Baseball Downed 5-3 in Regular-Season Finale, Finish Third in C-USA
May 22, 2010
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -
Memphis (27-28; 12-12 C-USA) 020 000 001 - 3 5 0 No. 29 Southern Miss (32-21; 14-10 C-USA) 000 221 00x - 5 12 3
The pitching duo of Todd McInnis and Collin Cargill held the Memphis offense to just five hits as No. 29 Southern Miss claimed a series win via a 5-3 decision over the Tigers on Saturday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park. The U of M finishes third in the C-USA standings with a 27-28 overall mark and a 12-12 record in C-USA action. USM (32-21; 14-10 C-USA) claims the No. 2 seed in next week's league tournament.
Memphis earned its bid to the C-USA Championship in Houston next week with a 10-8 win in game two of the series earlier today. The Tigers will make their first C-USA Championship appearance since 2007 when they finished as the No. 4 seed and defeated Rice en route to their second-straight C-USA Tournament semifinal appearance. Memphis went on to play in the NCAA Tournament that year. Game two's win combined with other results around the league on Saturday, give the Tigers their highest-ever finish in C-USA play. The previous best finish came in 2006, when Memphis entered the league's postseason field as the No. 4 seed.
McInnis quieted the Memphis offense to the tune of just two runs on three hits in 6.2 innings. Both runs were unearned and came in the second inning--the Tiger's only scoring inning. McInnis overcame three errors in the second and faced the minimum over the next 4.1 innings. He handed the ball over to closer Cargill and the righthander gave up one unearned run over the final 2.1 innings of play to secure his ninth save of the year.
Memphis led 2-0 through three-and-a half innings, but consecutive singles by Mark Ellis and Dillon Day cut the lead in half and got the USM offense rolling. Ellis stole second and scored on Day's single and Day advanced to second on a wild pitch before tying the tilt at 2-2 on a double by Tyler Koelling.
Southern Miss took a 4-2 lead in the fifth on a two-run blast to rightfield off the bat of Adam Doleac. Kameron Brunty's single in the sixth made it 5-2.
Memphis started a rally in the ninth when Chad Zurcher and Tyler Huelsing singled to lead off the inning. But Cargill induced a rally-quieting double play. Huelsing later scored on an infield error for the 5-3 final.
Ryan Holland was saddled with the loss and drops to 1-5 on the year after surrendering five runs on 10 hits in 5.1 innings. He struck out three. His fifth-inning strikeout of Dillon Day marked a program single-season record 436th strikeout. Ben Paullus finished the game with 2.2 scoreless innings. He fanned two.
Memphis will now prepare for the 2010 C-USA Championships, to be held at the University of Houston, May 26-30. The Tigers will matchup against Southern Miss, in the first game of the tournament, on May 26 at 11 a.m. at Cougar Field. Tiger 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.