HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) _ Five first-inning runs, including a grand slam, were not enough Tuesday night for the University of Southern Mississippi to overcome itself and the University of South Alabama.
The Golden Eagles walked a season-high 11 batters, committed the most errors they have had in a game in five years, twice loaded the bases without scoring a run and gave up the most runs in game this season in a 15-6 loss to the Jaguars.
“We did not do one thing (Tuesday) night that we wanted to do,” USM coach Scott Berry said. “We embarrassed ourselves, with defensive play, with the way we competed.
“I don’t know. Just a very, very disappointing loss.”
A loss that snapped the Golden Eagles’ eight game winning streak at Pete Taylor Park while the Jaguars (13-14) were able to snap a five-game losing streak.
USM (17-9), which lost for the third time in its last four games, took a 5-0 lead in the first inning off starter Jared Proctor.
Bryant Bowen, who finished with two of USM’s six hits, notched the first career grand slam of his career with his fourth home run of the season for a 4-0 lead. Danny Lynch knocked in the other run with a single.
But after going scoreless for two innings against USM starter Ryan Och, South Alabama scored at least one run in each of the remaining seven innings.
Ethan Wilson began the comeback with a two-run home run in the third inning. USA made it 5-3 in the fourth on Dakota Dailey’s double in the fourth and then tied it with the only hit in a two-run fifth inning, Felix Aberouette’s two-run double.
USM loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth inning, but could not score.
In the sixth inning, USA scored on three walks, an error and a wild pitch to take a 6-5 lead, before USM tied the game on Matt Guidry’s double to right center field.
But that was it for the Golden Eagles.
South Alabama reliever Zach Greene (1-0) allowed just one hit over four scoreless innings, walking one and striking out five.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars added two run in the seventh inning off J.C. Keys (1-1) to take the lead for good with another rally that featured one hit.
The Jaguars then piled on seven runs in the last two innings.
USM loaded the bases in the eighth inning with no out and, again, came up with no runs.
“’It was just a game of momentum, and they just kept chipping away,” Berry said. “They score seven of the nine innings and we only score two.
“We had the big inning in the first, but they didn’t go away.”
USM committed a season-high six errors, the most since a six-error game against East Carolina University to open the 2014 Conference USA Baseball Tournament.
Dailey, the No. 9 hitter in the Jaguars’ batting order, collected three of USA’s 13 hits and drove in four runs.
USM will remain home for a weekend Conference USA baseball series, hosting Marshall University beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.