A balk by starter Stevie Powers gave Purdue a 2-0 lead over Southern Miss and looked to create a possible concern for Southern Miss’ pitching staff. However, Powers and Cody Carroll combined to hold Purdue to just one earned run and give Southern Miss a 4-2 win on Saturday night.
Purdue took its lead after a fielder’s choice scored a run in the second inning. In the third inning, the Boilermakers advanced a runner to third base on a throwing error and then scored a run on a balk called against Powers.
“The way we do things we use our head and our glove as signs between me and the catcher and I went to my glove and shouldn’t have,” Powers said. “You can’t do that with the ball in your hands. The crowd did a good job of making me look good but it was 100 percent a balk. It was but just had to regroup and get out of the inning and just reset.”
From there Powers was able to shut down Purdue’s lineup and retired the next 11 batters. In six innings, Powers gave up one earned run, on two hits and struck out six.
Powers performance paved the way for reliever Carroll who gave up just one hit and recorded the save for the game.
“I just tried to let my fastball do a lot of the work,” Carroll said. “Last year I was a little consumed with the strikeouts [but] we have a great defense and I was fortunate enough to get a lot of ground balls to let them do whatever they need to do.”
Carroll consistently threw in the low 90s which Carroll credits by taking the fall season off.
“My arm was just feeling really fatigued after throwing back-to-back-to-back,” Carroll said. “I feel like that really helped out a lot. Just give me time to rest, build my body up and do what I need to do. I definitely worked on trying to throw harder and throw with a little more intent. Tonight I was just lucky to have the energy the crowd brought and just went from there.”
“[Carroll’s] come a long way,” Powers said. “He’s one that gets very energized, gets pumped up and tonight he was calm, poised and collected and went out there and did his thing. He’s got a very electric arm. He’s got great stuff. That’s why’s he here. I like that one-two punch. I could do that every Saturday so hopefully, we can come out next weekend and do the same thing.”
Southern Miss did its needed damage in the sixth inning with the Golden Eagles scoring three of its runs in the inning. Brant Blaylock got the rally started with an RBI single which was followed by a sac fly by Cole Donaldson and an RBI single from Storme Cooper.
“We limit a good hitting team to just three hits,” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. “The two runs that we gave up were kind of self-inflicted with the error or two and the balk. I think when you look at the body of work tonight you see that the pitching staff really just kept us in the game and gave our offense a chance to score their late with the three runs.”
Southern Miss’ Sunday game has been pushed up to an earlier time at 10:30 a.m. to avoid incoming weather conditions.