Saturday, May 19, 2007

Conference USA weekend recap for May 17-19

The C-USA regular season schedule wrapped up Saturday, with Rice and Southern Miss completing sweeps - both in the city of Houston - UAB collecting a historic victory and Central Florida clinching a spot in the conference tournament, which will be held at East Carolina.

Memphis at No. 2 Rice
Rice broke open a tie in the bottom of the fifth with four runs and held on to fight off a Memphis rally to clinch a 6-4 win in the Thursday series-opener. The Tigers left two men on base in both the eighth and the ninth and Ryan Berry took the win.

Memphis led game two going into the bottom of the sixth, when the Owls struck for three runs and a 4-2 lead. The effort gave Rice starter Ryne Tacker the win and Cole St. Clair came in and earned the save, giving him 18 for his career and breaking the school record in the process.

Brian Friday went 3-for-5 with a home run and a pair of doubles to lead Rice to a 7-4 win and the series sweep on Saturday. Memphis cut the deficit from six runs to three but could get no closer.

Memphis recaps
Rice recaps

Southern Miss at Houston
The visiting Golden Eagles gave their bullpen the weekend off, as Ryan Belanger, Barry Bowden and David Clark each threw complete games in the Southern Miss sweep of the homestanding Cougars.

Belanger allowed only four hits and struck out eight in the Thursday series-opener, which was televised nationally on CSTV. The Golden Eagles struck for two runs in the sixth and four in the seventh innings to take a 6-0 decision.

Clark allowed six hits and struck out seven in a 4-0 win in Friday's contest, marking the first time in school history Southern Miss had tossed back-to-back shutouts in conference games. Trey Sutton and Brian Dozier each collected three hits.

Clark allowed eight hits and struck out four as the Golden Eagles completed the sweep with a 7-2 victory in the Saturday contest. Southern Miss has now won 10 games in a row and 14 of its last 16 outings.

Southern Miss recaps
Houston recaps

No. 29 East Carolina at UAB
The Pirates headed to Birmingham looking to lock down the No. 2 seed in the league, but had to claim a Saturday victory to avoid being swept by the Blazers and dropping in the C-USA standings.

Mitch Kloskowski pitched a complete game and Ryne Lovedahl and Jonathan Merritt each went 4-for-5 from the plate to lift UAB to an 11-2 thrashing of the 29th-ranked Pirates. The win marked the 800th victory in the UAB baseball program's history.

The Saturday contest held a fan promotion of "Reliever Night," but Grant Addison didn't cooperate, as he tossed his second straight complete game, leading UAB to a series-clinching victory with a 3-2 decision. ECU left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth.

David Forbes drove in three runs as the Pirates avoided the broom with a 10-2 victory in Saturday's final game. The victory clinched the No. 2 see for ECU. The Pirates plated three runs in the eighth and another in the ninth to clinch the win.

East Carolina recaps
UAB recaps

Marshall at UCF
The Thundering Herd and the Golden Knights faced off in the final weekend of the regular season with a season extension on the line; whomever won the series would clinch the eighth and final seed in the C-USA Tournament and the other team would see its season come to a close.

Chris Duffy hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning to give UCF an 8-6 victory in the Thursday series-opener. He finished the night going 3-for-4 with three RBI and a pair of runs scored.

Duffy homered in the eighth inning - his third straight game with a home run - and the Golden Knights scored three in the bottom of the ninth to claim an 8-7 victory, clinching both the series and a spot in the league tournament.

Six Marshall pitchers combined to hold UCF to seven hits as the Thundering Herd claimed a 6-3 decision in their final game of the season.

Marshall recaps
UCF recaps

Chicago State at Tulane
Chicago State claimed a 2-1 victory in the Thursday series-opener, but Tulane rebounded to take a 4-2 win on Friday and a 7-0 win on Saturday to clinch the regular season-ending series.

Chicago State recap
Tulane recap

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