May 13, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Blake Brown delivered a go-ahead two-run double in the completion of the suspended game and Dillon Day notched a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 12th in the scheduled contest to lead the Golden Eagles to 5-3 and 5-4 baseball victories over East Carolina Sunday at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
The Golden Eagles (28-22 overall, 12-9 C-USA) swept the Pirates for the third time in six visits to Hattiesburg and have taken all three games in the last two series at Pete Taylor Park. It also marked the second league series sweep at home this season for Southern Miss.
In the regularly scheduled game, the Golden Eagles and Pirates battled into the 12th with a 4-4 contest as each team had their chances to win the contest in the extra frames.
ECU (32-19-1, 13-10-1) had a chance to take the go-ahead run twice in the contest with the game tied, but Day threw out runners at the plate in both the eighth and 11th innings to keep the score even.
It was then Day who delivered the game-winning in the 12th. After Brown singled through the left side with one out, he went to third on a wild pickoff throw by Pirate reliever Tanner Merritt. Day then lifted a 1-2 pitch into right-center to score Brown to end it.
"It's Mother's Day, but it's also Dillon's day as well," said Southern Miss coach Scott Berry. "He throws those two guys out at the plate - both potential winning runs - then gets the walk-off hit. I was proud to see him do it, especially considering he hadn't been swinging the bat the way I know he wants to. For him to come out here and play on that level was great to see."
Freshman Cody Livingston threw the final two innings and allowed just two hits to get the victory and improve to 2-1 on the campaign, while Merritt (3-6) suffered the loss by giving up an unearned run in the final frame.
Brown and Day each had three hits in the contest as the Golden Eagles tallied four doubles in the contest including RBI two-base hits for Mason Robbins and Brown in the second and Ashley Graeter in the sixth.
ECU plated three runs in the second on four hits and John Wooten registered a home run in the fifth, a solo shot for his eighth of the year, to account for the Pirate scoring.
In the suspended game which resumed at 9 a.m., after it was delayed on Saturday at 11:48 a.m., and then called at 2:15 p.m., to be picked up on Sunday, restarted in the top of the 7th with the score tied at 2-2.
ECU immediately went ahead on a double by Wooten, but the Golden Eagles took the lead for good in the bottom of the frame on a two-run double from Brown. Kameron Brunty singled to lead of the frame and Travis Creel walked and each scored on Brown's hit. The Golden Eagles then added a solo home run by Robbins, his third, in the eighth.
"I was very proud of the way we came back in that first game," said Berry. "We gave up the go-ahead run, but scratched and came back. Some freshmen played some big roles in there, like Mason (Robbins) with the big home run and Cody Livingston on the mound. It's been a roller coaster year, everyone knows that. We want to be playing our best ball right now at the end of the season. We know what we have to do, so there's no more pressure as far as that goes. We just have to keep playing good baseball."
Reliever Chase Horn got the final two outs of the seventh to earn the victory and improve to 1-3 on the year. Livingston got a pair of out outs before Golden Eagle closer Bradley Roney was summoned to get the final four outs and register his 10th save of the campaign.
Merritt suffered the loss in the first game as well, giving up a couple of runs in a 1/3 on an inning.
The Golden Eagles return to action for their final regular-season series at UAB, beginning Thursday at Young Memorial Field.
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