Southern Miss fell to the University of New Orleans Wednesday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park by a score of 7-6. The Golden Eagles dropped to 3-1 as the Privateers gained their first win of the season (1-3).
Freshman left-handed pitcher Kirk McCarty made his first career start for Southern Miss after a stellar prep career at Oak Grove High School.
The Privateers did not waste any time offensively, scoring four runs on five hits in the second inning. Southern Miss was not sharp defensively, committing numerous early errors.
The Golden Eagles’ Michael Sterling turned a double play the next inning while McCarty struck out UNO’s Ray Veit for the third out. This was a huge momentum swing for Southern Miss.
Chuckie Robinson gave USM its first hit of the game with a stand-up double in the bottom of the third, but was left stranded as Sterling and Barron both flew out to end the inning.
The Southern Miss offense struggled to get things going, as they remained scoreless going into the bottom of the fourth inning.
Nick Dawson started off the fourth with a leadoff walk and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Two outs later, Ryan Ellis drilled an RBI single between first and second base.
The Golden Eagle bats began heating up as Tim Lynch crushed a two-run homer over the right field fence, closing the Privateer lead to 4-3.
Chase Scott followed up with a stand-up double of his own. The two-out rally continued as Robinson stroked a 3-2 pitch up the middle, sending Scott across home plate and tying the game at 4-4. Sterling popped up to second base, ending the fourth inning.
McCarty gave up two hits in the top of the fifth, and was replaced by junior Luke Lowery with one out and runners on first and second. Lowery came out hot, striking out UNO’s Jonathan Santana and Veit.
USM’s leadoff hitter Connor Barron increased his hitting streak to six games with a single to right field, but was thrown out attempting to steal second base.
Burdeaux reached first on an error by UNO’s shortstop Samuel Capielano and Durst singled up the middle, advancing Burdeaux to third base in the bottom of the fifth inning. Ellis flied out to right field, ending USM’s threat to score.
Lowery’s night ended in the top of the sixth inning after an error by Sterling and then hitting the next batter. Junior Jake Winston relieved Lowery with runners on first and second base.
UNO’s Sam Carriere hit a two-RBI single up the middle to give the Privateers a 6-4 lead.
In the top of the seventh inning, UNO’s Hezekiah Randolph stole third base and then home on two wild pitches from Winston, increasing the Privateers’ lead to 7-3.
Ellis singled to center field with one out on the board in the bottom of the eighth inning. Breck Kline, now at left field, was hit by the first pitch he saw. USM seemed to be threatening with runners now on first and second and Robinson walked, loading the bases with two outs.
A wild pitch scored Kline, cutting the Privateer lead to only two until Sterling reached first on an error by UNO’s second basemen Veit. Another run crossed home plate for USM, cutting the deficit to 7-6.
Pitcher Connor O’Brien and the USM defense were able to hold UNO scoreless in the top of the ninth.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Durst popped up foul near the first base line, but none of the Privateer fielders went for it, giving Durst a second chance. Durst singled on a dropped fly ball in short right field, but Kline flied out to end the game.
Both teams had 11 hits. The difference was two costly errors and wild pitches for USM and only one for UNO.
Lowery took the loss for the pitching staff as UNO’s Jordan Priddle gained the win.
Southern Miss will travel to Pensacola, Florida, Friday for three games against North Florida, Saint Louis and Nicholls State.