Alabama edges past USM

By By Mark Etheridge / staff writer
April 3, 2002
TUSCALOOSA Alabama scored four unanswered runs to remain unbeaten at home with a 4-3 victory over Southern Miss at Sewell-Thomas Stadium Tuesday night. Southern Miss took a three-run lead into the seventh inning before the Crimson Tide rallied to win their 18th consecutive home game.
USM's Jeff Cook led all hitters with three hits. Allen Winningham also added a pair of hits for the Golden Eagles, who stranded 10 runners. Adam Pavkovich had a pair of RBI hits for the Tide, including the game winner in the eighth.
Right-hander Daniel Stewart made his seventh start of the season for Southern Miss (18-11). Stewart logged six and two-third innings, gave up six hits and two runs both earned. He fanned four and walked two.
Jeffrey Norris made his second start of the season for Alabama (24-5). The sophomore lefty scattered six hits through five plus innings. He gave up three runs but only two were earned. Brian Reed (2-0) worked the final four innings to get the win.
Brad Wilcutt broke the scoreless tie in the fifth with a two run double. Third baseman Allen Winningham reached on a two out single. Leftfielder and leading hitter Cook followed with a double off the base of the wall in left. Wilcott then laced his grounder just inside the bag at third for a double scoring both runners.
Second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir led off the sixth by lifting a high fly ball down the line in right. Crimson Tide rightfielder Chad White over ran the ball allowing it to drop. Hoffpauir raced around to third on the play, ruled a three-base error. First baseman Jason Lowery greeted new Bama pitcher Brian Reed with a solid RBI single to left scoring Hoffpauir. Reed plunked the next hitter, designated hitter Griff Isreal, advancing Lowery to second. Alabama catcher Jeremy Brown then threw behind Lowery at second catching him for the first out of the inning. That would prove to be a big play for the Tide as USM shortstop Matt Shepherd lined the next pitch into center for a single. Reed then settled down to retire the side stranding two with the Eagles up by three.
Alabama mounted a threat in the sixth as White drew a leadoff walk. Centerfielder Scott McClanahan followed with single past the diving stab of shortstop Carlos Velasquez. Leftfielder Travis Garner lined a sacrifice attempt to Lowery at first who threw from his knees to double off White at second. Stewart then coaxed a groundout from the Tide's leading hitter Peter Stonard ending the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, designated hitter Beau Hearod broke up Stewart's shutout with a long home run over the trees behind the leftfield wall. The next batter, second baseman Brent Boyd doubled to left center. Boyd would score as Pavkovich drilled a double to left cutting the USM margin to one.
Stonard and Brown led off the Alabama eighth with walks from reliever Brian Hurley (2-1). Stephen Castleman came on and hit Boyd on the shoulder loading the bases. Freshman third baseman Allen Rice then hit a liner to center deep enough to score Stonard from third to tie the game. Bama took the lead for good on Pavkovich's single to left scoring Brown.
USM got the potential tying run to second in the ninth before Reed caught Willcut looking at a third strike to end the game.
Southern Miss travels to Charlotte for three games before opening a seven game homestand next Tuesday versus Southeastern Louisiana. Alabama hosts Austin Peay Wednesday night before entertaining Florida this weekend.

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