Southern Miss’ bats and Walker Powell’s arm led the Golden Eagles to a 12-3 win over Tulane on the road and cut the all-time series lead to 96-61-1.
“Tonight, I thought our guys came in very focused and really competed,” Head Coach Scott Berry said. “It started up on the mound with Walker Powell throwing a lot of zeros and really just being in the driver seat from the first pitch on. I thought they did a great job with two out hitting and just putting pressure and continuing to put pressure not only with the bat but with the base running too.”
The Golden Eagles’ bats were kicked off by Mason Irby, who hit an RBI double down the left field line in the second inning to give Southern Miss a 1-0 lead.
Southern Miss’ bats stayed hot as the Golden Eagles scored four more runs on four hits in the third inning. Matt Wallner hit a two-run home run to start the rally and Irby hit in another RBI off a single. An error from Tulane scored the final run of the inning for Southern Miss.
In the fourth inning, Tulane’s pitching ran into issues as the Green Wave went through three different pitchers. Southern Miss scored three runs by being walked in by the Green Wave’s pitching. Gabe Montenegro and Guidry hit back-to-back singles to add the other three runs.
Donaldson added another run in the fifth inning with a sac-fly to extend the Golden Eagles’ lead 12-0.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, relief pitcher Jordan Hayes walked three batters and walked in a run to give Tulane its first run of the game. Alex Nelms then pitched in relief and allowed two more runs on an RBI single and a wild pitch which cut the lead 12-3.
“[I] was just trying to just get some guys some looks,” Berry said. “It’s a long year [and] we have to give some guys some chances and get them in there. You can only throw so many bullpens and they have to go out there prove to themselves that they can do it.”
Nevertheless, Southern Miss generated 15 hits and turned three double plays during the game.
“We hadn’t really put a whole game together as far as pitching defense and hitting,” Irby said. That was kind of the focus to put a complete game together.”
Irby finished 4-for-4 with a walk and three RBIs, Wallner was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Daniel Keating was 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.
In six innings pitched, Powell gave up four hits, struck out six in 65 pitches and improved his ERA from a 6.30 ERA to a 3.94 ERA.
“As a whole this year this was the most comfortable I felt,” Powell said. “Pitches were working, I was down in the zone, it’s easy to pitch behind an offense we got.”
The Golden Eagles improve to 12-4 and enter conference play with a four-game winning streak. Southern Miss will return to action against University of Texas at San Antonio on March 16 at 6 p.m.