Press release from Southern Miss Athletics
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Tim Lynch and Dylan Burdeaux each hit solo home runs to help Southern Miss past Marshall 14-4 in the first game of a Friday doubleheader that opened the Conference USA baseball season for both teams.
With the first-game win, Southern Miss (15-4, 1-0 C-USA) picked up where it left off last year, when the Golden Eagles closed the 2015 regular season with 10 consecutive conference wins.
The Golden Eagles and the Herd originally were scheduled to play single games over the weekend at Appalachian Power Park, but weather considerations lead to the rescheduled doubleheader.
Ten Southern Miss’ runs scored on two-out hits, including a three-run rally right off the bat in the first inning.
After Marshall starter Chase Boster (1-2) opened the game with a pair of strikeouts, Lynch cleared the right-field fence with his fifth home run of the season for a 1-0 lead.
Left fielder Chase Scott followed with a bloop double near the line in shallow right, and catcher Chuckie Robinson walked. After a wild pitch moved both Golden Eagles up a base, third baseman Taylor Braley singled to left field to drive them home.
Marshall (9-7, 0-1) cut the lead to 3-1 in the third inning on center fielder Corey Bird’s single, but Southern Miss made it 4-1 in the top of the fourth when Robinson singled and came around to score on a pair of errors by the Thundering Herd.
Marshall made it 4-2 in the bottom of fourth on second baseman Aaron Bossi’s single, but Southern Miss starter Cord Cockrell prevented further damage by striking out designated hitter Andrew Zban with the bases loaded.
Burdeaux led off the fifth inning with his fourth homer of the season for a 5-2 lead and Southern Miss added two more with two outs in the seventh on second baseman Storme Cooper’s double and shortstop Nick Dawson’s single.
Marshall scored an unearned run in the seventh to close within 7-3, but Burdeaux’ two-out single and center fielder Jake Sandlin’s two-out double in the top of the eighth inning built Southern Miss’ lead to seven runs.
Marshall added a run on a groundout in the eighth, but Southern Miss scored four in the ninth inning, one on a passed ball, another on a sacrifice fly by Cooper and two more on a two-out double by pinch hitter Claudio Rubiera.
Reliever Luke Lowery (3-0) picked up the win after allowing an unearned run on one hit in 2 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out three.
Cockrell turned in his shortest outing of the season, allowing two runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked two.
Boster allowed seven runs (six earned) on eight hits over 7 innings. He struck out six, walked one.
Each starting position player had at least one of the Golden Eagles’ 12 hits, and Southern Miss also took advantage of four walks, four hit batsmen and four Marshall errors.
Robinson had three hits and three runs scored, while Burdeaux had two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored. Braley drove in two runs and scored twice, while Cooper, Rubiera and Sandlin each drove in a pair.
Left fielder D.J. Gee had three of Marshall’s nine hits.