USM struggles in Lake Area Classic
After severe weather conditions that made Stony Brook unable to make the trip to Hattiesburg, Southern Miss had to alter their schedule to compete in the Lake Area Classic in Lake Charles, La.
Maybe it was the last second switch in the schedule, but the Golden Eagles struggled mightily losing two of their three games over the weekend.
The first matchup against Missouri started off promising as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but the Tigers capitalized on the USM bullpen to win the game 4-2. Making his first career start, Cameron Giannini dazzled on the mound.
Giannini retired 14 consecutive batters at one point in the game, and only allowed one hit in the sixth inning through his 5.2 innings of work. Giannini finished with nine strikeouts, walked two and gave up one run.
Jay Myrick replaced him in the sixth and allowed one run off three hits to take the loss.
Daniel Wineski, Luke Lowry and Nick Johnson combined to pitch two innings of no-hit ball for Missouri’s bullpen was the difference in the game as they combined for 4.1 innings of no-hit ball to close out the game. The Golden Eagle offense was stagnant for most of the game, only mustering four hits.
Catcher Matt Durst delivered an RBI double and Mason Robbins had an RBI single in the first frame for the only USM runs for the game. It was Durst’s first at-bat as a Golden Eagle.
In the second game of the day Saturday against Chicago State, the USM offense woke up and delivered 11 runs to give USM the win, 11-8. Taylor Nunez struggled with his control in his first start, giving up six runs on three hits, five hit batters and one walk over 3.2 innings of work.
Robbins had a great night at the plate going 3-5 with 4 RBIs. His two-run single in the ninth tied the game for USM in what turned out to a dramatic inning. Durst hit a sacrifice fly to give the Golden Eagles the lead, 9-8.
Chicago State leftfielder Evan Davis dropped a Connor Barron fly ball to allow two more runs to score. Barron also homered earlier in the game. Bradley Roney came in and pitched a perfect ninth to give USM the 11-8 victory.
In the third and final game of the Lake Area Classic against McNeese State, the Cowboys dominated both on the mound and at the plate en route to a 7-1 win. The win improved McNeese State to 3-0 and dropped Southern Miss to 1-2.
Starting pitcher Christian Talley and Ryan Milton both surrendered three-run innings in the third and seventh innings, respectively. Talley gave up eight hits, three runs and walked one in three innings. Milton, who entered in the seventh, gave up two hits, walked one, hit one, threw a wild pitch and gave up three runs while only registering one out.
Second basemen Nick Dawson led the Golden Eagles at the plate with three hits, all singles. Robbins and Joey Harris each added two hits for USM.
Third basemen Tim Lynch drove in the only run for Southern Miss in the fourth with a double to right field. Robbins scored on the play.
Reed Gordy led the way for McNeese with three hits and two RBIs. Starting pitcher Michael Desabrais was impressive on the mound, tossing four and two-thirds innings while only giving up one run on four hits and three strikeouts.
USM will travel to Monroe, La. to take on The University of Louisiana-Monroe Tuesday night at 6 p.m. before returning home for a weekend series against The University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
The competition will be stiff as both schools have had good starts to their seasons. ULM is 2-1 while ULL is 3-1.