Feb. 17, 2006
MOBILE, Ala. - With runners on first and third base and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Southern Miss' Marc Maddox stopped pinch hitter's Brian Spear's grounder, threw to second baseman Trey Sutton, who turned the double play to stop a Wichita State rally, giving the Golden Eagles a 6-5 victory over the Shockers, today, at Stanky Field in the first game of the Coca-Cola Classic hosted by South Alabama.
"I am proud of our players for the way they fought and held on for the win in today's game," Southern Miss Head Coach Corky Palmer said. "Marc was down on himself after making the two errors but it was great to see him make a tremendous play when he had to. I am also proud of our freshman, they played well today. We definitely played better today than we did on Wednesday. It was a good win today, but we still have two more games to go this weekend."
With the win, Corky Palmer won his 300th game at Southern Miss and overall as a head coach. He won 409 games in 10 years as the head coach at Meridian Community College.
"It feels good to win 300 games as the head coach at Southern Miss," Palmer said. "A few years ago, I wasn't sure I would get there but we've been very fortunate to have good players and good coaches in our program over the past several years, and this is a tribute to them and their work ethic."
Southern Miss was leading 6-2 at the top of the eighth inning when WSU's Derek Schermerhorn hit a one-out single to center field and moved to second on a wild pitch by Massey. Connor Gillespie walked, before Matt Brown's hard grounder got by Maddox to allow the first run to score, cutting the Golden Eagle lead to three runs.
Then a two-run single through the left side by Tyler Hill scored Gillespie and Brown, pulling the Shockers to within one run. Maddox then made his second error of the inning on a throw off of Brandon Hill's grounder to set up the double play ground ball by Spear.
Scott Massey (1-0) won in his first start this season, pitching 7.1 innings, giving up four runs on 10 hits, walking two and striking out two. Daniel Best (2) picked up his second save in as many games, pitching the final 1.2 innings, giving up one hit and striking out one. Wichita State starter Travis Banwart (1-1) dropped his first decision of the season, giving up six runs in 2.2 innings on eight hits, walking one and striking out two.
Southern Miss (2-0) finished with six runs on 11 hits and committed two errors, while Wichita State (4-2) finished with five runs on 11 hits.
Toddric Johnson, Maddox and Coker led the Golden Eagles with two hits each, and freshmen Michael Ewing and Brian Dozier each had two RBIs.
The Golden Eagles took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. Maddox hit a two-out single to center, advanced to third on Trey Cuevas' single down the left field line and then scored on Kevin Coker's single to left field.
Southern Miss exploded for five runs in the third inning to take a 6-0 lead. Maddox reached on a two-out infield single to short, advanced to second when Cuevas was hit by a pitch and third on Coker's infield single to short. Freshman Michael Ewing hit a single to left field to score Maddox and Cuevas. Bo Davis singed through the left side to drive in Coker. David Steele walked before Brian Dozier singled through the left side to drive in both Ewing and Davis.
Wichita State scored two runs in the sixth inning to cut the lead to 6-2 on Matt Brown's two-run homer to right field.
Wichita State faces South Alabama on Saturday at 1 p.m., while Southern Miss faces Stetson on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.