State pounds on USM
By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
April 17, 2002
HATTIESBURG About the only good number for Southern Mississippi on Tuesday night at Pete Taylor Park was the turnstile count. With Mississippi State as the guest, 4,175 were present and accounted for.
Unfortunately, they didn't get to see much of a game. The Bulldogs feasted on some awful Golden Eagle pitching and when the defeathering finally ended, State walked away with a 19-2 win.
The loss was the worst for Southern Miss since a 20-2 shellacking by the Bulldogs at Pete Taylor in 1997. The same two teams will battle again tonight at 6:30 p.m. Former Meridian Community College pitcher and West Lauderdale standout Daniel Stewart will start for USM.
Hopefully he can do better than his compadres did on Tuesday night. Starter Stephen Castleman was done after just 1.1 allowing six runs off five hits, four walks and a hit batsman. Reliever Brian Hurley was just as bad. Eight runs off six hits, four walks and one hit batsman in three innings. John Nichols fared a bit better giving up four runs, only one earned, on three hits and four walks.
In all, USM walked 13 Bulldogs and hit two. Then there were 14 Bulldog hits which included four doubles and a three-run, pinch-hit home run by Lee Parks. Every Bulldog starter either scored a run or drove one in.
USM head coach Corky Palmer was dismayed by his team's pitching.
State head coach Ron Polk said games like these can happen, especially during mid-week.
Mississippi State, now 22-12-1, got three runs in the first, three in the second, two in the fourth and seven in the the fifth to take a 15-0 lead. It went to 16-0 in the sixth before USM finally dented the scoreboard following a solo home run by Allen Winningham.
Griff Israel had a solo shot for the Eagles in the seventh to make it 16-2. State countered with a three-run shot by Parks to account for the 19-2 final.
State right-fielder Steve Gendron had the big game at the plate going 4-for-6 with a career high five RBIs. He had a two-run single in the first, a one-run hit in the second and a two-run double in the seven-run fifth.
Chad Henry reached base on three walks and a hit and scored all four times. Matthew Brinson was 2-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs while leadoff man Matthew Maniscalco had a two-run double in the fifth.
Jacob Blakeney pitched a solid game going seven innings to even his record at 2-2. He allowed two runs, both off solo homers, on five hits. He struck out five and walked only two.
Winningham led USM, now 24-14, with two hits, a run and a RBI. Clint Stoy also had two hits.