Guidry and Smith Help No. 16 Southern Miss Respond from Early Deficit in 17-6 C-USA Series Clinching Win
HOUSTON -- No. 16 Southern Miss overcame an early deficit with a grand slam by Matthew Guidry and a solid relief effort from Colt Smith to defeat Rice 17-6 Sunday afternoon at Reckling Park in capturing a Conference USA series.
The Golden Eagles (28-9 overall, 12-3 C-USA) collected a season-high tying 18 hits as the squad captured its second-ever series win at Rice and first since 2008.
Guidry, along with Dylan Burdeaux and Mason Irby, led the Golden Eagle offensive attack with three hits each as the visitors belted a total of four home runs in the game.
Burdeaux led off the game with a single and scored one batter later when Irby doubled to right-center.
That 1-0 lead did not last long as Rice rallied with two hits and two walks off of starter J.C. Keys. Keys did not register an out and Smith came in to get out of the jam but not before the Owls (13-25, 4-11) scoredfour times to take the lead.
The Golden Eagles, which scored in eight different frames, then cut into the advantage with a bases-loaded walk by Irby to make the score 4-2.
Southern Miss then took the lead for good in the third.
With one out, Matt Wallner doubled to right, before Jake Viaene -- in his first career start -- drew a walk and Cole Donaldson was hit by a pitch. That brought up Guidry, who laced a grand slam to rightfield off the scoreboard to give the Golden Eagles a 6-4 advantage. Guidry's second homer of the year came off of Rice closer Glenn Otto, who was making his second start of the season, and also ended his day.
Otto (3-3) allowed six runs (five earned) on five hits and four walks with four strikeouts over 2 1/3 innings to suffer the loss.
Smith, meanwhile, limited Rice to just one run over 4 2/3 innings on six hits and two walks to go along with two strikeouts to earn the win and improve to 2-0.
The Golden Eagles added two more home runs in the fourth to add to their lead as Taylor Braley belted a two-run shot to left for his ninth of the game, as he ended with a game-high five RBI. Cole Donaldson then followed later with a solo shot, for his second of the year.
Southern Miss then added solo runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth frames, before pulling away with five in the ninth.
The first five hitters reached in the ninth and Braley started the scoring with a two-run double, before Wallner knocked in a run with a double of its own. Pinch hitter Daniel Keating then finished the scoring with a two-run shot to left for his ninth of the campaign.
The Golden Eagles return to action Tuesday when they make their first of two regular-season trips to MGM Park in Biloxi. Southern Miss will play Nicholls State in a 7:05 p.m. contest.
- @USMGoldenEagles/@SouthernMissBSB --