After a disappointing start to the season in the Lake Area Classic, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles bounced back in a big way, topping Louisiana-Monroe 14-2 Tuesday night.
The Golden Eagles’ offense exploded in both the third and fourth innings with eight and five runs, respectively. Michael Sterling got the scoring started with an RBI single to plate Nick Dawson.
After Mason Robbins singled home another run, Matt Durst and Tim Lynch both walked, forcing in another run. Two batters later, Joey Harris doubled to right field extend the lead to 7-0. Dawson would then ground out, but Connor Barron scored on the play to give USM their eighth run of the inning.
ULM starter Josh Leone (1-1) lasted just 2 1/3 innings after allowing four runs on five hits and walked one. Reliever Chris Hunt gave up seven runs, three earned, on four hits and two walks in just an inning of work.
In the fourth, six players singled in the inning to lead another rally. The inning was also aided by a wild pitch and an error by ULM shortstop Kodie Tidwell. USM would add another run in the seventh inning when Durst tripled to centerfield to score Robbins.
Southern Miss got a strong performance from their pitching staff throughout led by A.J. Glasshof (1-0). Glasshof pitched five innings, giving up five hits, two runs, four walks, but struck out a career-high seven batters.
The USM bullpen was just as effective. Jay Myrick, Nick Johnson, Ryan Milton and Bradley Roney each tossed scoreless innings. Each reliever only allowed one baserunner in each of their innings. The pitching staff combined for 14 strikeouts for the game.
Dawson led the way for the offense with three RBIs and two hits. Durst and Barron each had two hits and two RBIs. As impressive as the offense was swinging the bat, their discipline at the plate was equally impressive.
Throughout the night, the USM offense worked their way into favorable hitter’s counts, which allowed them to stay aggressive. USM also drew six walks for the game. Durst, who has been lights out so far, at the plate and behind the dish, this season since transferring to USM, drew two walks.
The Golden Eagles (2-2) will host their first series this season when they take on Louisiana-Lafayette. The series will be played Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Pete Taylor Park.
Game times are for 6 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.