The Southern Miss Golden Eagles used a pair of six run innings on their way to a 13-3 opening game Conference USA series victory over the UAB Blazers on Friday night at Pete Taylor Park.
Trailing 1-0 going into the bottom of the fifth of game one, the Eagles exploded for six runs off Blazer starter Tanner Bryant. The rally began with four straight singles to start the innings, with Chase Fowler and Dillon Day each knocking in a run.
Travis Creel drew a second straight walk off Bryant (2-6), scoring the third run, and Isaac Rodriguez followed with a single, making the score 4-1. The Blazers then went to the bullpen to face Mason Robbins, who drew a walk, scoring the fifth run before run number six scored on a Tim Lynch double play.
The Blazers cut the lead to three in the seventh with two runs off Southern Miss starter Jake Drehoff (2-4), who struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings while giving up three runs, all earned.
The Eagles added a single run in the eighth on a Fowler groundout before exploding for six more runs again in the eighth, four with one swing of the bat. After three walks and two outs, Blake Brown connected on a Chase Davis pitch, clearing the left-center field wall for his first grand slam of the season.
The last two runs came on pinch-hit singles by Nick Dawson and Connor Barron. Daniel Wineski collected his second save of the year by holding the Blazers to two hits on two strikeouts over the final two innings.
Chase Fowler had three hits and Blake and Bradley Roney had two apiece, leading the Eagles at the plate in the season high 13-run offensive performance.
The Saturday Double Dipper: Games 2 and 3
The Golden Eagles’ bats stayed white-hot in a doubleheader sweep of UAB on Saturday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park, completing a series sweep of the Blazers.
The Eagles set a season high, scoring 13 runs in game one of the C-USA series, only to demolish this number by scoring 21 runs in the first game on Saturday, collecting a season high 24 base knocks. Travis Creel led the Eagles with a career-high six hits of his own, tying a school record.
Blake Brown started the game off on the right foot for the Eagles, hitting a grand slam for the second time in as many at bats for the first time in Golden Eagle history, putting the Eagles on top 4-0. They were just getting started, piling on five more runs in the second inning before Mason Robbins hit a three-run shot in the third, making it 13-0 on his second home run of the season.
After the Blazers chipped in three runs in both the fifth and seventh innings, the Golden Eagles ended the game with an eight run bottom of the seventh. Roney hit a three-run shot, his second, and Dillon Day a two run bomb, his first of the season in the eight run inning.
Andrew Pierce captured the win, improving to 9-1 on the season in 6 2/3 innings of work.
In the nightcap, Isaac Rodriguez and Dillon Day led the team with two hits each in a 5-4 win over the hapless Blazers. The Eagles jumped on top in the first when Creel scored from first on a Rodriguez double down the right field line.
The Blazers plated a run in the second to tie it up before USM would reel off four straight runs. Tim Lynch plated a run on a groundout to second, and Chase Fowler reached on an error scoring another run.
The Eagles finished out their scoring with RBI doubles by Mason Robbins and Austin Roussel in the fifth and seventh innings. The Blazers scored three runs in the eighth off Jay Myrick before Cameron Giannini came in to end the threat.
Bradley Roney then shut down the Blazers in the ninth, earning his seventh save of the campaign. Conor Fisk put in another outstanding performance to improve to 4-1 on the season, striking out a career-high 11 batters in seven innings of work, lowering his ERA to 2.08.
Creel reached base in nine consecutive plate appearances, and Robbins knocked in six runs on the day, helping the Golden Eagles (24-19, 13-5) stay atop the C-USA standings for the third consecutive week. They have now won 13 out of their last 15 games.
The Golden Eagles return to action on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Pete against the University of Louisiana – Monroe