Matt Durst leads the team in hitting with a .301 average.
April 21, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss baseball team, fresh off a three-game Conference USA sweep of Louisiana Tech, returns to action Tuesday night when they travel to Tuscaloosa to face nationally ranked Alabama at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Game time is set for 6:05 p.m.
The two teams will meet for the 100th time in their baseball history in a series which dates back to the 1962 season. The Golden Eagles captured the first meeting between the two schools this season, 2-1, in Hattiesburg as Breck Kline drove in the game-winning run in the eighth on a pinch-hit single.
After starting the year with a 12-12 record, Southern Miss has now won 12 of their last 17 games to put them seven games over .500 at 24-17. Southern Miss captured its sixth C-USA series to start league play last weekend as they registered their first sweep since beating UAB three times on April 26-27, 2013.
Southern Miss allowed just three runs in the three games to the Bulldogs and the Golden Eagle pitching staff held LA Tech scoreless for the first 24 innings of the series.
The Golden Eagles goes after its fourth-straight victory behind senior right-hander Cameron Giannini, who gets the call to the mound against the Crimson Tide. The Danville, Va., product has collected a 2-2 record this season with a 4.44 earned run average. He will be pitted against UA freshman righty Nick Eicholtz, who has posted a 2-0 mark with a 1.96 ERA.
Offensively, the Golden Eagles are led by junior Matt Durst, who paces the team in multiple-hit games this season with 13. With three hits Sunday in the series finale against LA Tech, Durst has seen his average rise to .301 on the year. The Whitehouse, Texas, native also ranks first on the squad in home runs (four) and runs batted in (26).
Sophomore Tim Lynch (Jupiter, Fla.) is next with a .299 batting mark, having reached base safely at least once in 20 of the last 22 games. Lynch is hitting .345 over the last 23 games for the Golden Eagles with five doubles, a home run and 19 RBI.
Following the Alabama contest, the Golden Eagles return to action this weekend when they play host to Rice in a key Conference USA series. Southern Miss, second in the in the current league standings, trail Rice by 1 ½ games in the C-USA standings. Game times are 6 p.m., on Friday, 2 p.m., on Saturday and 1 p.m., for the finale on Sunday.
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