Press Release from SouthernMiss.com
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Mason Robbins drove in the game's lone run with a bloop double just inside the leftfield line to lift Southern Miss to a 1-0 Conference USA baseball victory over No. 13 UCF Friday night in the 14th inning at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field Friday night.
The Golden Eagles improved to 20-13 on the season and 4-3 in C-USA play, while the Knights fell to 28-8 and 7-3.
Southern Miss got a strong pitching performance from both Andrew Pierce and Bradley Roney as the duo combined to shutout the Knights with 15 strikeouts, while allowing only six hits and four walks. Pierce went the first nine innings and he tallied his third double-digit strikeout performance of the year with 10 punch outs in the contest.
The biggest play of the game for Pierce came with two outs in the eighth when he struckout UCF's No. 3 hitter, D.J. Hicks, with the bases loaded to end the frame.
Roney then allowed just one hit and a walk with five strikeouts over the final five frames to get the victory and improve to 1-0 on the year.
Blake Brown had two of the eight hits for the Golden Eagles in the contest.
In the decisive inning, Isaac Rodriguez squeaked a one-out single through the right side of the infield . After a strikeout, Robbins took a Ben Lively pitch the other way and it landed just inside the leftfield line that was kicked away by the shortstop Darell Sweeney. Rodriguez never stopped on the play and scored the game's only run from first base.
UCF starter Brian Adkins limited Southern Miss to three hits and walk with three strikeouts over seven innings. After two Knight relievers came on to shutout the Golden Eagles for three innings, Lively (5-1) entered the game and gave up a run on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts to suffer the loss.
The game was the longest for the Golden Eagles since they went 14 innings against Houston on May 26, 2011, in the Conference USA Championship in Pearl, Miss.
Game two of the series is set for 3 p.m., Saturday.