Riding a two-game winning streak, The University of Southern Mississippi baseball team planned to continue its winning ways in a three-game Conference USA series with Middle Tennessee State University.
The Golden Eagles could not match the Blue Raiders’ offense that tallied 17 hits as they destroyed Southern Miss 13-1 Friday night at Pete Taylor Park.
Middle Tennessee scored all of their runs in only four innings. The Blue Raiders plated two runs in the third inning, tallied five runs in the fifth, two in the sixth and a commanding four in the eighth inning.
“One thing was really we never pitched down in the zone,” said Southern Miss coach Scott Berry. “We didn’t make enough of an adjustment to offset what they were doing (at the plate).”
The Golden Eagles’ first and only run came off a Michael Gilbert RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. For the night, Nick Dawson led the Golden Eagles with two of its nine hits.
Southern Miss pitcher Christian Talley started the game strong, striking out the first six batters he faced. Then things went downhill. He allowed four back-to-back RBI singles in the third inning before leaving the game in the fifth, giving up four runs on seven hits with a walk and strikeout.
For the Blue Raiders, Austin Bryant and Jake Ellison led the way with three hits apiece. Dustin Delgado, Jake Ingold, Kevin Dupree and Austin Bryant tallied two runs apiece. Middle Tennessee starting pitcher Zac Curtis allowed nine hits, struck out 11 and walked one to improve to 4-1 on the year.
Due to bad weather expected on Sunday, the two teams played in a doubleheader Saturday.
Southern Miss pitcher Connor Fisk limited the Blue Raiders to five hits, walked four over seven innings and had 11 strikeouts as Southern Miss trounced Middle Tennessee 7-0 in game one of the Saturday doubleheader at Pete Taylor Park.
The Golden Eagles’ first run came in the form of a two-run double by Nick Dawson. Then in the fourth, Dylan Burdeaux and Austin Roussel scored off of a Michael Gilbert sacrifice bunt. Finally, the Golden Eagles scored three more runs in the seventh to finish the game.
Blue Raider starting pitcher Paul Mittura (1-2) allowed Southern Miss to score seven runs (five earned) on seven hits in seven innings. He gave up three walks and struck out two.
In game two of the double-header, USM continued with their recent winning ways. After trailing 6-5 in the sixth, center fielder Connor Barron blasted a RBI single to center field to bring Austin Roussel to home plate for a score.
Then, Barron stole second base and finally came home for the game-winning run as Southern Miss beat Middle Tennessee 7-6 Saturday afternoon in the series finale.