Five-Run First Helps Eagles Complete Sweep of LA Tech
April 20, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Bradley Roney highlighted a five-run first inning with a three-run home run to lift Southern Miss to an 8-3 victory over Louisiana Tech here Sunday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field and complete a three-game Conference USA sweep.
The Golden Eagles (24-17 overall, 13-5 C-USA) collected its first league sweep since defeating UAB three times April 26-27, 2013, at home. The Golden Eagles have won their first six series to start league play with Rice coming to Pete Taylor Park next weekend. Southern Miss trails only the Owls in the league standings, just 1 ½ games behind the leader.
This was the first time in the six series wins that the Golden Eagles were able to sweep an opponent this season.
"The challenge before today's game was that we were two thirds of the way to sweeping the series," said Southern Miss coach Scott Berry. "This team has had some opportunities to do that and had not gotten it done (before today)."
The Golden Eagles jumped out early on the Bulldogs (10-27, 4-17). After a flyout by Breck Kline, Michael Sterling was hit by a pitch. After a stolen base by Sterling, Tim Lynch then reached on a fielding error allowing Sterling to score the game's first run.
Matt Durst, who led the Golden Eagles with three of their 12 hits, then singled before Roney blasted a Braden Bristo 3-2 pitch over the leftfield wall for his second homer of the campaign. Austin Roussel then finished the scoring in the frame with a run-scoring single. Roussel plated Dylan Burdeaux on the play, who reached with a single of his own.
Southern Miss added another tally in the second on an RBI single up the middle from Durst and then got a sacrifice fly from Roney and a run-scoring single from Burdeaux in the seventh to complete the home team's scoring. Roney drove in a season-high four runs in the contest.
Cody Carroll (3-0) threw six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and three walks with six strikeouts to collect the victory as Golden Eagle pitching did not allow a LA Tech run for the first 24 innings of the series.
The Bulldogs got to reliever Jake Winston in the seventh on a two-run homer from Tyler Ervine, his fourth, to deep centerfield and then added a run off Luke Lowery in the eighth on a single from Jordan Taylor.
Bristo (1-1) got just one out in the first and faced seven hitters, giving up five runs (four earned) on four hits and a hit batsman to suffer the loss. Southern Miss also got two hits from Sterling, Lynch and Burdeaux in the contest.
The Golden Eagles return to action Tuesday when they travel to Tuscaloosa to face nationally ranked Alabama at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Game time is set for 6:05 p.m.