HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) _ The University of Southern Mississippi once again Tuesday night could not get past itself, dropping a 4-1 decision to the University of South Alabama at Eddie Stanky Field in Mobile, Ala.
The Golden Eagles (21-13), which lost for the fourth time in its last five games, could not out up a run until the ninth inning, coming up with just five hits and two walks while striking out 17 times.
The strikeouts were the second-most by the team this season, and both high marks have come in USM’s last four games. The Golden Eagles whiffed 18 times Friday night at Florida International University.
Third baseman Danny Lynch singled twice to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, while Bryant Bowen singled in his last at-bat to run his hitting streak to 18 games.
The Jaguars (16-20) were hardly the offensive juggernauts themselves, managing just five singles against five Golden Eagles’ pitchers.
But USA bunched two singles together in each of the first and fifth innings to help produce a run, then took advantage of a Golden Eagle error to push across the second run in a two-run fourth inning.
USM trailed 4-0 when first baseman Hunter Slater’s double in the ninth inning got the Golden Eagles on the scoreboard with one out.
But right fielder Matt Wallner lined out to shortstop and designated hitter Charlie Fischer struck out to end the game.
USA went up 1-0 in the first inning off USM starter Brant Blaylock, who was making his first career start as Golden Eagle. Two singles put runners on first and third, and third baseman Kaleb DeLaTorre’s fielder’s choice grounder put the Jaguars ahead.
USA went up 3-0 in the fourth inning on Dakota Bailey’s fielder’s choice and a throwing error on another bunt attempt.
DeLaTorre’s run-scoring single in the bottom of the fifth inning left the Jaguars up 4-0.
That was more than enough for USA starter Drake Nightengale (3-2), who allowed just three hits in seven, shutout innings. Nightengale walked two and struck out 14.
Blaylock (0-1) allowed a run on two hits in three innings, walking two and striking out four.
USA was led at the plate by center fielder Michael Sandle, who finished with two singles and a run scored.
The Golden Eagles return to Pete Taylor Park for a Conference USA series with the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. The three-game set was scheduled to be played Thursday through Saturday because of Easter Sunday, but weather concerns may shake up the weekend schedule.