USM stuns MTSU with eight-run rally to sweep series

USM stuns MTSU with eight-run rally to sweep series

MURFREESBORO, TN - Dylan Burdeaux's two-run single drove in the go-ahead run, and Matt Wallner capped an eight-run ninth inning with his record 14th home run of the season as No. 25 University of Southern Mississippi rallied for a 13-9 victory Sunday afternoon at Middle Tennessee State University.

The win gave the Golden Eagles (34-12, 16-5 Conference USA) a sweep of the three-game series and kept USM a game ahead of Florida Atlantic University (29-13-1, 15-6)  atop the conference standings. Old Dominion University (30-13, 14-7) and University of Charlotte (27-17, 14-7) stand two games back at in the C-USA race.

USM, which trailed from the second inning until its final at-bat, was down 7-5 when inclement weather postponed the game in the bottom of the eighth inning for 2 hours, 2 minutes, by weather.

When play resumed, MTSU tacked on another run for an 8-5 lead before the Golden Eagles mounted its furious comeback.

In the ninth, Wallner walked, Hunter Slater was hit by a pitch and Cole Donaldson walked to load the bases with no outs.

After Jake Viaene struck out, Matt Guidry drew a walk to force in a run, and LeeMarcus Boyd singled to right field to make the score 8-7.

Burdeaux fell behind 0-2, worked the count full, then laced a single to left field to score Donaldson and Guidry.

Mason Irby followed with a run-scoring single as USM went up 10-8. Moments later, Irby was thrown out on the back end of a double steal, but Burdeaux stole home for an 11-8 lead.

After Taylor Braley singled, Wallner launched a two-run shot to right-center field. It was his second home run of the series, and 14th of the season, breaking Darren Welch's single-season record of 13 homers by a Southern Miss freshman.

Nick Sandlin (6-1), who had come on in the eighth inning, gave up a run in the bottom of the ninth before closing out the Blue Raiders (20-24, 7-14).

Sandlin, who picked up his fifth save of the season Saturday, allowed a run on four hits, while walking one and striking out two.

Devin Conn (1-5) took the loss after allowing three runs on two hits in one-third of an inning.

The Golden Eagles fell behind 6-1, after the Blue Raiders scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning and two more in the third inning.

Burdeaux's two-run double cut USM's deficit to 6-3 in the top of the sixth inning, but MTSU bumped the lead back to four runs on Ryan Kemp's RBI single.

The Golden Eagles cut the lead to 7-5 in the top of the eighth inning on a run-scoring double by Boyd, who later scored on Irby's groundout.

MTSU collected 15 hits against four USM pitchers, including Trent Driver, who made his first career start as a Golden Eagle. He was followed by JC Keys and Hayden Roberts, who appeared in relief for the first time this season.

Riley Delgado had four hits, while Kemp and Chaz Vesser added three more.

Burdeaux, Irby and Boyd each had two of the Golden Eagles' 11 hits.

Southern Miss hosts FAU this weekend in a three-game set beginning Friday at Taylor Park.