Big innings lift USM Past Nicholls St.

Big innings lift USM Past Nicholls St.

BILOXI, MS (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi jumped out to a 12-run lead Tuesday night before coasting to its first win in three tries on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The No. 16 Golden Eagles banged out a season-high 20 hits, including three apiece by Mason Irby and Jake Viaene, to rout Nicholls State University 16-8 at MGM Park.

Dylan Burdeaux, Hunter Slater, Taylor Braley, Matt Wallner, Bryant Bowen and Matt Guidry each had two hits as every player in the starting lineup had at least one hit.

USM (29-9), which won for the third time in its past four games, started the game with six, consecutive singles to grab a 5-0 lead. After the Colonels (20-19) cut the lead to 5-3 in the top of the third inning, the Golden Eagles put together its largest inning of the season, a 10-run outburst that all but put the game out of reach.

Burdeaux, who extended his hitting streak to 15 games (including 13 multi-hit games), walked with the bases loaded to drive in the first run. Irby then cleared the bases with a three-run triple to left-center.

After a sacrifice fly by Slater, Wallner and Bowen added a run-scoring single before Guidry knocked in a run with a ground-rule double. LeeMarcus Boyd capped the rally with a two-run double.

Boyd drove in USM's final run of the game on a grounder in the eighth inning.

Hunter Stevens (1-0), the second of four USM pitchers, picked up the win after allowing one unearned run on two hits in 2 1/3 innings. He walked one while striking out four,

Nicholls starter Cayden Hatcher (3-4) took the loss after allowing seven runs on nine hits in two-plus innings

USM won for the first time in three trips to the MGM Park in the past two years. The Golden Eagles will play Southeastern Louisiana University on the Coast on May 16 before returning to MGM for the 2017 Conference USA Baseball Tournament on May 25-29.

The Golden Eagles wrap up a five-game road swing at 6:30 p.m. today at Tulane University at Turchin Field in New Orleans.