Baseball Can't Hold Early Lead in 13-11 Setback to ODU Saturday
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - No. 16 Southern Miss registered four first-inning runs against Old Dominion ace Adam Bainbridge, but could not hold the lead in dropping a 13-11 decision to the Monarchs Saturday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
The Golden Eagles (30-11 overall, 13-4 C-USA) remain at the top of the C-USA standings as the two teams play the deciding game of the series Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
Six different Golden Eagles registered two hits each as Dylan Burdeaux, Hunter Slater, Taylor Braley, Matt Wallner, Storme Cooper and Mason Irby led the 14-hit home squad attack. Will Morgan paced the ODU attack with four hits, including three doubles and a game-high six RBI.
Burdeaux, Daniel Keating and Braley all scratched out hits to start the bottom of the first. After a wild pitch scored Burdeaux, who extended his hitting streak to 18 games with 15 multi-hit contests during that span, Wallner followed with a triple down the rightfield line to score a pair of runs. The freshman then scored on Bainbridge's second wild pitch of the inning.
The Monarchs, who had 13 hits of their own which included nine for extra bases, used those extra-base hits to take the lead in the second.
After Morgan drove in the first run with a single, Turner Bishop hit a two-run homer, his first, and Jared Young added a two-run blast of his own, his seventh, off of Southern Miss starter Hayden Roberts to take the 5-4 lead.
Roberts allowed seven runs on seven hits over 2 1/3 innings with a walk and two strikeouts but did not figure in the decision.
ODU added to its lead with a Morgan third-inning two-run double and then led 8-4 in the fifth after a Bishop collected his own RBI double.
The Golden Eagles rallied to tie the game at 8-apiece in the sixth. Cooper opened the frame with a single, before Irby singled and LeeMarcus Boyd doubled home the first run. That sent Bainbridge to the showers, as he allowed a season-high seven runs on nine hits with three walks and four strikeouts. The ODU left-hander entered the game with a 0.99 earned run average.
After a flyout, Slater tripled down the rightfield line, driving home two runs. Slater then scored on a sacrifice fly to make the score 8-8.
ODU jumped out again in the eighth with four runs off of Southern Miss closer Nick Sandlin and then added a solo run in the ninth. The Monarchs, though, touched Sandlin for four runs in an inning of work on two hits and two walks with a pair of strikeouts. Sandlin suffered the loss and fell to 5-1 on the year.
The Golden Eagles again tried to rally, scoring two runs in the eighth on a two-run Wallner single and a Cooper solo home run, his third, in the ninth to account for the final run.
Craig Lopez, the second of four ODU pitchers, allowed three runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings to get credited with the victory and improve to 4-2.