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USM opens C-USA play in series against Marshall

Jake Sandlin (12) slids into home base against Alabama on March 20, 2016.
Courtesy Photo
Jake Sandlin (12) slids into home base against Alabama on March 20, 2016.

This past weekend, Southern Miss (16-5, 2-1) opened up Conference USA play by traveling to Marshall for a three-game series, taking two out of three games.

Southern Miss opened the series with a 14-4 win but fell in the second leg of the doubleheader 10- 8. The Golden Eagles rallied to win the final game of the series 3-2.

In the first game, the Golden Eagles wasted no time scoring. With two outs at the top of the first, Tim Lynch smacked a ball over the right field wall to give Southern Miss a 1-0 lead. The Golden Eagles would score two more runs in the inning to take a 3-0 lead.

In the bottom of the third, the Thundering Herd would score to narrow the gap, 3-1. Following a pair of errors in the top of the fourth, Chuckie Robinson singled to get on base and a pair of Marshall errors allowed Robinson to score and push the lead back to three.

In the bottom of the fourth, Marshall fought back and scored again, making the score 4-2. Dylan Burdeaux opened the fifth inning with a solo home run, giving the Golden Eagles a 5-2 lead. USM would add two more runs in the sixth to make the score 7-2.

The Golden Eagles scored seven runs in the final two innings as Marshall was only able to score two runs, once in the seventh and once in the eighth. The Golden Eagles 14-4 win marked the 11th consecutive win versus a conference opponent dating back to last season.

Luke Lowery received the win pitching 2.1 innings, striking out three and only allowing one hit. Cord Cockrell handled the bulk of the work pitching 4.1 innings, giving up six hits and two runs. Cockrell also struck out three batters as well.

In the second leg of the doubleheader, Southern Miss opened the game with a 1-0 lead off the bat of Burdeaux, with his second home run in as many games. Marshall wasted no time responding. In the bottom of the first inning they answered with three hits and three runs, one of which off of a home run.

Both teams held steady until the bottom of the fourth when Marshall was able to get on the board once in the fourth and again in the fifth, giving the Herd a 5-1 lead over the Golden Eagles.

The bat of Lynch kept Southern Miss alive in the sixth inning with a two-run home run to right field, making the score 5-3.

The eighth inning produced the most fireworks for the game. Southern Miss scored five times on four hits and two walks, climaxing on an RBI grounder by Robinson who gave the Golden Eagles their first lead of the game.
The Golden Eagles ended the inning with a 8-5 lead.

At the bottom of the eighth for the Thundering Herd, Marshall gave the Golden Eagles a dose of their own medicine as they scored five runs on three hits. The Golden Eagles were not able to recover and fell by a final score 10-8, snapping Southern Miss’ 11-game conference winning streak.

In the final game of the series, it looked as if both teams had expended all their scoring in the first two games through the first four innings. Southern Miss lit up the board first with a Hunter Slater solo home run in the fifth. The Golden Eagles lit it up again with a Storme Cooper RBI double in the seventh.

Marshall showed signs of life in the bottom of the seventh as Reynaldo Pastrana drove in two runs with a homer to left center field. The two-run shot tied the game at 2-2.

Jake Sandlin and Lynch each singled to start the eighth inning, and a Robinson RBI double turned into the winning run for the Golden Eagles. The Golden Eagles took the final game of the series 3-2.

Over the three-game series, the Golden Eagles recorded 33 hits and 25 runs. Southern Miss put the “power” in Appalachian Power Park, as they were able to register five homers. Burdeaux and Lynch led the way with two homers a piece in the series. Following the weekend, Lynch leads the team in home runs with six, and Burdeaux and Taylor Braley are tied for second with five. As a team, the Golden Eagles have 26 homers.

The Golden Eagles return to the diamond to face Tulane at MGM Park in Biloxi on Tuesday. The first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

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USM opens C-USA play in series against Marshall