Kline's 8th Inning Pinch-Hit Single Lifts Eagles over Alabama
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Sophomore Breck Kline (Slidell, La.) delivered a pinch-hit, run-scoring single in the bottom of the eighth which proved to be the game winner as Southern Miss defeated No. 21 Alabama, 2-1, here Wednesday night at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
The Golden Eagles (4-5) won for the second consecutive game and will entertain Troy in a three-game series this weekend beginning Friday with a 6 p.m., contest.
With the score tied at 1-1 in the pivotal eighth frame, junior Mason Robbins (Leakesville, Miss.) led off the bottom of the inning with a single. After a sacrifice bunt by Matt Durst, Dylan Burdeaux was intentionally walked. The Golden Eagles then went to the bench and Kline delivered a single to left off of Crimson Tide reliever Taylor Guilbeau to plate Robbins for the game-winning run.
"It feels good and wins do amazing things for you," said Southern Miss coach Scott Berry. "They take care of a lot of stress levels and they make it easier to go to sleep at night and get up the next day. This was big. Our guys have been grinding. It started out pretty rough. We hadn't deserved to win a lot of games and if we continue to play like we're playing right now, we'll win our share."
Junior Christian Talley (Diamondhead, Miss.), who redshirted his first season at the collegiate level at Alabama before transferring to junior college, pitched 7 1/3 strong innings in a start for the Golden Eagles allowing an unearned run on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts but did not figure in the decision.
In the top of the eighth, Talley gave up a one-out double to Bama catcher Wade Wass, before the Golden Eagles went to the bullpen for senior reliever Jay Myrick (Spanish Fort, Ala.).
Myrick fanned the first batter he faced before allowing a walk to give the Tide two runners on base. Myrick, though, then collected his second strikeout to end the inning and the threat, getting the victory to improve to 1-1. Junior Bradley Roney (Wetumpka, Ala.) came on and got three outs in the ninth to get his second save of the season.
The teams each scored their first run of the game in the fifth inning courtesy of errors from the other club.
Bama scored on a ground ball to Nick Dawson at second base that was mishandled before the Golden Eagles got the tying tally by benefiting from an error themselves. Roney, who started the game at third base, started the frame with a bunt single that was thrown wild of the bag by Bama third baseman Chase Vincent allowing him to take an extra base. Dawson then provided a sacrifice bunt moving Roney to third and junior Connor Barron (Hattiesburg, Miss.) then knocked in the run with a groundout.
Guilbeau threw the final three innings for the Tide, giving up a run on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts.