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Baseball Cannot Overcome Big UCA First-Inning in 14-3 Loss

Michael Sterling

March 16, 2013

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss surrendered eight runs in the first inning and No. 30 Central Arkansas ran away with a 14-3 decision here Saturday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park Hill Denson Field.

The Bears (17-2) collected 13 hits, 12 walks and three hit batsmen off of six Golden Eagle pitchers to capture the series.

Southern Miss collected eight hits of its own, including two from junior Jared Bales, who made his first appearance in over a year due to a back injury. The Picayune, Miss., native singled in his second at bat and then homered off the scoreboard in left-centerfield in the eighth for his third career round-tripper in his return. His last appearance for the Golden Eagles came on March 4, 2012, in a 5-4 victory at Auburn.

Ethan Harris, the hero of Friday night's game with a pair of RBI and a run scored, capped off the eight-run first with a grand slam to right field. The shot was his first of the season as he registered a pair of hits and five RBI in the contest.

The Bears chased USM starter Jake Drehoff (0-3) after seven batters, as he struck out one for his only recorded out and surrendered six runs on three hits with two walks and a hit batsman.

Harris then helped UCA build their lead as he drove in the first tally of a three-run, fourth inning with a single and the visitors added a solo run in the sixth on a RBI single by Michael Marietta and then two more in the eighth on a two-run triple from Jonathan Davis.

The Golden Eagles (7-11) plated two runs in the seventh on a pinch-hit, two-run single from Michael Sterling and then added Bales' homer one frame later.

UCA starter Jeffery Enloe (4-0) threw six shutout innings and gave up four hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts to get the victory.

Southern Miss will try to salvage the series with a victory on Sunday. Game time is set for 1 p.m., and will feature USM righthander Conor Fisk (0-1, 0.00 ERA) against UCA righty Bryce Biggerstaff (2-0, 2.25 ERA).

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