily Calendar at the bottom of the main page.
UH sophomore righthander Garrett Mock (4-3, 3.75) will take the hill for the Cougars with Southern Miss slated to throw righthander Anthony DeWitt (8-1, 3.28).
The Golden Eagles (40-13, 22-6 C-USA) broke the game open early with five runs in the first inning, thanks to a two-run homer from and a three-run shot by Jarrett Hoffpauir. Cook struck again in the second inning with a solo blast over the center field wall for a 6-0 USM lead.
USM then took control of the game in the fourth inning, sending 18 batters to the plate on the way to score 12 runs off eight hits and two Cougar errors. Each of the first 12 USM batters in the fourth inning scored to give the Golden Eagles a dominating 19-0 lead.
The scored remained that way until the seventh inning when the Cougars exploded with 10 runs off seven hits and a pair of USM errors. Thanos Papavasiliou provided the big blast with a three-run homer to center field and Sam Mitchell added a solo shot to left field to cut into the USM lead.
In the ninth, the Cougars again rallied and had the bases loaded with no outs when Hyung Cho scored on an infield groundout. However, USM reliever Austin Tubb forced a game-ending double play to end the contest after three-and-a-half hours.
Pitching in possibly his last game at Cougar Field, UH starter Brad Sullivan collected the loss after giving up eight runs off seven hits with only two strikeouts in three innings of work. The junior righthander dropped to 6-6 with the loss and remained only three strikeouts away from becoming the first UH hurler and only the second C-USA pitcher to reach the 400-strikeout milestone.
USM starter Bob McCrory improved to 9-2 after holding the Cougars to only three runs (two earned) off nine hits with three strikeouts in 6.1 innings.
All but one USM starter had at least one hit and at least one RBI. Marc Maddox batted 4-for-7 with three runs, while Clint King went 3-for-6 with a home run, three runs and two RBIs. Hoffpauir, Jason Lowery and Beau Griffin each added two hits for the Golden Eagles, who pounded out 19 hits.