Southern Miss splits twinbill with FAU in Conference USA Play Friday

Southern Miss splits twinbill with FAU in Conference USA Play Friday

This is a news release from Southern Miss athletics

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Southern Miss jumped out early in both games of a doubleheader here Friday against No. 16 Florida Atlantic and held on in the nightcap for a 6-1 decision, after dropping the opener, 8-4, here Friday to begin a Conference USA series at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.

With heavy rains expected over the weekend, the two school's decided to play two games on the opening day of the series with the finale slated to start at 4 p.m., Saturday. Should the two teams not be able to play on Saturday, the finale will then take place on Sunday.

After scoring three runs in the opening inning and holding a 4-2 lead on the Owls (30-9, 12-5) in the opener, Florida Atlantic rallied for four runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh to pull away in the opening game. The Golden Eagles followed in game two by collecting solo runs in each of the first two innings on just one hit, but kept building their lead after getting an attitude adjustment for their head coach between games.

"We had to come out and make an adjustment with our attitude to give us a chance to win the series and that's what we did," said Southern Miss baseball coach Scott Berry. "But it all started on the mound with Kirk McCarty. He gave us a chance to win."

McCarty, who got the call on the mound in game two for Southern Miss, limited the visitors to just an unearned run over seven innings on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts to earn the victory and improve to 3-0 on the year.

Southern Miss got on the board in the first on a Matt Durst RBI single and then plated a run from third on a groundout in the second to give the Golden Eagles a 2-0 early lead on Florida Atlantic starter Sean Labsan. In fact, the Golden Eagles chased Labsan in the second after he allowed a pair of runs on one hit with five walks to suffer the loss and fall to 2-1.

After the Owls took advantage of two Golden Eagle errors in the fifth to score their lone run of the nightcap, Southern Miss finished the scoring with four runs in their half of the frame. With one out, Durst singled and then went to second on a Tim Lynch single. Durst then scored on the following play when Dylan Burdeaux's grounder to short was misplayed and then thrown wide by Owl shortstop CJ Chatham. Chase Scott, who drove in two runs in the opening game, then singled home a run, before Burdeaux came in to score on the front end of a double steal. Nick Dawson then completed Southern Miss' run tally with a double to left-center to drive in Scott.

Junior reliever Cody Livingston came in for McCarty and threw the final two innings, fanning five, while walking a pair and also giving up a hit.

In the opener, Taylor Braley knocked in the Golden Eagles opening run in the first with a single, before Scott plated a pair with a single of his own.

After an RBI single by Brett Lashley in the third and a solo home run by Roman Collins, his fifth of the year, in the fourth, Florida Atlantic took the lead for good in the opener by exploding for four runs in the sixth as Chatham delivered the big blow on a two-run single. Esteban Puerta added a pair of RBI one inning later on a triple to center.

The Golden Eagles collected their only other run, a run-scoring single by Connor Barron, in the fourth.

Kyle Miller threw 5 2/3 for the Owls and allowed four runs on nine hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts to garner the victory and up his record to 4-1.

Cody Carroll suffered the loss and fell to 2-3 after allowing five runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings with three walks and five strikeouts.