HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The Golden Eagles took a hit from UAB on Saturday, falling to the Blazers 13-10 and dropping their third straight Conference USA series.
However, junior Matt Wallner provided some momentum in the ninth inning that USM hopes carries over to Wednesday’s C-USA tournament.
Wallner blasted the 54th home run of his career – a two-run bomb over the centerfield fence – to claim USM’s all-time record.
The lefty from Minnesota passed Oak Grove grad Marc Maddox – who hit 53 homers in four seasons from 2003-06.
"For a guy like Wallner to have it, it would mean a lot to me,” Maddox said. “Just getting to know his family quite a bit, we know the type of people that they are and the talent that he is. It's impressive for him to do what took me four years and he's bumping on it in three. It's just a testament to his power and the type of player he is."
"What a special young man,” said USM head coach Scott Berry. “Fifty-four home runs, the new leader in only three years of play here. That's pretty remarkable because there's been some really, really good hitters that have played here and have played four years."
“I didn’t think I would get that coming in,” Wallner said. “I’m thankful for everyone that’s put time in for me. If I don’t hit another home run the rest of the year but we win the [C-USA] tournament and keep on going, I’m happy with that.”