Baseball Swept by Southern Miss, Fall 9-7 in Series Final
April 3, 2005
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
Southern Miss (21-5; 6-2 C-USA) 022 000 302 - 9 14 2 MEMPHIS (8-16; 2-6 C-USA) 300 003 100 - 7 13 1
Brad Willcutt smashed a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to give Southern Miss a 9-7 win over Memphis in the Conference USA series finale on Sunday. The Golden Eagles extend their winning streak to 10 games with the series sweep. The loss was Memphis' fourth straight, matching a season-long streak.
Despite the final result, it was Memphis that got out of the gates quickly, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. Three doubles, the first coming from leadoff hitter Jordan Tolliver, fueled the four-hit inning. Chris Newsom drew a walk after Tolliver, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch by USM starter Patrick Ezell. With runners on second and third, Ryan Martin roped a double to the gap in left center to give the Tigers an early 2-0 lead. Adam Amar followed with a run -scoring double of his own to put Memphis up 3-0.
After a four-pitch first inning, Memphis pitcher Stephen Gostkowski ran into trouble, giving up a two-run home run to Golden Eagles catcher Kevin Coker in the second. USM tied the contest in the third inning on an RBI-triple by Beau Griffin, and then took a 4-3 lead on a run-scoring ground out by David Steele.
But Memphis continued to battle and hung three runs on the board in the home half of the sixth to take a 6-4 lead. A double off the base of the centerfield wall by Robbie Goss followed a single by Amar. Pat Hope then knocked Amar in on an infield single. Golden Eagle shortstop and Germantown native, Chris Matesich fielded the ball cleanly in the hole, but made an errant throw to first, allowing Goss to score on the play and Hope to move to second. Cory Barton grounded into a double play to bring Hope in.
The lead was short-lived as USM responded with three runs of their own in the next half inning. Jody Blount led the frame off with a solo homer to left. After a Southern Miss single and walk, a throwing error by the Tigers gave USM its game-tying sixth run. An RBI-single by Jason Lowery gave the Golden Eagles a 7-6 lead.
Memphis answered back to tie the game at 7-7, with a run in the seventh on Hope's first homer of the season and second of his Tiger career.
Hope led Memphis' offensive with a 2-for-4 day and a pair of RBI. Tolliver, Newsom, Amar and Goss also recorded two hits for the Tigers. Lowery and Griffin led the Golden Eagles with three hits each. Two other USM hitters finished with multiple hits.
Drew Jaudon suffered his first loss of the season, going two innings and giving up three runs. USM closer Daniel Best was the winning hurler.
Memphis will try look to get back on the winning track in its next game, an Apr. 6 matchup with UT-Martin. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at Nat Buring Stadium.