Matt Wallner Homers Baseball Past Georgia Southern 3-2 in First Game of DH
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss outfielder Matt Wallner picked a perfect moment to park his first home run of the season.
Wallner followed a walk to third baseman Luke Reynolds with a towering fly ball over the left-field fence in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday to give the Golden Eagles a 3-2 victory over Georgia Southern at Pete Taylor Park.
Wallner's shot gave No. 15 USM (10-4) a one-run, walk-off victory for a second consecutive day against the Eagles (7-8).
Friday, a bases-loaded, one-hopper off the left-field wall in the bottom of the 10th inning by first baseman Hunter Slater gave Southern Miss a 4-3 victory Friday.
Saturday, the Golden Eagles' dramatic comeback came just moments after GSU had scored twice with one out in the top of the ninth to take a 2-1 lead.
GSU catcher Matt Anderson singled off reliever Keller Bradford to start the ninth. Anderson moved to second on a bunt, and Bradford was lifted in favor of Jacob Wright.
Wright promptly walked first baseman Jason Swan and then surrendered consecutive, run-scoring singles to second baseman Steven Curry and third baseman Chandler Corley to erase a tenuous 1-0 USM lead.
But GSU starter Seth Shuman walked Reynolds on five pitches to open the bottom of the ninth and Wallner took the next pitch the opposite way for the game-winning, two-run homer.
Jacob Wierich (2-0) picked up the win by getting the final two out in the top of the ninth inning. Shuman (2-1) saw a personal, 10-game winning streak snapped after three runs on six hits, walking one and striking out eight.
Powers turned in 6 1/3 innings scoreless innings, the longest outing of his career, allowing six hits, walking one and striking out a career-high 10.
But Powers ran into a jam when he walked Shuman to open the seventh inning and Anderson followed with a double down the left-field line. After getting a weak grounder to first base that froze the runners, Powers was lifted in favor of Bradford, who struck out Swan and got Curry on a fly out to end the inning.
GSU outhit the Golden Eagles for a second consecutive day, getting 10 hits to Southern Miss' six. Wallner was the only Golden Eagle with more than one hut, adding a sixth-inning single to his homer.
Anderson was 4-for-4 with a double and three singles, while Curry had two singles for GSU.
The teams will play the third game of the series at 6 p.m. The game was moved to Saturday because of inclement weather expected in the Pine Belt Sunday.