March 24, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Rice scored four runs over the final two innings to erase a Southern Miss lead and defeat the Golden Eagles in Conference USA action, 6-3, here Sunday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
The Golden Eagles (9-14 overall, 1-2 C-USA) dropped the opening league series of the season, while the Owls improved to 18-8 overall and 2-1 in league play.
Isaac Rodriguez collected three hits, including a pair of doubles, to lead the seven-hit Golden Eagle attack.
With the Golden Eagles leading 3-2 in the top of the eighth, C-USA Preseason Player of the Year Christian Stringer singled to right off of USM starter Conor Fisk.
"Outstanding, outstanding," Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said of Fisk's effort. "He got stronger as he went along. He took the momentum away from them and kept the momentum. He made some big pitches for us."
That single in the eighth, though, finished Fisk's day as he allowed three runs on eight hits with three walks and five strikeouts but did not record a decision in the contest, and the Golden Eagles went to reliever Cody Livingston.
After getting a fielder's choice to erase Stringer, Livingston surrendered a bloop single to Michael Aquino in right. The Golden Eagles then went to closer Bradley Roney who walked the first two batters he faced with the second one driving in the tying run. Rice then went ahead on a ground ball to second that was unable to be turned into a double play.
The throw on the play bounced in front of Blake Brown and kicked away to allow Rice to score another run to make the game 5-3. The Owls added their final run in the ninth courtesy of a A.J. Glasshof wild pitch.
Rice took an early lead on a Skyler Ewing solo home run to rightfield, his second in the third, but the Golden Eagles took their first lead in the bottom of the inning as Dillon Day drove in a run with a single and Tim Lynch knocked in a run with a sacrifice bunt.
Ewing, who drove in three runs and had two hits, singled in the tying run at 2-2 in the fourth with a single, before USM took its final advantage in the bottom half of the frame with a solo homer from Chase Fowler down the rightfield line. It was the first career round-tripper for the senior.
Blake Fox threw 2/3 of an inning in relief of John Simms to get the victory and improve to 2-0, while Zech Lemond retired all six batters he faced over the final two innings to get his second save in as many saves to extend his total to six on the season.
The Golden Eagles return to action Tuesday, when they play host to South Alabama in a 6 p.m., contest at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
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