BOCA RATON, FLA - Matt Wallner hit a two-run home run and picked up his fourth save of the season with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless pitching as the University of Southern Mississippi downed Florida Atlantic University 5-2 Saturday at FAU Baseball Stadium.
The 15th-ranked Golden Eagles (16-5, 3-1 Conference USA) evened the three-game series with the Owls (17-6, 3-2) after dropping a 6-5 decision Friday.
USM got out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning off FAU starter Mike Nowatnick (1-2) on a run-scoring balk and a sacrifice fly.
After Luke Reynolds was hit by a pitch in the third, Wallner followed with his fourth home run of the season to put USM up 4-0.
FAU cut the lead to 4-1 in the fourth on a pair of singles and a Golden Eagles' error, and then got within two runs in the fifth on three consecutive singles off USM starter Stevie Powers.
Hunter Slater gave USM some breathing room and a 5-2 lead with a solo homer, his fourth of the season and second of the series.
Reliever Trent Driver (1-0) got the last out of the fifth inning, and pitched into the eighth, when Wallner was summoned from the bullpen with runners on the corners and two outs.
Wallner got the last out of the eighth, and then worked around a two-on jam in the ninth.
The teams will wrap up the series at 11 a.m. Sunday.