March 20, 2011
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - Sophomore Geofrrey Thomas tossed a complete game and Adam Doleac drove in four runs off the bench to lead Southern Miss to a 6-3 baseball victory over No. 19 Connecticut here Sunday morning in the final day of the Cougar Invitational.
The Golden Eagles, who are off to their best 18-game start since 2004, won for the eighth consecutive time to improve to 15-3 on the campaign and were the only team to win all three games in the tournament.
Thomas (4-1) threw his first complete game of his career and the first for the Golden Eagles since Scott Copeland registered one versus Memphis on May 20, 2010. The Stone Mountain, Ga., product allowed two earned runs on four hits and three walks with six strikeouts in the contest.
The Huskies (8-9) got to the USM starter early as they started the game with a pair of infield singles. LJ Mazzilli opened the scoring with an RBI single and Nick Ahmed made the score 2-0 when he stole third and Golden Eagle catcher Jared Bales' throw went into leftfield to allow him to come home.
Ryan Fuller plated the only other UConn run as he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make the score 3-0.
Thomas then settled down and retired 18 of the next 21 batters, including the final 12 to end the contest.
Southern Miss began their comeback in the fourth as Isaac Rodriguez, who drove in the game winner in the 15th inning the night before against Rhode Island, belted a double to leftfield. After a groundout, Ashley Graeter collected an RBI single to cut the gap.
The Golden Eagles closed the margin one frame later when B.A. Vollmuth homered with two outs for his seventh round-tripper of the season.
Rodriguez got the Eagles going again in the sixth as he started things with a double. After a walk to Jared Bales and a sacrifice, Doleac - a pinch hitter - singled to rightfield to put the Golden Eagles up for good.
Doleac then helped Southern Miss increase their lead in the seventh with a two-run double down the leftfield line.
UConn reliever Will Jolin (1-1) suffered the loss as he allowed four runs on four hits with a walk and no strikeouts over 1 1/3 innings.
The Golden Eagles complete their five-game road swing Tuesday when they travel to face Louisiana-Monroe in a 6 p.m., contest.
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