May 17, 2001
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Southern Miss reeled off season highs in both hits and runs, routing South Florida, 18-5, in the second round of the FedEx Conference USA Tournament in New Orleans.
With the win, the Golden Eagles advanced to Saturday's semifinal round against the winner of the Louisville-South Florida second-round contest. First pitch for the game is scheduled for 9 a.m.
"I told the guys that we had to get one more win on Saturday," Southern Miss Head Coach Corky Palmer said. "If we make it Sunday, we just have to lay it all on the line."
Southern Miss scored 18 runs on 20 hits with no errors. South Florida scored five runs on 11 hits and had three errors.
Clint Stoy paced Southern Miss' 20-hit attack with a 4-for-5 performance with a double and four RBIs.
"We swung the bats well, and Stoy had some big hits to open the game up early," Palmer said. "It was a good game for us."
The Bulls took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Mike Barclay singled up the middle, moved to second on a wild pitch and then to third on a balk.
After Travis Brown struck out, Mike Macaluso singled to right field, plating Barclay from third. Ben Drawdy singled to left field, moving Macaluso to second. Myron Leslie grounded into a double play to third to end the inning.
However, Southern Miss scored three runs in the bottom of the third to take the 3-1 lead. With the score tied, 1-1, Stoy nailed a single to center field, plating Dusty Haley and Darren Welch.
In the fifth, the Golden Eagles put the game out of reach with a season-high eight runs in the fifth inning. In the inning, Southern Miss had six hits and benefitted from two Bulls' errors. After Jeff Cook led off with a single, the Golden Eagles scored four consecutive runs, keyed by Stoy's two-RBI single. With an 8-1 lead, Allen Winningham launched a two-run home run. Cook scored another run to finish out the inning.
South Florida cut into the lead with three runs in the sixth, but
Southern Miss scored two runs in the bottom of the inning and added
more in the seventh. The Bulls added one more run in the eighth.
"It is a good feeling to be in the position that we are in," Stoy said.
"We just have to do well on Saturday and get into the championship game and play for it all."
Shea Douglas (6-5) earned the win, allowing four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts. Stephen Castleman threw for two innings, allowing one run on two hits. Nathan Bowden pitched the final inning, giving up just one hit.
South Florida used five pitchers in the game, with starter John Vigue (7-4) taking the loss.