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Conference USA Weekend Roundup


Mike Ojala

Mike Ojala

The showdown series of the weekend occurred in Greenville, where No. 3 Rice visited No. 15 East Carolina. After Rice won a wild offensive show on Friday night, 15-11, Seth Maness pitched a gem for ECU on Saturday, firing a complete-game, three-hitter to lead the Pirates to a 4-1 win. That set the stage for Sunday’s showdown for the series victory and first place in the conference standings. Mike Ojala returned to the mound after missing his previous two starts and led the Owls to a 5-4 victory with 10 strikeouts in five innings pitched.

The third and fourth place teams in the C-USA standings also squared off against each other as Southern Miss traveled to Houston. The Golden Eagles grabbed game one of the series, jumping out to a 10-0 lead before winning, 13-8. Weather forced the teams to play a doubleheader on Saturday and solid pitching ruled the day as Southern Miss grabbed game one, 3-1, while Houston took game two, 4-3. Todd McInnis led the Golden Eagles in game one with eight strong innings, while Wes Musick and Donnie Joseph combined for a strong effort in leading the Cougars in game two.

UAB made the trip up north to face Marshall. As has been the case most of the season, the Blazer bats were able to give UAB a series victory, two games to one. After the teams traded 6-4 victories in the first two games, the Blazers earned the series victory on Sunday with a 13-6 decision, the 14th time this season that UAB has scored double-digit runs.

UCF defeated Tulane on Friday night, 4-2, as Shane Brown and Kiko Vazquez provided big hits for the Knights. Tulane rebounded in a big way on Saturday, scoring a season-high 20 runs in a 20-5 triumph, as the Green wave rolled up 23 hits, the fourth-highest total in school history. The Green Wave took the series on Sunday with a 5-4 victory, as Tulane touched the UCF bullpen after started Kyle Sweat threw seven strong innings.

Memphis was the lone team to step out of conference play, hosting Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, a first-year Division I independent. The Tigers received a strong pitching performance from Brennon Martin in a 6-4 game one victory and posted a 3-1 win on Saturday. Memphis dropped the series finale on Sunday, 3-2 in a rain-shortened game.

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