USM takes 5-1 win over Ole Miss before chilly fans

By By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
Feb. 28, 2002
HATTIESBURG The Winter Games found its way to Pete Taylor Park on Wednesday evening for the Ole Miss and Southern Mississippi baseball game.
With 2,888 fans dressed much like the ones for the Salt Lake Games in parkas and heavy coats, the Golden Eagles put the chill to the Rebels taking the 5-1 victory. For USM, it was the second straight win over a nationally ranked opponent.
USM head coach Corky Palmer was elated to see his team battle through the cold conditions to beat a quality team like Ole Miss who entered ranked in all three of the major collegiate baseball polls including a No. 10 spot in Collegiate Baseball.
A particulary big lift for USM, now 7-1, came from freshman pitcher Cliff Russum out of Hattiesburg. Russum tossed 3 2/3 innings of hit-less and scoreless relief to earn the save, his second of the season.
Russum, who entered the game with Ole Miss threatening in the sixth with two men on base, relishes his role.
He then sat the Rebels down in order in the seventh and eighth, fanning two.
In the bottom of the eighth, USM got some insurance when Carlos Velasquez lined a shot down the right-field line for a two-run double scoring Clint Stoy and Matt Benson. The hit made it 5-1.
In the ninth, Russum walked pinch-hitter Banks Robinson but then bounced back striking out Bryce Morrison and Jonathan Swearingen for two out. Drew Rogers also walked but Russum ended things by getting Burney Hutchinson to fly out to right.
The inability to score runners once on base, was a key concern of Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco afterwards.
The Rebels left 11 men on base including five in scoring position. The lone Ole Miss run came in the fifth when star hitter Josh Christian, a former Meridian Community College product, hit into a no-out, bases-loaded double play.
The Rebels had loaded the bases on three straight hits by Swearingen, Rogers and a bunt hit by Hutchinson. Swearingen's run made it 3-1.
The Golden Eagles got their first three runs all in the fourth inning. Jaret Hoffpauir started things off against Ole Miss starter T.J. Beam with a walk. Bobby Garner followed with a single and a wild pitch moved both runners up a base.
A fielders choice by Matt Benson brought in two runs when the throw from short got past first base. Hoffpauir and Garner both scored to make it 2-0.. With two out, another former MCCer in Allen Winningham, singled off Ole Miss reliever Al Simontis to plate Benson for a 3-0 lead.
USM finished with 11 hits. Jeff Cook went 4-for-5 while Velasquez was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Garner also had two hits.
Stephen Castleman went 5 1/3 innings to grab the win to go 2-0 on the year. He allowed eight hits and struck out four. Beam took the loss to fall to 1-1.
USM will host Buffalo in a three-game series beginning Friday.
Ole Miss, now 6-2, was led by Hutchinson and Seth Smith with two hits apiece. The Rebels return home to face Eastern Illinois in a three-game set also beginning Friday.

News

Russellville Parks and Rec adult softball league grows interest

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Thomas Randall Miller

Franklin County

Community Spirit Bank announces promotion

Franklin County

Police search underway for man wanted in three states

Franklin County

Local students earn collegiate honors

East Franklin

PHOTOS: East Franklin Junior High awards honors

News

Traveling band makes stop at Phil Campbell High School

News

Russellville Parks and Rec holds adult sandlot softball game

Galleries

PHOTOS: Community celebrates Fourth of July with annual Jam on Sloss Lake

News

Second Canadian Phil greeted by town

Franklin County

Franklin County Schools lead nurse school nurse named administrator of the year

News

Former Russellville resident performs in ‘Miracle Worker’

Galleries

PHOTOS: Russellville, Red Bay public libraries enjoy summer reading program events

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight: Robbie Richardson

News

University of Mississippi announces spring Chancellor’s Honor Roll

News

PHOTOS: Community turns out for Phil Campbell Festival

Franklin County

University of Alabama announces spring graduates

Franklin County

Dean’s, president’s lists students named for UA spring term

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Hugh Plott

Galleries

PHOTOS: Inaugural downtown Russellville Art Crawl winners

Galleries

PHOTOS: Russellville Public Library holds princess, pirates bounce party

Franklin County

Northwest Shoals Community College signs 24 students in FAME class

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Tony Chard

News

Car show benefit helps raise needed funds

x