HOUSTON – Bradley Roney and Blake Brown each hit two-run homers for Southern Miss but that was not enough as Houston defeated the Golden Eagles 7-5 here Friday night at Cougar Field for the second consecutive night in Conference USA play.
The Golden Eagles (27-25, 14-9) are tied atop the league standings with Rice, who defeated Marshall 13-0 at home Friday night, with one day left in the regular season.
Tim Lynch tallied three hits and drove in a run, while Austin Roussel, Isaac Rodriguez, Roney and Brown added two apiece in the Golden Eagles 14-hit attack. Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to 18 games in the contest, the longest by a USM player this season.
Southern Miss took an early 3-0 lead over the Cougars (35-19, 13-10) with an RBI single from Lynch in the first and a two-run homer by Roney to left , his third of the season, in the third.
UH, though, tied the score with three runs in the third, as the Cougars collected four hits and took advantage of a Golden Eagle error and then took the lead for good with the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the fourth .
The home squad scored three more unanswered runs, two in the fifth and one in the seventh, before the Golden Eagles rallied for two runs in the eighth on a towering homer to left-center by Brown, which was his eighth of the campaign.
Southern Miss got a double from Rodriguez in the ninth and a single by Lynch, but could not score in the ninth.
Austin Pruiitt, who looked like would not last long in the contest, went seven innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on nine hits with a walk and four strikeouts to garner the win and improve to 9-5. Chase Wellbrook threw the final 1 1/3 to get this second save in as many nights to up his mark to 11 for the campaign.
Conor Fisk (4-3) suffered the loss for Southern Miss, giving up six runs (four earned) on nine hits and two walks.
The final game of the regular season takes place at 1 p.m., Saturday.