HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Before Friday night, the University of Southern Mississippi had not lost a Conference USA baseball game at Pete Taylor Park this season.
Following Saturday’s 18-9 drubbing at the hands _ and bats _ and arms _ of Florida Atlantic University, the Golden Eagles can add another to the list: first C-USA series loss at Pete Taylor Park this season.
FAU (32-14, 17-6) pulled into a first-place tie with the Golden Eagles (30-15, 17-6) atop the conference standings, and would the hold the tiebreaker with USM after taking the first two games of the series.
The teams are scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. Sunday to wrap up the three-game series.
The 18 runs on 22 hits were both season highs for the Owls as well as the most allowed by USM pitching this season.
Of FAU’s 22 hits, 11 went for extra bases, including seven doubles and four home runs.
FAU left fielder Andru Summerall led the way, going 5-of-6 with a pair of three-run home runs, two doubles and a single. He scored five runs and knocked in seven.
FAU led throughout, going up 2-0 in the first inning on USM starting pitcher Cody Carroll on Mitchell Hartigan’s two-out, two-run single and then tagged on another run in the third inning on Summerall’s double and Joe Montes’ run-scoring single.
The wheels came off for USM in the fifth inning, when FAU sent 11 batters to the plate and battered three USM pitchers for eight runs on seven hits to put the Owls on top 11-0.
USM scored four runs in the sixth. Cole Donaldson’s triple got the Golden Eagles on the scoreboard, with Gabe Montenegro’s single bringing in two runs and Matt Guidry’s single capping the rally.
FAU came right back, scoring four more times, including Summerall’s first three-run shot, and then scored three more times in the eighth on his second homer of the game.
The Golden Eagles scored five times in their final at-bat, including a two-run double by Jacob Edwards and run-scoring hits by Donaldson and Fred Franklin.
Guidry, who extended his reach-base-safely streak to 40 games, had a double and single, walked twice and drove in a run. Donaldson drove in two runs and scored twice with a triple and single. Matt Wallner hit his 10th double of the season to go with a single, and scored a run.
FAU right fielder Mitchell Hartigan had four hits, including two doubles, and drove in three runs. Leadoff man Eric Rivera had three hits, including two doubles, scored three times and drove in a pair. Designated hitter Bobby Morgensen had three hits, including a home run, scored twice and drove in two runs
Catcher Pedro Pages hit his fourth homer of the season, a two run shot.
Carroll (2-1) took the loss, allowing three runs on six hits over three-plus innings. He walked two and struck out one.
FAU starter Mike Ruff (5-3) picked up the win, allowing a run on two hits in five-plus innings. He walked five and struck out six.