USM shuts down Murray St.
By By Shawn Wansley/EMG sports writer
June 1, 2003
HATTIESBURG What a difference a day makes.
After putting up just three runs and three hits in a 5-3 loss to Southern University Friday, the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles surpassed that less than halfway through the first inning Saturday against the Murray State Thoroughbreds.
Southern Miss sent 13 batters to the plate, scored nine runs on six hits, and cruised to an 18-0 whipping of Murray State in an elimination game of the NCAA Hattiesburg Regional.
Southern Miss, 46-15, advanced to an elimination game Saturday night vs. the loser of Saturday afternoon's winner's bracket game between Baylor and Southern University.
Murray State ends its season at 25-31.
Hattiesburg sophomore Cliff Russum was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion, but he did not need much support. He tossed a six-hit shutout, striking out eight, and improving to 8-5 on the year.
Southern Miss leadoff batter Matt Shepherd walked to start the game and Marc Maddox followed with an RBI double into the left field corner.
It would be the first of 18 hits on the day for the Eagles and the rout was on from there.
Jeff Cook delivered an RBI single and Brad Willcutt drew a walk. Clint King then smashed an RBI single to right and Jarrett Hoffpauir followed with an RBI single to center to make it 5-0.
After Jason Lowery grounded out, former Meridian Community College standout Adam Smith drew a walk. Beau Griffin then drilled an RBI single to right. Shepherd then drew his second walk of the inning and Maddox followed with a two-run single to center. Cook's fly ball to deep center scored Shepherd. Willcutt popped out to second to end the inning, but the damage was down.
Southern Miss was the visitor in the game and occupied the first base dugout.
Shepherd smashed the Eagles' first home run of the tournament, a two-run blast to right-center in the fourth. Hoffpauir had a two-run shot in the seventh and Cook drilled his 22nd home run of the season, a two-run smash to right in the eighth.
Cook and Maddox ended the day with three hits and four RBIs each. Hoffpauir had two hits and three RBIs, while Shepherd had two hits and four runs scored. Lowery also had two hits.
Charlie Ward and Brett McCutchan had two hits each to lead Murray State.
Starting pitcher Craig Ringwald, 5-5, did not retire any of the six batters he faced and took the loss.