Golden Eagles take two of three from FAU

Junior shortstop Michael Sterling steps on the base to retire the side in a game against The University of Central Florida. Printz Archives
Junior shortstop Michael Sterling steps on the base to retire the side in a game against The University of Central Florida.
Printz Archives

The Golden Eagles continued their ways with taking two of three games in a conference series as they did so for the third consecutive time this weekend, besting Florida Atlantic on the road.

Friday’s game was a manager’s dream as USM pitchers Christian Talley and Bradley Roney combined to shutout the Owls en route to a 2-0 victory. Talley started the game and pitched seven shutout innings, allowing seven hits and one walk while striking out four. Roney pitched the final two innings, allowing one hit and one walk while fanning four batters.

The game was scoreless until the fifth inning when Southern Miss caught a break from FAU’s defense. FAU shortstop Mitch Morales had a throwing error that allowed catcher Austin Roussel to score.

In the top of the seventh frame, Roney led off with a single before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Roussel moved him to third with a sacrifice bunt before Nick Dawson brought him home with an RBI double to extend the lead to 2-0.

That score would hold up as neither offense got much going for the rest of the game. Tim Lynch and Roney led the way for USM at the plate, each collecting two hits. Roney also picked up his eighth save of the season.
Game two of the series was a much different story as the two teams combined for 22 hits. The scoring got started in the bottom of the second inning when CJ Chatham singled home Tyler Rocklein to give FAU an early lead.
Southern Miss answered right back in the top of the third however. Connor Barron led off with a double to left field and later scored on a ground out to second base by Lynch. FAU took back the lead in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single to right field by Brendon Sanger to make it a one run ballgame.

But again, the Golden Eagles answered right back in the top of the sixth inning. Breck Kline continued his pinch-hit magic, driving in Roney with a single up the middle on a full
count offering.

On the next pitch, Michael Sterling singled through the left side to score Roussel that gave USM a 3-2 lead. Lynch followed suit and singled home Kline with a shot to right field. FAU would get out of the inning without allowing another run, but the damage had already been done.

Roussel scored in the eighth inning on a passed ball after he singled to lead off the inning. USM held onto to their 5-2 lead to win their fourth consecutive game.

USM starter Conor Fisk picked up his second win of the season as he pitched six strong innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. Ryan Milton picked up his first save of the season and pitched the final 2 2/3 innings for the Golden Eagles. The first four batters in USM’s lineup each had two hits in the contest.

Sunday’s contest did not fare nearly as well for Southern Miss or their starter Cameron Giannini. Giannini lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits to pick up his second loss of the season.

Relievers Jay Myrick, A.J. Glasshof and Sean Bucholz combined to pitch the remaining 4 1/3 innings without allowing a run, but the Golden Eagle offense could not capitalize from their bullpen keeping them in the game.
Florida Atlantic starter Drew Jackson was dominant all afternoon as he held USM scoreless for eight innings. He allowed one run in the ninth with two outs before being replaced by Bo Logan who recorded the final out.
For the outing, Jackson pitched 8 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on six hits while striking out seven batters. The win improved Jackson’s record to 3-0.

Roussel tallied the lone RBI for Southern Miss, scoring pinch runner Michael Gilbert on a single to right field. The top three batters in USM’s lineup combined to go hitless in ten at-bats.

Southern Miss (15-13, 6-3) will take on New Orleans and South Alabama Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Both games will be played on the road before USM returns home for a three-game series with Middle Tennessee State.