Southern Miss Pitching Downs Memphis, 9-3
May 20, 2010
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -
Memphis (26-27; 11-11 C-USA) 010 200 000 - 3 8 3 No. 29 Southern Miss (31-20; 13-9 C-USA) 200 112 12x - 9 10 2
Southern Miss starter Scott Copeland improved to 9-0 on the year with a 106-pitch complete-game, 9-3 win over Memphis in the series opener at Pete Taylor Park on Thursday night.
Memphis did not help its C-USA Tournament chase as now with just two games remaining seven teams vie for the final four spots in next week's tournament. Southern Miss (31-20, 13-9 C-USA) locked up at least a tie for second with the win.
Copeland scattered eight hits and allowed Memphis to score just three runs (one earned), while striking out four. The righthander held the Tigers scoreless over the final five innings and induced double plays in each of the last three innings.
Memphis gave away 14 free bases on six walks, three hit batsmen, two errors, two wild pitches and a passed ball.
Southern Miss took advantage of a pair of freebies to get on the board in the first inning. Golden Eagles leadoff hitter Kameron Brunty worked a walked and Taylor Walker followed with a fielder's choice groundball. But the Tiger defense was unable to make the play on the grounder, allowing Brunty to advance to third. Reigning C-USA co-Hitter of the Week B.A Vollmuth made it 1-0 with a single through the right side and Mark Ellis plated Walker on an RBI-groundout.
Memphis quickly answered with a run in the second to cut its deficit in half, 2-1. Jacob Wilson collected the club's first hit of the night with an infield single. Adam McClain followed with a single up the middle to move Wilson to third. McClain's single extended his current career-long hit streak to 19 games. Wilson then scored on a wild pitch by Copeland--the USM hurler's lone earned run of the night.
A two-out infield error by the USM defense helped the Tigers cross two runs in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead. Rick Russell reached on a single to centerfield and, with two outs; Southern Miss misplayed a groundball off the bat of McClain. Shawn Ablett loaded the bases with an infield single and Derrick Thomas did not waste the RBI-opportunity. The freshman highlighted the inning with a lined two-run single through the left side to put the Tigers on top.
That lead was short-lived as the Golden Eagles came back with a run of its own to even the slate at 3-all. A walk to Dillon Day to lead off the bottom of the fourth resulted in a sac fly by Tyler Koelling.
The Golden Eagles were given their third leadoff free pass in the fifth when Fraser plunked Walker. Walker moved to second on a Vollmuth's third single of the evening and both runners were moved into scoring position on a sac bunt by Adam Doleac. Ellis then provided USM with the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to deep right centerfield.
An RBI-triple by Koelling highlighted a two-run sixth as the Golden Eagles extended their lead to 6-3.
Southern Miss made it a four-run game with a run in the seventh, and struck for two more--on a two-run single by Day--in the eight to put the contest away, 9-3.
Memphis starter Ryan Fraser struggled in his second consecutive series-opening start. The reigning C-USA Pitcher of the Week honoree, gave up six runs (four earned) on eight hits in 5.2 innings. He fanned two, walked six and hit a pair in a losing effort.
USM out hit Memphis 10-8 in the game. Wilson led the charge with two hits. Drew Martinez reached on an infield single in the seventh inning to extend his hit streak to 21-straight games.
The Tigers and Golden Eagles will face off in game two of the series tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m. Memphis baseball fans can listen to live coverage of the game. The "Voice" of Tiger Baseball, Jeff Brightwell will call the live play-by-play action on WUMR FM91.7.