Press Release from SouthernMiss.com
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Bradley Roney homered to lead off the ninth and then held UAB scoreless in the bottom of the frame to lead Southern Miss to a 8-5 Conference USA baseball victory over the Blazers here Saturday afternoon at Young Memorial Field in both team's regular-season finale.
The Golden Eagles (30-23 overall, 14-10 C-USA) finished the regular season as the No. 4 seed in next week's Conference USA Baseball Championship presented by Trustmark with the victory.
Mason Robbins led the Golden Eagle 12-hit attack with three hits, while Michael Sterling, Dillon Day and Roney added two hits each.
Southern Miss trailed 5-4 going into the final frame and Roney led off the ninth with his second home run that hit the bottom of the leftfield fair pole to tie the game. After an out and a walk to Chase Fowler, UAB reliever Dillon Napoleon then allowed a single to Day, before Sterling notched the go-ahead single. Sterling had give USM the brief 4-3 advantage in the eight on an RBI single.
Ashley Graeter then reached on an error, before Robbins – who went six innings on the mound and allowed three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and a walk – tripled home the two remaining runners off the right-centerfield wall.
Roney then allowed a single to Ryan Ussery to start the ninth, but then got a flyout and a pair of groundouts to end the game and get his 11th victory of the campaign.
Boomer Scarborough pitched the eighth and surrendered a walk while tallying a punch out to earn the victory and improve to 2-2 on the campaign.
The Golden Eagles opened the game with three runs in the top of the first. Day led off the contest with a single. After a Sterling sacrifice, Graeter plated Day with a single through the left side. Robbins then singled and went to second on a stolen base.
The Blazers got a pair of runs in the first on a two-run homer by Patrick Palmeiro – his fifth – and then added a RBI single from Henry Clark in the sixth, before taking the lead in the eighth with a pair of runs.
UAB scored on an error to tie the game at 4-4 in the eighth and then went ahead on a hit batsman.
Napoleon threw the final inning for UAB to get tagged with the loss and fall to 5-4. He allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits and a walk with a strikeout.