Golden Eagles Split Doubleheader Against La. Tech
Southern Miss’ series with Louisiana Tech did not go as expected. Expected bad weather on Saturday forced the two clubs to play a doubleheader on Friday and game three of the series was cancelled Sunday due to poor weather conditions as well. Sunday’s game will not be made up.
Game one of the doubleheader was all about the Southern Miss offense as they routed the Bulldogs 13-4.
Daniel Keating got the momentum going in the top of the first with an infield single. Taylor Braley followed with a single of his own to center field, putting runners on first and second.
Matt Durst reached on an error that scored Keating to give the Golden Eagles the early lead. Facing a 2-2 count, Tim Lynch muscled a single to right field, scoring Braley and increasing the lead to 2-0.
Keating and Braley kept the momentum going in the third as Keating led off with a single and Braley brought him home on a double down the line to make it 3-0.
The Bulldogs answered in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead down to two as Bryce Stark doubled home Taylor Nichols. But that was as close as the Bulldogs would get.
Chuckie Robinson led off the fourth inning with a towering home run to left center field on the first pitch he saw. USM then loaded the bases for Braley who hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Michael Sterling. Durst followed with a double to right field to score Connor Barron and make it 6-1.
Taylor Love doubled in a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, but La. Tech could not manufacture any more runs in the inning to chip away at the lead.
The top of the sixth did not start well as Nick Dawson flied out and Barron grounded out, but the Golden Eagles got it going with two outs. Once again, it was Keating and Braley who began the rally.
Keating singled through the left side and stole second before Braley beat out an infield single to put runners at the corners. La. Tech turned to the bullpen to get out of the jam, but reliever Adam Derouen did not fare well.
After fouling off three pitches and working a full count, Durst connected on the eighth pitch of the at-bat for a three-run home run to left center. Durst’s second homer of the year made the lead 9-3.
The Golden Eagles three more runs in the eighth inning with Braley singling home a run and Robinson doubling in two more.
Braley finished the game 5-5 with three RBI’s and three runs while Durst went 2-5 with four RBI’s. No. 1 starter Christian Talley picked up his second win of the season, pitching 5.1 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and struck out two.
The Southern Miss offense cooled off considerable in the night tilt of the doubleheader, losing 2-1.
The lone Golden Eagle run came in the first inning with Braley singling home Barron. USM only managed three hits and struck out 12 times after collecting 18 hits in game one.
Stark led off the bottom of the fourth inning for the Bulldogs with a solo home run, but that was all the offense La Tech was able to muster off of USM starter Cody Carroll. Carroll pitched 7.1 innings and only gave up one run on two hits with six strikeouts, but did not factor into the decision.
Reliever Luke Lowery picked up the loss after allowing a one-out double to Mason Paxton in the ninth inning. He was replaced by Ryan Milton who allowed Paxton to score the winning run on a wild pitch.
The Golden Eagles (13-8-1, 3-2 Conference USA) will look to get back into the winner’s column Tuesday when they travel to Pearl, Mississippi to face in-state rival Mississippi State. The game is considered a home game for USM and starts at 6:30 p.m.