May 19, 2001
METAIRIE, La. - Bill Nahorodny homered in the bottom of the eighth inning and extended South Florida's season at least a few more hours. The two-run shot lifted USF over Southern Mississippi, 6-4, at the FedEx Conference USA Tournament at Zephyr Field Saturday morning.
The clubs will play again at 4 p.m. CDT. The winner will meet either Tulane or Memphis in Sunday's title game at 1 p.m.
USM tied the score at 4 with a run in the eighth and set the stage for Nahorodny's dramatic home run, his sixth of the season. Mike Barclay opened the eighth with a single into left field just over shortstop Chris Dunn. Nahorodny, who missed the opening game of the tournament with illness Wednesday, then sent a 1-1 pitch 380 feet over the left-field wall.
"Bill Nahorodny was sick again today," said USF coach Eddie Cardieri. "He was dehydrated and had to be put on an IV but we decided we would wait until after the game to do it. He stepped up and hit a big two-run homer for us."
David Richtberg retired the Golden Eagles in order in the ninth to earn his second consecutive relief victory. The senior right-hander entered the game with one out and runners on first and second. He allowed just one hit -- a Ben Mosley single into right field that scored Rusty McDaniels and tied the game at 4 -- and struck out four of the six batters he faced.
He was pitching in relief of left-hander Shannon Royal who threw a career-high 7 1/3 innings. Royal worked around seven walks while scattering four singles and a triple. The senior from Ft. Myers was touched for all four USM runs but just two were earned.
"Shannon Royal gave us an outstanding start," said Cardieri. "He gave us a chance to continue our season."
While Richtberg and Royal kept the Golden Eagle lineup
the Bulls received offense from throughout the lineup. Daniel Boyd was
3-for-4 with a double a triple and Ben Drawdy was 4-of-5 and Mike
Barclay and Nahorodny had two hits each.
"There were so many big-time players in this game today and it was nothing but sheer guts," said Cardieri. "Dan Boyd is out there playing with his arm so hurt and he's playing great. It was just sheer guts on the part of every single guy."
USF (31-28) was forced to battle back from a 3-0 deficit. USM (27-31) took a 1-0 lead when Darren Welch led off the second inning wih a single up the middle and eventually scored when Mosley ground out to second base for the inning's second out.
The Golden Eagles added two more in the third. Jeff Cook tripled into left-center field with one out and Dusty Haley walked to put runners on the corners. Haley appeared to be caught in a run-down while attemption to steal second but Drawdy threw the ball into left field allowing Cook to score. Haley scored on the play when Nahorodny threw the ball into the USM dugout.
USF used five hits in the fifth to knot the score at 3. Mike Macaluso started the rally with a lead-off double down the right-field line. He moved to third when Drawdy laid a bunt down the third-base line. The play was scored a double when no one covered second and Drawdy moved into scoring position. After Myron Leslie popped up to third base, Boyd double off the left-center field wall to trim the deficit to 3-2.
An Eylward single to left field moved Boyd to third and Kris Courier tied the score with a single into right field.
USM took the lead again in the eight. Royal retired the lead-off batter and then walked Welch and Dunn. Richtberg entered the game and struck out pinch-hitter Brad Montgomery for the second out. Richtberg was ahead of Mosley 0-2 but the second baseman stroked the next offering into right field that scored McDaniels, pinch-running for Welch.