Southern Miss Knocks Baseball into Losers' Bracket at C-USA Tournament
May 22, 2003
NEW ORLEANS - Southern Mississippi pounded out 17 hits on the way to a 7-2 win over the University of Houston baseball team in the second round of the 2003 Conference USA Tournament at Turchin Stadium in New Orleans.
With the loss, the Cougars were knocked into the losers' bracket to face No. 5 seed East Carolina at 3 p.m., Friday in an elimination game. UH opened the 2003 C-USA Tournament with a 2-1 win in the first round Wednesday against ECU, which was a come-from-behind 8-5 winner over No. 8 Charlotte on Thursday morning.
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.
All but one USM starter recorded at least one hit in the game with four of those - Matt Shepherd, Jeff Cook, Jason Lowery and Beau Griffin - smashing at least three hits apiece. Shepherd went 4-for-5 with a run and RBI to lead the way, while Cook batted 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Lowery and Griffin each went 3-for-5 with a run and RBI to pace the Golden Eagles.
USM starter Cliff Russum improved to 7-5 after scattering one run off four hits with a strikeout in seven innings of work. Reliever Austin Tubb recorded his team-leading ninth save after pitching 1.2 innings of shutout relief with three strikeouts.
UH starter Danny Zell dropped to 8-5 after allowing six runs off 14 hits with four strikeouts in a career-best-tying 7.1 innings of work. The Cypress, Texas, native threw 7.1 innings against Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 28 earlier this season.
Michael Bourn batted 3-for-4 with a run and stolen base to lead the Cougar offense, which was outhit 17-5 in the game. Brian Martin went 2-for-3, and Hyung Cho tied a UH single-game record with two sacrifice flies in the losing effort.
UH struck for the game's first run in its first at-bat. After leading off with a single up the middle, Bourn swiped second base - his team-leading 20th of the year - to move into scoring position. He moved up one more base on an infield groundout and gave the Cougars an early 1-0 lead on Cho's sacrifice fly to center field.
USM took the lead in the third inning with three runs. After loading the bases on three straight hits from Griffin, Shepherd and Marc Maddox, Cook plated the first two runners with a double down the left field line. Brad Willcutt followed with an infield groundout that scored Maddox and handed the Golden Eagles a 3-1 lead.
The Golden Eagles pushed their advantage to four runs in the sixth inning on Griffin's RBI-single to center field.
USM put the game away in the eighth inning with two more runs on Shepherd's RBI-single and a Cougar wild pitch that allowed Jason Lowery to score from third with two outs.
The Cougars put another run across in the eighth inning. After a walk to Stuart Musslewhite, Bourn's third hit of the game and a walk to Travis Tully loaded the bases, Cho lifted a sacrifice fly off Tubb. However, that would be as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the way.
Jason Lowery slapped an RBI-single up the middle to score Jarrett Hoffpauir in the top of the ninth for the final margin of victory.