Golden Eagles sweep ranked La.Tech in C-USA opener


Pitcher Hayden Roberts winds up to pitch against Evansville in Friday’s matchup with Southern Miss.

The Southern Miss baseball team swept the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in their first C-USA series of the season this past weekend, scoring 26 total runs against a team that entered the series with a 15-2 record. 

Third baseman Dylan Burdeaux got things going early for the Golden Eagles on offense in their Friday matchup with a two-run single in the second inning to put the team on top early.

While the Bulldogs would tie the game in the third inning at 2-2, nine total team hits and two-hit performances from Casey Maack and Bryant Bowen would help propel the team to a 5-2 victory on Friday.

Kirk McCarty kept the Bulldogs in check for the Golden Eagles on the mound. In six innings of work, the junior pitcher allowed only two runs and struck out eight Louisiana Tech batters to earn his third win of the season.

The Saturday matchup was an offensive slugfest for both teams. La.Tech took an early lead in the first inning, but the Golden Eagles stormed back in the second inning, scoring six runs.

The team added seven more runs after the second inning and held off a six-run Louisiana Tech rally in the last four innings to seal the 13-9 victory.

Burdeaux, Mason Irby, LeeMarcus Boyd and Hunter Slater each had three-hit performances. Irby, Boyd and Matt Wallner also accounted for seven of the team’s 13 runs in the contest.

With a chance to get the series sweep on Sunday, the Golden Eagles took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Wallner RBI groundout that brought Irby home.

Southern Miss was able to extend their lead over the following three innings. A two-run home run from Wallner in the third inning and home runs by Taylor Braley and Matthew Guidry in the fourth inning put the Golden Eagles up 7-0 after four innings of play.

The Bulldogs battled back in the bottom of the fifth inning after falling behind early on. Southern Miss starting pitcher J.C. Keys gave up three hits and five runs in the inning, allowing the Bulldogs to cut the score to 7-5 heading into the sixth inning.

Despite their five-run fifth inning, La. Tech was unable to generate any more momentum during the remainder of the contest. Relief pitchers Nick Sandlin and Stevie Powers allowed zero runs over the last four innings and Boyd scored off of an RBI single by Irby in the eighth inning to give the team the 8-5 win.

With the series sweep, the Golden Eagles improve to 16-4 on the season. Their next game is a Mar. 21 weekday matchup against Mississippi State in Pearl, Miss. First pitch at Trustmark Park is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.