HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi scored 10 runs over the final four innings to swamp the University of Texas-San Antonio 14-6 Sunday afternoon at Roadrunner Field in San Antonio, Texas.
After dropping the first two contests of the three-game Conference USA baseball series, the 27th-ranked Golden Eagles picked up a win in the finale, peppering six UTSA pitchers for 13 hits.
The Roadrunners also issued Golden Eagles’ hitter nine walks and twice hit batters.
The last two hitters in the batting order, designated hitter Hunter LeBlanc and shortstop Will McGillis, combined for five hits and three walks, scored five times and drove in seven runs.
Leading 4-1 after five innings, USM (17-8, 7-2 C-USA) scored a run in the sixth inning, added four runs in each of the seventh and eighth innings before scoring once more in the ninth inning.
Seven Golden Eagles surrendered just eight singles, but combined to walk eight batters and hit two others.
USTA (13-15, 5-4 C-USA) went up 1-0 on a second-inning single from Shane Sirdashney.
USM answered in the third inning, taking a 2-1 on second baseman Matt Guidry’s RBI grounder and Hunter Slater’s run-scoring double.
The Golden Eagles bumped their lead to 3-1 in the fourth inning, scoring a run a passed ball, made it 4-1 in the fifth inning on third baseman Danny Lynch’s run-scoring grounder and went up by four runs an inning later on Guidry’s RBI-single.
The Roadrunners cut the lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Bryant Arias walked with the bases loaded,.
But an error by Arias led to two more USM runs and McGillis capped the seventh-inning rally with a two-run single, giving the Golden Eagles a 9-2 lead.
USM gave those runs right back. Four walks helped UTSA pull with 9-6 on singles by Garrett Moon and Layton Barry, a sacrifice fly by Chase Keng and a groundout by Arias.
But USM bowed up and bounced right back, loading the bases on two singles and a walk with two outs. LeBlanc doubled down the left-field to put the Golden Eagles up 11-6 and McGillis followed with a single through the left side for a 13-6 lead.
Matt Wallner’s sacrifice fly capped the scoring in the ninth.
UTSA starter Hunter Mason (1-1) took the loss, allowing three runs on three hits over 3 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out two.
USM reliever Sean Tweedy (4-0) picked up the win, allowing one hit in two scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out one.
McGillis had three singles, walked once, scored once and drove in a career-high four runs. LeBlanc hit a double and single, walked twice, scored four runs and drove in one.
Slater also doubled and singled, walked twice and drove in a run. Wallner reached four times on a double and three walks with a sac fly and scored twice. Guidry finished with a double and single and drove in two runs.
No Roadrunner had more than one hit, though Arias and Paxton each had a hit and walked twice.
USM will return home for a four-game homestand starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday when South Alabama visits Pete Taylor Park.