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One Big Scoring Inning Dooms Golden Eagles Saturday at FIU

April 14, 2018

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MIAMI - FIU scored in just one inning, but that was all they needed to defeat No. 12 Southern Miss 5-4 at Infinity Insurance Park Saturday evening to even the Conference USA series.

The Golden Eagles (23-11 overall, 9-4 C-USA) and Panthers (17-18, 7-7) play the final game of the set, Sunday, starting at 11 a.m. CT.

Luke Reynolds and Mason Irby each led the Golden Eagles with three hits apiece and took the early lead with a solo run in the third.

Cole Donaldson opened the frame with a double down the leftfield line, and scored one batter later when Irby collected a single to right.

That was the only lead for the visitors as FIU plated five runs in the fourth. The Panthers got consecutive singles off of Golden Eagle starter Walker Powell. After a strikeout and a hit by pitch to load the bases, Lorenzo Hampton hit a triple to center to clear the bases. Just one batter later, Will Saxton homered to right for his second round-tripper of the season to complete the Panthers' scoring.

Powell lasted 4 2/3 innings for the Golden Eagles and surrendered all five runs on seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts to suffer the loss and fall to 3-2.

The Golden Eagles added a pair of doubles in the fifth by Irby and Gabe Montenegro with the latter two-base hit driving in the second run of the game.

Southern Miss added its final runs in the seventh on a two-run single by Reynolds, but left two batters stranded. The Golden Eagles left 11 base runners in the contest.

The visitors also loaded the bases in the ninth on back-to-back two-out singles by Reynolds and Matt Wallner, before Hunter Slater was hit by a pitch.

FIU went to the bullpen for the second time during the game and Steven Casey got Bryant Bowen to groundout to second and end the game.

Anders Nunez got the win for the Panthers on the strength of allowing two runs on five hits with two strikeouts and seven strikeouts over six innings to improve to 3-2. Casey registered his second save.

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