HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a press release from Special Reports.
The University of Southern Mississippi jumped out to a six-run lead, then held off Mississippi State University to take a 7-5 victory Tuesday night at Trustmark Park.
The 25th-ranked Golden Eagles (17-4) scored four runs in the first and led 7-1 after three innings before the Bulldogs rallied with a run in the fifth and three runs in the eighth.
But freshman Matt Wallner set down MSU (12-10) in order in the ninth inning to pick up his second save of the season and preserve USM's first win over the Bulldogs since 2015.
Taylor Braley (2-0) allowed five runs on nine hits over seven innings, with three of the runs and three of the hits coming at the start of MSU's eighth-inning rally. Prior to that, Braley had allowed just two runs on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
Braley also got the scoring started in the first inning with an RBI-double. Casey Maack forced in a run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded by MSU starter Denver McQuary (0-1) and Cole Donaldson capped the four-run inning with a two-run single.
Brent Rooker's run-scoring triple in the third got MSU on the board, but the Golden Eagles answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning on LeeMarcus Boyd's single and Dylan Burdeaux's two-run double.
Rooker drove in MSU' second run on a groundout in the fifth inning, and the Bulldogs added three runs on five hits in an eighth-inning rally that took four USM pitchers to set down.
Pinch-hitter Hunter Vansau drove in a run with a bases-loaded single and a second run scored when interference was called as MacNamee rounded third base. Josh Lovelady added another run with a single before Colt Smith got Tanner Poole to ground out to end the inning.
USM, which won its eighth consecutive game, will host Marshall University in Conference USA play starting at 6 p.m. Friday.