UT-Arlington head coach Jeff Curtis has unexpectedly resigned on November 15th. Curtis took over the program in 2001 after former head coach Clay Gould passed away from cancer. Curtis led the Mavericks to the NCAA Tournament in 2001 and 2006. He spent six seasons with the program accumulating an overall record of 166-188 after a disappointing 2007 season in which the team went 13-40. Associate head coach Darin Thomas has been named the replacement effective immediately. The full release is available here. This seems to be a very weird time to resign from a head coaching position as many schools are wrapping up fall practice. This current week is the beginning of the signing period.
The task of shrinking the bench and bullpen would be more challenging if the Owls weren’t tearing the cover off the ball, a trend that continued Tuesday at Reckling Park. No. 2 Rice blasted Baylor 13-0 to stretch its winning streak to 15 games.
Rice improved to 42-11 while Baylor fell to 28-24.
The Owls have just three more games to close out the regular season and all are at home starting Thursday through Saturday. Rice hosts Memphis in a three-game C-USA series at Reckling Park. Thursday’s first pitch is slated for 7 pm. Baylor concludes its regular season schedule with a three-game Big 12 Conference series against Kansas State at Baylor Ballpark.
SOUTHERN MISS 9, NEW ORLEANS 4
NEW ORLEANS – UNO’s struggles continued Tuesday as Southern Mississippi capitalized on shaky pitching by the Privateers to win 9-4 at Maestri Field. With Tuesday night’s win, the Golden Eagles have won seven in a row, nine of 10 and finished with double-figure hits in six of the last seven games.
Southern Miss (34-19) scored five runs in the fourth inning, including a leadoff home run by catcher Trey Cuevas, to go ahead 6-2. The Privateers (32-21) couldn’t get it going offensively, stranding 10 batters.
Southern Miss wraps up its regular season schedule with a three-game C-USA series at Houston. The first game of the series, on Thursday, will be broadcast nationally on CSTV at 7 p.m. CDT. The Privateers will conclude their regular season schedule this weekend, when they host Louisiana in a three-game Sun Belt Conference series starting Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The Thursday contest will be televised by Cox Sports Television.
HOUSTON 6, SAM HOUSTON STATE 4
HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Senior first baseman Josh Stirneman went 2-for-5 with a double and solo home run to help lead the University of Houston baseball team to a 6-4 win over area-rival Sam Houston State on Tuesday at Don Sanders Stadium.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, the Cougars scored six unanswered runs and appeared to have the game well in hand heading into the final frame. But the Bearkats pushed three runs across in the ninth inning and continued to threaten with the bases loaded, but reliever Aaron Brown hurled a strikeout to end the threat and the game.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 28-23 overall while Sam Houston State fell to 33-20. The Cougars swept the regular-season series against the Bearkats after taking a 16-9 win on Feb. 13 at Cougar Field. UH, which won its 11th straight game against the Bearkats, also evened the all-time series against SHSU at 71-71. The Cougars had not been even with the Bearkats in the all-time series since standing at 10-10 in 1956.
The Cougars wrap up their 2007 regular season later this week as they play host to Conference USA rival Southern Miss in a three-game series from the friendly confines of Cougar Field. That series begins with 7 p.m., games on both Thursday and Friday before wrapping up at 1 p.m., Saturday. The Thursday game will be televised nationally on CSTV. Sam Houston wraps up the regular season schedule with a Southland Conference series at Stephen F. Austin.
MEMPHIS 5, TENNESSEE-MARTIN 3
UNION CITY, Tenn. – Senior Kyle Norrid went 3-for-4 four and drove in four runs to lead Memphis to a 5-3 win over UT-Martin Tuesday night at Elam Stadium. The win was the 33rd of the year for the Tigers–the most regular season wins for a Memphis team since 1994. The win also eclipses the Tigers 2006 win total.
After waiting through a two hour, 23-minute rain delay, Memphis (33-20) got off to a fast start with a pair of scores in the opening frame. Michael Murray extended his hit streak to 12 games with a single to centerfield and moved to third when Skyhawks leftfielder Kevin Holt was unable to handle a single by Adam Amar. Amar advanced to second. Norrid then lined the first pitch he saw up the middle for a 2-0 Memphis lead.
Memphis will now prepare for its final Conference USA regular season series. The Tigers will travel to Houston to take on the second-ranked Rice Owls on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. UT-Martin (19-33) completes the regular season with by hosting Samford in an OVC series. The teams will play a double-header on Friday and a single game on Saturday.
ELON 4, No. 29 EAST CAROLINA 2
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Kyle Roller’s two home runs were not enough for No. 29 East Carolina as it fell to in-state foe Elon 4-2 Tuesday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium in the final regular season home game for the Pirates.
Jesse Lewter improved to 4-3 on the year after tossing his first career complete game with a career-high six strikeouts for Elon (28-24). On the night he allowed just six hits and walked one, making two pitching mistakes, both home runs to Roller.
The Pirates (35-18) will hit the road for the final three games of the regular season this weekend when they travel to UAB for a C-USA series. Junior T.J. Hose will take the mound for ECU on Thursday night with the first pitch scheduled for 8 p.m. (EDT). Elon returns to action on Wednesday, May 16 in a 7 p.m. game with High Point at Latham Park.
Memphis 8, Arkansas State 7
MEMPHIS – With the Tigers trailing by a run in the bottom of the ninth and down to its last strike, freshman Tyler Huelsing lifted a game-tying RBI-single to center and then scored from first on an error by the Arkansas State outfield to push Memphis past ASU 8-7 in dramatic fashion on Wednesday night at Nat Buring Stadium. The Tigers improve to 31-18 with its 11th last at-bat win. Arkansas State falls to 19-30.
No. 3 Rice 6, Texas State 4
HOUSTON — The Rice trio of Brian Friday, Joe Savery and Aaron Luna all collected three hits, and the Owls combined a big five-run third inning and a stellar relief outing by Matt Langwell to claim a 6-4 win over visiting Texas State Wednesday evening at Reckling Park in Houston. The victory was the Owls’ 11th in a row and the 19th win in the last 20 games.
Rice improved to 38-11 on the season. Texas State fell to 32-18 overall.
The Owls’ eight-game homestand continues with a three-game Conference USA weekend series May 11-13 at Reckling Park. Rice hosts Tulane in the second-to-last league series of the season. CSTV Networks has announced that the Friday baseball contest will be available as part of a special pay-per-view event. The special presentation of this match-up will be available live and on-demand via Internet video streaming. The Bobcats return to Southland Conference action Friday when they open a three-game series with McNeese State in San Marcos.
No. 4 North Carolina 5, No. 30 East Carolina 1
GREENVILLE, N.C. - No. 4 North Carolina used seven pitchers to record 17 strikeouts as the Tarheels defeated No. 30 East Carolina 5-1 in front of the second largest crowd in school history (5,076 fans) Wednesday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium. The win allowed UNC to sweep the two-game series between the two schools.
North Carolina improved to 39-10 while East Carolina fell to 32-17.
The Pirates will be back in action this Friday night when they host UCF in a three-game Conference USA series. The Tar Heels are back in action at home this weekend for a three-game ACC set against Georgia Tech beginning Friday.
The Privateers, who won the series 2-1, scored four runs in the second inning when they chased Green Wave starter Matt Goebel. UNO was then silenced by Tulane’s Aaron Loup for four innings, but pushed its lead to 7-4 with two doubles in the seventh.
The series victory by UNO (29-16) is its first over Tulane (29-18) since 2004 and only its second since 1997. The Green Wave return to action on Friday, May 4, when they open a three-game series against Conference USA foe UAB at noon at Zephyr Field. The Privateers will kick off a Sun Belt Conference series against Western Kentucky beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at Maestri Field.
Houston 5, McNeese State 4
LAKE CHARLES, La. - Dustin Kingsbury’s two-run double in the top of the ninth inning broke a tie and helped lift the University of Houston baseball team to a 5-4 win over McNeese State on Tuesday at Cowboy Diamond.
Bryan Tully and Jimmy Cesario drew back-to-back, one-out walks to start the Cougar rally in the top of the ninth inning. Following a MSU pitching change, Kingsbury smashed a 1-0 offering from reliever Chris Denton to the wall in right center to plate both runners.
The Cougars needed both runs as McNeese State rallied in the final frame, pulling to within a run on Thomas Zabasky’s RBI-single to right field.
With the loss, the Cougars improved to 25-19 overall, while McNeese State fell to 16-28. The Cougars also swept the regular-season series against the Cowboys after taking a 12-4 win on Feb. 20 at Cougar Field.
The Cougars return to Cougar Field this weekend to play host to Conference USA rival East Carolina in a three-game series. In addition, Friday’s game will be televised live on CSTV with Carter Blackburn calling the play-by-play action and Buck Martinez providing color analysis. McNeese will return to action on Friday when it begins a three game home Southland Conference series with Central Arkansas.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The University of Memphis record books were rewritten on Wednesday afternoon as the Tigers (27-16) exploded for a school-record 12 runs in the fifth inning to take command of the ballgame en route to a 19-8 thrashing of Southeast Missouri (25-17) in the series finale at Capaha Field. Adam Amar went 3-for-4 on the day to claim Memphis’ all-time hits mark, surpassing former Tiger standout Steve Moss’ 240 career hits.
The Tiger offense reset a total of four single-inning marks with the 12-run outburst. Among those new records are the 15 plate appearances, 14 at-bats and the 18 total bases. The former mark for runs scored in a single frame was 11, set by the 1978 Tigers in a 39-run route of Delta State.
Tulane 11, Nicholls State 5
METAIRIE, La. – The top six hitters in the Green Wave lineup combined to go 11-for-23 at the plate and the Green Wave used a nine-run fifth inning to erase a 5-0 deficit as the Tulane University baseball team defeated Nicholls State, 11-5, Wednesday evening at Zephyr Field.
Trailing 5-0 after four and a half innings, the team held a players-only meeting in the dugout and came out with a purpose as the Green Wave pounded out seven of their 13 hits in the stanza to snap a three-game losing streak. With the victory, Tulane improves to 29-14 on the year. Nicholls State, meanwhile, falls to 5-27.
No. 19 Mississippi State 7, Southern Miss 4
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Edward Easley finished with a walk, a double, two home runs and four RBIs to lead Mississippi State to a 7-4 win over Southern Miss, tonight, in the second midweek game, completing the two-game sweep.
The home team has swept the series for the past two years. Southern Miss won both games in 2006 in Hattiesburg, winning 13-6 and 6-3.
Mississippi State (27-10) scored seven runs on 11 hits and committed one error, while Southern Miss (25-18) scored four runs on eight hits and committed one error. Each team turned two double plays. The Golden Eagles left seven runners on base, while the Bulldogs stranded only four runners.
Ohio 7, Marshall 6
ATHENS, Ohio – For the second time this season Ohio used a come-from-behind effort at Bob Wren Stadium to upend the Marshall baseball team, this instance thanks to a game-tying, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth followed by the winning run in the 11th for a 7-6 Bobcat victory on Wednesday.
Marshall led 6-4 heading into Ohio’s final at bat when freshman first baseman Marc Krauss hit a Nick Wolle (Coatesville, Pa.) offering over the left centerfield wall, his second home run of the game, to tie the contest and send it into extra innings. In the 11th inning, right fielder Matt Stiffler doubled and scored on a single by Jared Willis that was aided by a Herd error in left field.
Marshall (17-22) out-hit the Bobcats (15-23) 13-11 and stole two bases to Ohio’s zero.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss starting pitcher Mike Cashion pitched five innings, giving up one run on six hits, Michael Ewing hit a two-run single in the second inning and Trey Cuevas hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to lead the Golden Eagles to a 4-2 win over No. 13 Ole Miss at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field in front of 5,132.
Cashion (1-0) earned his first win since defeating Memphis on April 1, 2005, before sustaining a season-ending elbow injury the next week at East Carolina. He threw 86 pitches, walked three batters and struck out one. Jared Cavenaugh pitched two innings of relief, giving up one hit, two walks and struck out three batters. Tyler Conn (4) earned his fourth save of the season, giving up one unearned run on two hits and struck out one batter.
Ole Miss starter Brett Buckvich (4-2) was credited with the loss, pitching three innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on two hits, walking four and striking out three batters. Four Rebel pitchers walked eight batters and struck out five.
Southern Miss (21-13) scored four runs on five hits and committed one error, while Ole Miss (24-11) scored two runs on nine hits. The Rebels left 12 runners stranded and the Golden Eagles left 10 runners on base.
Southern Miss hosts Conference USA foe Tulane as part of EagleFest Weekend on April 13-15 at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field. Ole Miss will travel to Baton Rouge to face LSU in Southeastern Conference action.
Tulane 5, Louisiana 4
METAIRIE, La. – Junior second baseman Brad Emaus and sophomore right fielder Warren McFadden had three hits apiece and the pair combined to provide the game’s winning run as the Tulane University baseball team used the come-back attack to defeat Louisiana, 5-4, Wednesday evening at Zephyr Field.
The Ragin’ Cajuns jumped on Tulane starter Matt Goebel for four runs in the top of the second, but the senior right-hander settled down to pitch four shutout innings the rest of his outing. The Green Wave offense, meanwhile, plated single runs in the second and fourth innings, two in the fifth and another in the sixth to pull out the victory.
With the win, Tulane improves to 25-10 on the year and is now 7-4 against teams from the state of Louisiana in 2007. Louisiana, meanwhile, falls to 26-8. The Green Wave travel to Southern Miss for a C-USA series this weekend, while the Ragin’ Cajuns hit the road to face defending league champion Troy in a Sun Belt series.
Rice 13, Lamar 4
BEAUMONT, Tex. — Every Rice starter collected a base hit by the fourth inning on the way to a season-high 20 hits, including a grand slam home run by junior first baseman Joe Savery, on the way to a convincing 13-4 road victory over Lamar Wednesday evening at Vincent-Beck Stadium in Beaumont.
Rice jumped on the scoreboard for eight early runs. In the first inning junior Tyler Henley knocked a two-out single into left field and was able to score easily on a triple to right-center by Savery. Savery then scored on Jordan Dodson’s double to left-center and the Owls had two runs in the first inning of game for the first time since late February.
The Owls improved to 27-10 on the season with the team’s eighth win in a row. Lamar fell to 22-15 overall.
The road swing continues for Rice. The Owls next face crosstown rival Houston in a three-game Conference USA weekend series April 13-15 at UH’s Cougar Field. Lamar travels to Sam Houston State for a Southland Conference series this weekend.
Murray State 7, Memphis 6
Memphis reliever Will Hudgens struck out a career-high eight batters and held Murray State hitless in five innings of work, but the Tigers were unable to overcome an early 6-2 deficit as they suffered a 7-6 loss to Murray State Wednesday night at Nat Buring Stadium. The loss was just the second of the year for Memphis when playing at home.
Memphis scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth, but left the tying run stranded on third.
Both teams return to action this weekend with conference series. Memphis (19-14) will travel to Birmingham to face UAB in C-USA action. Murray State (9-21) will host Eastern Kentucky in an OVC series.
East Carolina 3, UNC Wilmington 2
Henderson singled down the left field line with one out and then moved into scoring position on his fourth stolen base of the year, setting up the game-winning hit for the Pirates (22-12).
Shane Mathews picked up his league-leading ninth save after working the ninth inning where he allowed one hit. Josh Ruhlman notched his second win and improved to 2-0 after working 1 2/3 innings where he retired all five batters he faced. Freshman right-hander Mike Anderson tossed a career-best 6 1/3 innings allowing two runs on three hits with two punch-outs and one walk before giving way to Mike Flye, who faced one batter, then was replaced by Ruhlman in the seventh.
UNCW (16-20) reliever Allen Flood suffered the loss after working just two-third’s of an inning where he allowed the game-winning run on two hits. Starter Andrew Morgan worked a career-best 5 1/3 innings, struck out a career-high five batters, surrendered one run (unearned) on four hits while walking one before giving way to Jessee Haney. Haney came in with runners on the corner in the sixth and got Henderson to ground into an inning ending 1-6-3 double-play. Haney finished the game allowing one run (earned) on one hit in 2 2/3 innings with two strikeouts. Flood replaced Haney in the ninth before being replaced himself by Larry Salefsky ( 1/3 IP).
The Pirates will stay on the road this weekend when they travel Charleston, WVa. to take on Marshall in a three-game Conference USA series at Appalachian Power Park. UNCW travels to Delaware for a CAA series.
UAB-Kennesaw State postponed to April 23.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - University of Houston pitchers Donnie Joseph, Barry Laird, Chris Wright and Bryan Tully combined to limit Stephen F. Austin to only five hits in a 4-0 shutout win at SFA’s Jaycees Field on Tuesday.
Laird earned the win and evened his season record at 1-1 after limiting the Lumberjacks to two hits with three strikeouts in three innings. However, the Baytown native was only part of a strong pitching effort by the Cougars.
Freshman southpaw Donnie Joseph earned the start and set the tone for the entire game, holding the Lumberjacks to only three hits in the first four innings.
SFA was able to garner only five hits, with Zach Gardner and Chris Smith nabbing two apiece. Jared Pitts had the other hit. Smith was 2-for-2 with a walk and Gardner was 2-for-4 and extended his hit streak to 14 games.
Houston (18-14) will return to action on Friday when the Cougars host crosstown-rival Rice, ranked fifth in the NCBWA poll, in a key Conference USA series. Stephen F. Austin (18-17) will jump back into Southland Conference play this weekend, facing Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Fairgrounds Field in Robstown, Texas.
The Southland Conference has released their Player of the Week in Zach Etheredge who went 9-20 at the plate to lead UTSA to a 4-1 record on the week. Jesse Marshall of Sam Houston State picked up the Pitcher of the Week award by pitching 8.1 shutout innings in a 3-0 shutout on Friday over Texas A&M Corpus Christi. He only allowed three hits and three walks to get the win.
The McNeese State Cowboys were picked to finish in 1st place in the East Division of the Southland conference by both the media and the coaches. In the West Division it is an absolute mess. The Coaches poll is led by the University of Texas-Arlington and Texas State which tied for first place. The Media poll is led by UT-Arlington but University of Texas-San Antonio is right behind them with the second most first place votes. The full release is available in HTML format and PDF format.
One of my loyal readers forwarded me a story about the upcoming auction dinner on Feb. 3rd for the Sam Houston State Bearkat baseball team. The dinner will feature guest speaker Nolan Ryan who was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1999. The full press release is available here.
There is also a recent feature on the SHSU website with new Bearkat head coach Mark Johnson in which he talks about the upcoming season which is available here. The Bearkats open the season on Feb. 8th against BYU. Full Schedule available here.