Baseball Pulls Away Late in 15-4 Victory over Rice Friday Night
HOUSTON, Texas - No. 16 Southern Miss exploded for 10 runs over the final two innings to defeat Rice 15-4 in the opening game of a C-USA series at Reckling Park Friday night.
The Golden Eagles (27-8 overall, 11-2 C-USA) continued their hold on first place in the league as they won their seventh consecutive road conference game and their ninth true road contest.
Dylan Burdeaux had three of the Golden Eagles' 14 hits as he drove in three runs and extended his hitting streak to 12 games, including 11 multi-hit affairs during this stretch. Cole Donaldson and LeeMarcus Boyd added two hits each in the victory.
With the Golden Eagles leading 5-4, Southern Miss extended its lead by scoring four times after two were out in the eighth. Hunter Slater walked with two outs and then scored on a RBI double by Donaldson. After a walk to Storme Cooper, Boyd tripled to centerfield to drive in a pair of runs.
Southern Miss added six more runs on five hits in the ninth as Rice (12-24, 3-10) used six of its seven pitchers over the final two innings. Slater drove in the first run in the ninth on a run-scoring single after Casey Maack doubled.
After a single by Donaldson and a walk to Cooper, Burdeaux doubled in two runs to right. Irby then added a sacrifice fly and Jake Viaene finished the scoring with a two-run double.
The game saw three lead changes over the first four and a half inning as Rice scored first with a pair of runs in the second inning. Burdeaux knocked in the visitors' first run with a single in the third and then took the lead with a two-run homer by Daniel Keating to left-center, his sixth of the year.
Tristan Gray then gave Rice the lead back for the final time in the bottom of the third with a two-run homer to right, his second of the year.
Southern Miss took the lead for good in the fifth. With one out, Boyd and Burdeaux registered back-to-back singles. After a walk to Irby, Braley reached on a catcher's interference that forced in Boyd to make the score 4-4. Matt Wallner then gave the Golden Eagles the lead with a sacrifice fly.
Golden Eagle starter Kirk McCarty, who has fanned 30 and not walked a batter over his last four starts spanning in 28 innings, scattered seven hits over 6 1/3 innings and gave up four runs and fanned eight to register the victory and improve to 6-2.
Rice starter Matt Canterino (2-4) allowed five runs (three earned) on five hits and four walks with seven strikeouts to suffer the loss.
The two teams return to action Saturday with a 2 p.m., contest.