Senior catcher Kevin Coker hit his first home run of the season against Memphis on Saturday.
April 1, 2006
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - With Daniel Best on the mound in the ninth inning with only one out and attempting to hold onto an 8-7 lead, he struck out Michael Murray and forced Chris Newsom to ground out to seal the victory for Southern Miss over Memphis in game two of the weekend series at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field in front of a crowd of 3,623.
Memphis scored two runs in the ninth inning to cut the Southern Miss lead to one, 8-7 before Best retired the final batters. Will Petersen reached on an infield single and moved to second on Kyle Norrid's single to left center. Adam Amar walked to move Petersen to third and Norrid to second for Josh Irvin, who hit a two-run RBI double to left center field to score both Petersen and Norrid.
Southern Miss (21-8, 4-1 C-USA) scored eight runs on 10 hits and committed two errors, while Memphis (13-13, 2-3 C-USA) scored seven runs on 13 hits and committed three errors.
Daniel Best (3-1) earned the win for the Golden Eagles, pitching three innings, giving up two runs on three hits, striking out five and walking one. Starting pitcher David Clark lasted six innings, giving up five runs, four earned, striking out five and walking three. Drew Jaudon (2-1) took the loss for the Tigers, pitching two innings, giving up three runs on three hits and striking out one.
"I thought, mentally, we played a lot better and didn't make any mistakes," Head Coach Corky Palmer said. "Memphis played with a lot of determination, but we did too, and it ended up being a good win for us. Best pitched well, but we can't continue to bring him in the seventh inning, and we have to learn to count on someone else to win a close game."
Memphis' offense was led by Norrid, who had four hits, two doubles and two RBIs, while Amar added three hits and one RBI.
Memphis scored two runs in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Petersen reached base on catcher's interference and moved to third on Bill Moss' double to right field. With runners on first and third, Norrid hit a two-RBI double down the left field line, scoring both Petersen and Moss.
The Tigers scored another run in the top of the second inning to build a 3-0 lead. Ben Grisham reached base on a fielder's choice, advanced to second on a walk by Cory Barton, moved to third when K.K. Chalmers was hit by a pitch and scored when Petersen reached base on a fielder's choice.
Southern Miss scored its first runs of the game in the bottom of the second inning, notching three runs to tie the game at 3-3. Marc Maddox led off the inning with a single through the left side before Coker slammed a two-run shot over the left field wall. After Jody Blount's groundout to third base, Patrick Maxwell hit a solo homer to left field.
The Golden Eagles took their first lead of the game, 4-3, in the third inning. Brian Dozier singled to second base, moved to second on Toddric Johnson's single up the middle, advanced to third when Maddox was hit by a pitch and scored on Michael Ewing's sacrifice fly to center field.
Memphis responded with a run in the top of the fourth inning to tie the game for the second time, 4-4. Grisham doubled down the left field line to begin the inning, moved to third on Barton's groundout to Clark and scored on Chalmer's groundout to second base.
Southern Miss scored a run in the fourth inning to retake the lead, 5-4. Chris Matesich walked, moved to third on Adkins' single to right field and scored on Dozier's fly out to right center field.
Memphis tied the game for the third time in the seventh inning when the Tigers scored a run to make the score 5-5. Norrid doubled to center field and scored on Amar's RBI single up the middle.
The Golden Eagles again took the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring three runs to give Southern Miss an 8-5 advantage. Blount reached base on a fielding error by shortstop Michael Murray and moved to second when Maxwell reached base on a fielder's choice. Matesich reached base on a throwing error by second baseman Moss, which also advanced Maxwell to second and scored Blount. With runners on first and second, Adkins delivered a two-run RBI double to left center field that scored Maxwell and Matesich.
Southern Miss and Memphis return for the final game of the series on Sunday, with first pitch set for a 1 p.m. start.
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