Kline delivers game-winning hit against Alabama

Sophomore Breck Kline entered the game in the eighth inning as a pinch hitter and delivered with a game-winning RBI single. Hunt Mercier/Printz
Sophomore Breck Kline entered the game in the eighth inning as a pinch hitter and delivered with a game-winning RBI single.
Hunt Mercier/Printz

Southern Miss won their second consecutive game with a 2-1 victory over no. 21 Alabama Wednesday night.

Stellar pitching dominated throughout the game with starters Christian Talley of Southern Miss and Nick Eicholtz of Alabama shining for the duration of their starts. Talley went 7 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits, one unearned run, one walk and struck out five. Eicholtz pitched five innings, giving up one unearned run on four hits and one walk while striking out four.

Both teams got on the board in the fifth inning. William Elliot got the Crimson Tide on the board first, scoring on an error by second basemen Nick Dawson.

Bradley Roney led off for USM with a bunt single and was rewarded second base after a wild throw from Alabama third basemen Chance Vincent. He advanced to third from a sacrifice bunt from Dawson and scored when Connor Barron grounded out to first base.

After a double by Alabama catcher Wade Wass in the eighth, Jay Myrick replaced Talley. With two outs, Alabama got runner on second and third after a wild pitch, but Myrick struck out Austen Smith looking to get out of
the jam.

In the bottom of the frame, Tuesday’s night star Mason Robbins led off with a single to right field. He would advance to second on a sacrifice bunt from designated hitter Matt Durst. After Dylan Burdeaux was intentionally walked to give Alabama a chance at an inning-ending double play, sophomore Breck Kline came in to pinch hit for Tim Lynch.

After a first pitch strike, Kline lined a single to left field to score Robbins and give USM a 2-1 lead. Joey Harris came in to pinch hit for Austin Roussel, but he grounded into a doubleplay to end
the inning.

Closer Roney moved over from third base to replace Myrick to start the ninth inning and he did not disappoint. He struck out the first two batters in William Elliot and Vincent.

Alabama’s leadoff man Georgie Salem then reached on a fielder error and advanced to second after an interference call at first base. On a 2-2 count, Roney got shortstop Mikey White to fly out to second base to end the game.

With the 2-1 victory, USM improved to 4-5 while Alabama dropped to 4-3. Myrick picked up the win for USM, his first win of the year. Myrick struck out two of the three batters he faced. Alabama reliever Taylor Guilbeau picked up the loss; he pitched three innings, giving up one run on three hits and three walks.

Both teams picked up seven hits on the night, but none were bigger than Kline’s game-winning RBI single in the eighth. It was Kline’s second of the season in just his fifth at-bat and eighth
plate appearance.

USM will host Troy (6-3) for a three game series this weekend at Pete Taylor Park. Game times are Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.