USM Eliminates Green Wave, 16-4

USM uses three Green Wave errors to take a 7-0 lead, rallies to plate four in the fifth but it wasn't enough to offset damage from errors and four USM homers

Southern Miss hit four home runs, including two by right fielder Ryan Frith, as the Tulane University baseball team dropped a 16-4 contest to Southern Miss in an elimination game of the 2004 Conference USA Tournament Thursday morning at Cougar Field.

Three errors cost the Green Wave four runs, but the biggest damage was delivered by the Golden Eagle bats as Southern Miss pounded out 16 hits, including three-run homers by Frith, third baseman Beau Griffin and catcher Brad Willcutt. The game was halted in the eighth due to the tournament's 10-run rule after seven innings.

With the loss, Tulane falls to 38-19 on the year and is eliminated from C-USA Tourney action. Southern Miss, meanwhile, improves to 41-16 overall and advances to play the loser to tonight's Memphis/UAB contest on Friday at 3 p.m. The Green Wave, meanwhile, will have to wait until Monday, May 31 to find out their NCAA postseason standings when the selection show airs at 11 a.m. on ESPN2.

After a scoreless first, Frith put the Golden Eagles on the board with a one-out solo home run to left. Tulane could have gotten out of the inning without any more damage done as center-fielder Jason Lowery flew out to right and left fielder Carlos Velasquez hit a ground ball to second, but Tulane second sacker Joe Holland could not make the play. With extra life, Southern Miss struck for three more runs as designated hitter Cody Blount singled and Griffin hammered a three-run homer over the wall in left to give USM a 4-0 lead.

Tulane threatened in the bottom of the third as senior third baseman Brian Bormaster and Holland drew back-to-back walks to open the frame, but Southern Miss starter Anthony DeWitt got a double-play groundball and a pop foul to end the Green Wave rally.

The very next inning, Southern Miss scored another three runs on four hits and capitalized a pair of Tulane errors to take a commanding 7-0 advantage.

Tulane made things interesting in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI double by Bormaster and a three-run bomb by Holland, but Southern Miss stormed right back in the top of the sixth with six runs on five hits, including a three-run homer by catcher Brad Willcutt to push the lead to 13-4.

Following a pair of scoreless frames, the Golden Eagles put the game away in the top of the eighth when Frith hit his second homer of the day – a three-run bomb – to account for the final score.

The Green Wave had a chance to add at least one run to its tally in the bottom of the eighth as junior Wes Swackhamer stroked a 1-1 pitch from USM reliever Patrick Ezell to the wall in left center, but Velasquez went over the wall to bring it back and rob Tulane six-hole hitter.

Ezell earned the victory for Southern Miss after coming on for Ezell with nobody out in the fifth. The C-USA All-Freshman honoree struck out two and walked none while scattering three hits in 4.0 innings of work to improve to 6-2 in 2004.

Tulane starter J.R. Crowel did not fare as well as the sophomore lefty gave up nine runs (five earned) on eight hits while walking three in 5.0 frames. Freshman Daniel Latham could not pitch the Green Wave out of the sixth-inning jam, and gave up four runs on three hits in a third of an inning, and senior Cory Hahn went the rest of the way, giving up three runs on five hits while fanning three in 2.2 stanzas of work.

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