April 1, 2011
Box Score (PDF)
ORLANDO, Fla. -
Marc Bourgeois belted a three-run home run in the top of the ninth to break a deadlock score and No. 20 Southern Miss held off No. 23 UCF 6-5 in the opening game of a Conference USA series here Friday night at Jay Bergman Field.
The Golden Eagles (20-5 overall, 3-1 C-USA) won for the third straight game as they improved to 7-3 away from home this season.
Bourgeois led Southern Miss with three of its nine hits while driving in three runs. Adam Doleac added two hits and Kameron Brunty added a two-run homer, his third, to open the game's scoring in the fifth.
Up until that homer, starting pitchers Todd McInnis and Ben Lively battled through four scoreless innings.
The Golden Eagles extended the advantage in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Chase Fowler to make the score 3-0.
The Knights (19-7, 2-2) fought back into the game with two runs in the seventh on a RBI fielder's choice and a RBI double by Derek Luciano to cut the score to 3-2. UCF then took advantage of a fielding error with two outs by B.A. Vollmuth in the eighth to tie the score at 3-3. Ryan Breen then looked to put the Knights ahead with a slicing line drive and a runner on first, but USM centerfielder Justin Diliberto made a nice diving catch to end the threat.
Brunty, who scored twice in the contest, opened the ninth by reaching on a fielding error by Jonathan Griffin at first base. After a Tyler Koelling sacrifice, Vollmuth was intentionally walked and Bourgeois took a 2-0 Brian Adkins pitch over the rightfield wall to put the Golden Eagles up three runs.
UCF, though, had one finally rally in its last at bat. Luciano started the final inning by doubling for the second consecutive at bat, this time coming off of USM closer Collin Cargill. After a single to put runners at the corners, the Knights scored on a wild pitch and then a groundout to cut the gap to one run.
The Golden Eagles made another error and Cargill issued a two-out walk to keep the Knights alive, but got Griffin to hit into fielder's choice to end the game.
Cargill (3-1) threw the final 1 2/3 and allowed two runs on two hits and a walk to capture the victory. McInnis got the start for the Eagles and limited UCF to two runs on eight hits and a walk with four strikeouts.
Adkins, who came in relief of Lively, suffered the loss and fell to 4-2 as he allowed two earned runs on one hit and two walks with two strikeouts.
The two teams continue the series with a 3 p.m., CT contest Saturday.