HOUSTON - Southern Miss scored 12 runs in their first three at bats but Rice scored 19 consecutive runs to take the series with a 21-14 victory Sunday afternoon at Reckling Park in Houston.
"Our bullpen was simply not good enough to hold Rice off today," head coach Scott Berry said. "After we had the long inning in the third (Jay) Myrick could not ever find that rhythm again."
Sophomore B.A. Vollmuth had a career day at the plate for the Golden Eagles. On the afternoon he was four-for-five with two home runs, a grand slam and a three-run shot, a double, walk, seven RBI and two runs scored.
In the Rice series he hit .615 (8/13) with four home runs, 11 RBI, six runs scored, three walks and 21 total bases while slugging 1.625 and a .688 on base percentage.
On the mound Southern Miss simply did not have an answer for the Rice bats today. Each of the six pitchers that worked in the game gave up at least one run. Starting pitcher Jay Myrick allowed six earned runs in two-plus innings while reliever Cody Schlagel allowed four runs in 1.1 innings.
Ryan MacNamara (1-2) took the loss allowing four runs, though only one was earned, in one-third of an inning. Jeff Stanley allowed just one run in 1.1 innings and Seth Hester allowed three runs in 2.1 innings. Mandella Mingo was the final pitcher used in the game and he allowed three runs in just two-thirds of an inning.
Rice's Boogie Anafnostou was the fourth pitcher Rice went to in the third inning, hethrew 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on six hits.
"We could not ever find the right person out of the pen to stop the bleeding today and their pitcher did. We put up eight runs then Anafnostou shut us down for the next five innings," Berry added.
Southern Miss jumped on top for the third consecutive game as B.A. Vollmuth hit his third home run of the series, a three run shot in the top of the first inning. Brunty, who led off the game with a walk, and Walker, who singled, both scored on the play to put Southern Miss up 3-0. The rally continued as Mark Ellis drew a walk and went to third on Dillon Day's RBI single before he scored a Marc Bourgeois' RBI groundout.
Rice cut the Southern Miss lead in half in the bottom of the second inning as Diego Seastrunk hit a two-run home run.
Southern Miss had one of their biggest innings of the season in the top of the third, sending 12 hitters to the plate and scoring eight runs. Dillon Day and Joey Archer started the rally with back-to-back singles and Bourgeois singled up the middle to score Day for the first run of the frame. Travis Graves drew a walk to load the bases and Tyler Koelling was hit by a pitch to force in a run.
Brunty continued the rally with a laser shot the broke the Rice first basemen's glove scoring another run. Vollmuth had the big blow of the inning with his first career grand slam. Ellis followed Vollmuth's shot with one of his own, a solo shot to right-center field to put Southern Miss up 12-2.
Rice answered right back with seven runs of their own in the bottom of the third after Myrick loaded the bases and walked in a run the Golden Eagles brought in reliever Cody Schlagel. The Owls bats came alive with three straight RBI singles before Michael Ratterree hit a three-run home run cutting the Southern Miss lead to three at 12-9.
The Owls hit parade continued in the bottom of the fourth as they scored five runs to take their first lead of the game, Steven Sultzbaugh's two-RBI single was the hit that put the Owls on top.
Rice scored for the fourth consecutive inning as Rendon hit a solo home run to make the score 15-12.
The Owls added another run in the bottom of the sixth, this time off reliever Seth Hester on a bases loaded sacrifice fly by Rick Hague.
Another sacrifice fly off Hester in the eighth inning accounted for Rice's 17th run of the game while a two-RBI double by Hague and another home run, this time a two-run shot by Rendon was both hit off Mandella Mingo to cap the Rice scoring.
Brunty added a solo home run in the top of the ninth for the Golden Eagles 13th run of the game and Mark Ellis added an RBI single
Southern Miss returns home on Tuesday as they host in-state rival Mississippi State at "The Pete" first pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
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