Powered by Smith and Burdeaux, Baseball Wins Opener over FAU 11-2
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Dylan Burdeaux registered a career-high six runs batted in and Colt Smith added career-best seven shutout innings to lead No. 20 Southern Miss over No. 28 Florida Atlantic 11-2 Friday night in a Conference USA series opener at Pete Taylor Park.
The Golden Eagles (35-12 overall, 17-5 C-USA) won for the fifth time in a row and extended their lead atop the league as they held a one-game advantage over the Owls (29-14-1, 15-7) at the start of play on Friday.
Southern Miss jumped out with six runs in the second. After a walk and a strikeout, Jake Viaene then singled. Cole Donaldson then singled home the first run and a second run was plated on a FAU throwing error. After another walk, LeeMarcus recorded a double for the fourth consecutive game to make the score 3-0. Burdeaux, who also had three hits in the game, then finished the scoring with a three-run homer to right-center for his ninth round-tripper of the season.
That was all Smith needed as he surrendered just two hits to the Owls in his first career start for the Golden Eagles. After a double to leadoff the game and a second-inning single, Smith gave up just two more base runners, and five total, to finish the contest with two walks and three strikeouts.
"He gives up the leadoff double but he's able to pitch out of it," said Southern Miss coach Scott Berry. "He's pitched really well for us all year. I was glad to have him out there."
Smith retired the final 11 Owls he faced to register the victory and improve to 3-0.
Burdeaux added an RBI single in the fourth and then started a four-run eighth with a two-run single in that frame. Southern Miss added a run-scoring single from Mason Irby and a sacrifice fly by Taylor Braley to complete their scoring.
The Owls scored both of their runs in the eighth as they took advantage of a Golden Eagle error to notch both tallies off of reliever Trent Driver, who threw the eighth. Alex Nelms then threw a scoreless ninth.
FAU starter Alex House, allowed seven runs on six hits and three walks with four strikeouts to suffer the loss and fall to 5-3.
The teams continue the series with a 2 p.m., contest Saturday.