Cooper walks off in victory over Tulane
After an hour-and-a-half rain delay, in the 159th meeting between Southern Miss and one of their longtime baseball rivals Tulane, the Golden Eagles got a walk-off 2-1 win.
“Real proud of how our guys competed to the end, on a tough night,” said Head Coach Scott Berry. “It was a delayed game which takes you out of your routine. It was a good team win.”
Taylor Braley started as pitcher again during the midweek and kept the Green Wave scoreless the first four innings, allowing only four hits and no runs.
Relief pitcher Stevie Powers put the Golden Eagles in a bind in the fifth inning with Green Wave runners on first and third. Powers managed to get a strikeout for the first out, but was relieved by Trent Driver. Driver helped the Golden Eagles leave the inning unscathed after retiring the next two batters.
In Driver’s relief, he retired five batters in a row, struck out two and allowed no hits.
LeeMarcus Boyd led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a double to created momentum for the Golden Eagles. Dylan Burdeaux drove in Boyd with a sac-fly to give the Golden Eagles the lead, 1-0.
Cole Smith, who relieved Driver in the seventh inning, found himself in a jam when the Green Wave had two runners on base at first and second after a hit and fielding error. Smith managed to force a fielder’s choice and strikeout, before Nick Sandlin came to close the inning with a strikeout.
However, the Golden Eagles found themselves in another early jam in the eighth inning after a two error play put two more Green Wave runners on second and third base. Tulane’s centerfielder Grant Brown hit a sac fly in order to tie the game at 1-1, before the Golden Eagles could leave the inning without any damage.
Southern Miss responded with a leadoff single from Hunter Slater and another single from Braley. A sac bunt from Cole Donaldson and an intentional walk loaded the bases up for the Golden Eagles, but with another change in Tulane pitching, the Green Wave forced a double play to retire the Golden Eagle side.
With the game tied at 1-1, Tulane closer Ted Andrews walked two Golden Eagles and hit another to load the bases up. With a full count for infielder Storme Cooper, Andrews walked in the game-winning run to give the Golden Eagles the win. For a second time this season, Cooper was responsible for a game-winning run.
Burdeaux finished 2-for-3 on the night, a stolen base, a run batted in on a sac fly, was walked and extended his hitting streak to eight games. Braley also finished the night 2-for-3 and was walked.
The Golden Eagles will travel to Lafayette, Louisiana this weekend to play 16th ranked University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
“[ULL] is a well-coached ball club and very competitive club,” Berry said. “Great opportunity for us on the road. We got to play well on the road and at the end of the day that’s where the season ends, on the road.”