The Golden Eagles opened up Conference USA play when Florida International traveled to Pete Taylor Park for a three game series. Southern Miss dropped the first game of the series, but bounced back to win the final two matchups.
In the first game of the series, The Golden Eagles and the Panthers were battling to keep the game close, but neither team gave ground. That was until the Panthers ran away with the game when they scored seven unearned runs in the ninth inning to beat Southern Miss 9-1.
The Golden Eagles defense played a huge role in keeping the game close until the ninth inning. Southern Miss’ sharp defense forced three double plays, tying the season record. Seven runs in an inning was also a season high for numbers of runs giving up this season.
In the eighth inning, FIU’s Brain Portelli was at the plate with a 1-2 count when he brought home a run on a sacrifice fly that brought Jack Schaaf home and made it a 2-1 ballgame. But the Panthers exploded in the ninth.
FIU recorded seven runs on four hits, two errors and left just one man on base. JC Escarra started the scoring for the Panthers, scoring on a fielding error by Southern Miss. Zach Soria made it 4-1 when he crossed home plate coming off of another error by Southern Miss. Schaaf and Austin Rodriguez scored when Edwin Rios singled to left field.
Josh Anderson connected for a single to center field to advance the runners and bring Julius Gaines home. Escarra put the finishing touches on the seven run inning when he hit a single to center field that brought home Anderson and Rios.
There was too much to make up for and the Golden Eagles could not get it done in the bottom of the ninth.
The Golden Eagles were riding a two-game winning streak coming into their first conference series. Although the loss ended the streak, head coach Scott Berry did not want his players hanging their heads after dropping game one
“We’ve just got to get ready to play tomorrow,” Berry said. “It’s a three-game series, not a one-game series. Tomorrow is the most important game on our schedule. FIU came in and played better than we did.”
In game two of the series, Southern Miss recorded multiple three-run innings to beat FIU and even the season series at one apiece. Three runs in the fifth and eight innings fueled the Southern Miss victory.
FIU opened the scoring with an RBI single by Gains that scored Silva in the top of the third inning. Cody Carroll got the next batter to ground out, which the Golden Eagles turned into a double play. Southern Miss took a 3-1 lead over the Panthers with a big fifth inning.
With runners on first and second, Dylan Burdeaux put down a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners. Tim Lynch was intentionally walked to load the bases for the Golden Eagles.
Taylor Braley stepped up to the plate and hit a two-run single off of the arm of Andres Nunez. The hit allowed Daniel Keating and Barron to score. Taylor Lynch reached home on a wild pitch to give Southern Miss a 3-1 lead.
FIU was able to get to within one with a Schaaf single that scored Sliva to make it a 3-2 point ball game. Austin Roussel’s RBI in the seventh inning brought home James Lear. Southern Miss used another three run inning to put the Panthers away for good.
Breck Kline doubled down the right field to bring home Barron and Dawson. Kline would later reach home on a wild pitch to give the Golden Eagles a 7-2 lead. FIU got on the board one last time when a Southern Miss throwing error helped Spencer Levine reach home.
Cody Carroll allowed one earned run over seven innings to record the win for the Golden Eagles.
In the third and final game of the C-USA series, The Golden Eagles only needed one inning to defeat the FIU Panthers. Southern Miss scored 10 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on their way to a 10-0 victory over C-USA foe the FIU Panthers. The Golden Eagles are now 11-7 -1 overall and 2-1 in conference play. FIU is now 9-11 overall and 1-2 in Conference play.
Daniel Keating was the hero for the Golden Eagles, recording two triples in the inning, tying a school record. Dawson and Barron were on first and second when Keating tripled to bring them home.
Kline then followed with a single up the middle to bring Keating home. Durst continued his strong hitting streak by hitting a triple of his own down right field to bring Kline home.
Durst was able to reach home plate on a wild pitch off the arm of Christopher Mourelle. Another wild pitch led to Taylor Braley crossing home. Roussel reached home plate when Dawson singled to right field.
Keating returned to the plate fresh off hitting a triple, and made contact again for another triple. It was like déjà vu as the triple brought home Dawson and Barron again. Kline’s next at bat resulted in a RBI and the tenth run as he brought Keating home with a single to center field.
FIU did not generate any offense in the seventh and the game was called on the ten-run rule. The Golden Eagles hit the road to play their next opponent, the University of New Orleans Privateers, on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.