March 25, 2008
PEARL, Miss -
Southern Miss scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to force the game into extra frames and Corey Stevens hit a walk off solo home run to dead centerfield to lead Southern Miss over No 15 Ole Miss 3-2 in front of 4,785 fans at Trustmark Park.
Stevens blasted the first pitch of his at bat off Ole Miss reliever Justin Cryer into the batters eye in dead centerfield, a shot well over 400 feet.
"This was an outstanding college baseball game tonight," head coach Corky Palmer said. "For us to tie the game in the ninth on one of the best closers in the nation who has unbelievable numbers is a huge feat, I think we really set the tone in the eighth inning for the rallied in the ninth."
The win was also Corky Palmer's 800th collegiate win in his career.
Josh Billeaud had a solid outing on the mound for the Golden Eagles, throwing seven and a third innings, scattering six hits and allowing two runs, though only one was earned. He also struck out four and walked three in his first mid-week start of the season.
Wade Weathers made his team leading 11th appearance of the season and was outstanding out of the bullpen for South Miss bullpen throwing two and a third innings allowing only one hit and striking out five.
"Both Weathers and Billeaud threw great tonight, this was a good team win tonight," Palmer added.
The Rebels struck for the games first run in the top of the second. Left fielder Logan Power doubled to left-center field to lead off the inning, went to third on a sacrifice bunt and came in to score on a ground ball RBI by Tim Ferguson.
Southern Miss had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth, Keith Winstead singled up the middle and Corey Stevens executed a hit and run perfectly putting runners at first and third with one out, however Michael Ewing and Josh Fields both went down on strikes to end the threat
Ole Miss added their second run of the game in the top of the sixth inning. Cody Overbeck singled and advanced to second on an overthrown pickoff attempt. Matt Smith picked up the RBI single, scoring Overbeck on an unearned run, making the score 2-0.
The Golden Eagles had another opportunity to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth inning as Trey Sutton led off the inning with a double down the left field line and Brian Dozier followed with a four pitch walk. Ole Miss then turned to their ace closer Scott Bittle who struck out Kyle Maxie and Keith Winstead before issuing a walk to Corey Stevens.
Drew Carson entered the game as a pinch hitter for Michael Ewing and hit a ground ball that appeared to be heading into the outfield for a single but a diving stop by Ole Miss shortstop Tim Ferguson and flip to force out Stevens at second base ended the rally.
Southern Miss was able to tie the game and force extra innings in the bottom of the ninth inning as Chris Matesich and Bo Davis both drew walks to start the inning. James Ewing singled on a bunt to load the bases with no one out. Trey Sutton hit a RBI ground ball to first base scoring Matesich. Brian Dozier followed with a attempted safety squeeze and popped up the bunt for the second out of the inning.
Bittle uncorked a wild pitch to score Davis from third and tie the game at two and Kyle Maxie struck out to end the innings with the winning run left on third base.
In the top of the tenth Wade Weathers struck out the first two Rebel hitters and forced what he thought was an inning ending ground ball but Chris Matesich made a throwing error to extend the inning for the Rebels. Logan Power followed with a single, the first hit that Weathers allowed in the game and Palmer wasted no time going to Closer Tyler Conn.
Conn struck out Logan Power on four pitches to end the inning. Setting the stage for Stevens dramatic home run in the bottom of the tenth inning.
Southern Miss will return to C-USA action this weekend as they travel to No. 11 Rice for a three game series beginning Friday.