Chase Fowler drives in second run of the contest.
March 31, 2012
HOUSTON, Texas - Jake Drehoff scattered eight hits over 8 2/3 and Mason Robbins and Chase Fowler each drove in a run to lead Southern Miss to a 2-1 victory over Rice here Saturday afternoon at Reckling Park.
The Golden Eagles (16-11 overall, 3-2 Conference USA) evened the series after losing, 6-3, Friday night in the opener. The series finale is set for 1 p.m, Sunday, and can be seen on Fox Sports Net, including SportSouth as one of the regional carriers. Please check local listings to see if the game is on in your area.
The Golden Eagles opened the scoring in the first by getting three walks and a hit batter, but were only able to plate one run as Robbins knocked in the game's first tally with a fielder's choice.
Southern Miss added its other run in the third. Fowler knocked in the run with a bases-loaded single to left, but Ashley Graeter then was thrown out at the plate to end the rally.
The visitors managed just four hits and tried to take advantage of nine Rice walks, but left a season-high tying 12 base runners in the game including 10 over the first five innings. Southern Miss also was limited without a hit over the final five frames.
Rice cut the gap with an RBI single from Christian Stringer in the third, but Drehoff posted his fourth victory without a loss as he kept the Owls (20-9, 3-2) off kilter all afternoon enticing 17 groundball outs in the contest.
Owl starter Jordan Stephens (2-2) lasted just eight batters, getting lifted after allowing a double to Travis Creel in the second. Stephen gave up a run on a hit with three walks and a hit batter, while fanning two.
The 8 2/3 innings was the longest outing for a Golden Eagle starter this season. After allowing a two-out single in the ninth to Stringer, USM called on Bradley Roney who got a flyout to end the contest and get his team-best fourth save of the year.
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