• 73°
franklin county times

Southern U. surprises USM

By By Shawn Wansley/EMG sports writer
May 31, 2003
HATTIESBURG Southern Mississippi suffered through a long Day and a lot of Weeks all in the same afternoon here Friday at Pete Taylor Park before 4,236 sun-drenched baseball fans.
Jackson native Duwon Day stifled the Golden Eagles on three hits through 8.2 innings and All-American second baseman Richie Weeks laced a two-run homer and drove in three runs to give the Southern University Jaguars a stunning 5-3 victory in the opening round of the NCAA Hattiesburg Regional.
The victory pushes the third-seeded Jaguars, 47-5, into the winner's bracket of the regional where they will meet the winner of Friday's late game between top-seeded Baylor and No. 4 seed Murray State today at 3.
Southern Miss, 45-15, falls into the loser's bracket and will play this morning at 11 vs. the Baylor/Murray State loser. If the Golden Eagles win that game, they would play tonight at 7 against the loser of the 3 p.m. contest.
Day, who prepped at Madison Central and attended Jackson State University before transferring to Southern U., was thrilled about the victory.
Day did not baffle the Eagles. In fact, he only had one strikeout on the afternoon.
Southern Miss wasted a solid effort from starter Bob McCrory, who got the first five outs by strikeouts and finished with 10 strikeouts in six innings. He allowed only four hits, but was charged with the loss.
The Golden Eagles got on the board first in the bottom of the third. Jason Lowery led off with a double to left-center. Beau Griffin's fly ball to right advanced Lowery to third, who then scored on Matt Shepherd's ground out.
The Jaguars answered in the fourth.
Former Meridian Community College standout Antoin Gray led off with a single to left. Weeks was hit by a pitch. After a strikeout, Andrew Toussant flied out to right, advancing Gray to third. Weeks then stole second and the throw by catcher Brad Willcutt sailed into center field, allowing Gray to score and tie it up.
The Golden Eagles committed four errors on the day, leading to a pair of unearned runs.
Southern Miss regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth when Jeff Cook led off by being hit by a pitch, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Clint King's grounder to first.
But Southern U. took the lead for good in the fifth with a two-run, two-out
rally. Alfred Ard reached on a fielder's choice and scored all the way from
first on Brandon Marsh's double into the left field corner. After Gray
reached on an error, Weeks blooped an RBI single to right, scoring Mason and
making it 3-2.
The Southwestern Athletic Conference champions then turned to their standout Weeks in the seventh.
Mason led off with a walk and Gray reached on a fielder's choice. Weeks then laced a line drive home run just over the wall in center, giving the Jaguars
a 5-2 lead.
Antonelli. "I just used my hands."
Southern Miss took advantage of two Jaguar errors in the seventh to score
their final run.
Jarrett Hoffpauir led off with a single. After Lowery fouled out, Griffin
hit a grounder to third baseman Gray. He threw the ball away at second, trying to force Hoffpauir. The ball then rolled under the glove of rightfielder Marcus Townsend II, allowing Hoffpauir to score. But Day got a couple of groundouts to shortstop Fernando Puebla to end the inning.
The Golden Eagles got the tying runs on base in the ninth. With one out, Hoffpauir drew a walk. Lowery then field out to right and pinch-hitter Carlos Velasquez drew another walk.
Jaguar coach Roger Cador then went to the bullpen and brought in Damian
Ursin. Leadoff batter Matt Shepherd worked the count full, but took a called
third strike to end the game.
Day improved to 10-0, while Ursin recorded his seventh save. McCrory drops to 10-4.

x