Southern Miss Battles Back From a 5-0 Deficit to Defeat Birmingham Southern, 6-5, To Win the Series in Game Three
Feb. 26, 2006
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Golden Eagles battled back from a five-run lead, scoring four runs in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth and rode All-American Closer Daniel Best's arm for the remaining innings to defeat Birmingham Southern, 6-5, in the second game of today's doubleheader at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field, in front of 3,070.
Southern Miss (6-2) scored six runs on 10 hits and committed two errors, while Birmingham Southern (2-3) scored five runs on 11 hits and committed two errors.
Best (3) pitched the final three innings, not giving up a hit or a walk and striking out five. Ryan Belanger (2-0) earned his second win of the season in relief, pitching in two innings, allowing four hits and no runs, while striking out one and walking one. Starting pitcher Brad Owen pitched in four innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, striking out three and not walking any.
Mark Doll (0-1) took the loss for the visiting Panthers, pitching in 3.1 innings in relief, giving up two runs, one earned on three hits, while striking out two and walking one. Starting pitcher Bailey Pratt lasted 4.2 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, while striking out three and walking one.
The Golden Eagle offense was led by Toddric Johnson, who had a team-high three hits, one RBI, one stolen base and one run scored. Michael Ewing added two hits, one double, and two runs scored, while Luke Adkins recorded two RBIs.
Leading the Panthers offense was Blake Burton, who finished with a game-high four hits, one double and one run scored. Matt Barber added two hits, one triple and two RBIs.
"It was a long day of baseball against a good team today," Head Coach Corky Palmer said. "We were a little flat after being down by five runs in the second game, but we did a great job as a team to win both games."
Birmingham Southern scored one run in the first inning for the 1-0 lead. Mark Goforth led off with a double to center field and advanced to third off a Scott Billak ground out to second and scored on Billy Hoeflich's ground out to second base, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
Birmingham Southern extended its lead when they added four more runs in the fourth inning to take a 5-0 lead. Burton singled, advanced to second when Brandon Hynick was hit by a pitch and moved to third on James Oliver's ground out on a sacrifice bunt. Casey Bond singled to left field to score Burton for a 2-0 Panther lead. With runners on first and second, Matt Barber tripled to score Hynick and Bond to take a 4-0 lead. Barber scored on Eric Farrell's ground out to third, to give the Panthers their fourth run of the inning.
Southern Miss rallied in the fifth inning, scoring four runs to cut the Panther lead to one, 5-4. Ewing singled to left field and advanced to third on Blount's single to right field. Brian Dozier flew out to right field to score Ewing for Southern Miss' first run of the game. Johnson singled to left field, advancing Blount to second base, before Bo Davis hit an RBI single up the middle and advanced to second by a fielding error by the center fielder to score Blount and advance Johnson to third.
After Maddox walked, Adkins hit a two-run RBI single through the right side that scored Johnson and Davis, cutting Birmingham Southern's lead to 5-4.
Southern Miss scored two runs in the sixth to take the lead, 6-5, Ewing led off the inning with a double to right center, followed by Blount getting hit by a pitch, before both players advanced to third and second, respectively, on a passed ball. Dozier hit a ground out RBI to second base that scored Ewing to tie the game at 5-5. Southern Miss took the 6-5 lead as Johnson hit a ground out RBI to second base to score Blount.
Southern Miss returns to action on Wednesday, March 1 at Southeastern Louisiana. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. in Hammond, La.