Hot Bats Carry USM Over Western Kentucky

Southern Miss (20-12-1, 8-6 Conference USA) picked up the series win against Western Kentucky (16-16, 7-8 C-USA) after rallying to win the final two games.

In the first game of the series, Southern Miss was shut out and handled by Western Kentucky by the score of 5-0. Dylan Burdeaux’s double to center field in the top of the sixth was the Golden Eagles only hit of the game. Bordeaux increased his hitting streak to nine games.

Western Kentucky pitcher John Harman pitched 5.1 innings for the Hilltoppers, allowing one hit, no runs and three walks. He stiking out five batters while facing 18. In relief, Kevin Elder came in to finish out the game facing 11 and not allowing a hit or a run.

Southern Miss had 29 at-bats and six left on base, struggling to find any offensive rhythm in the Friday night matchup at Nick Denes Field.

Western Kentucky had nine hits in the game on the way to five runs scored. WKU third baseman Danny Hudzina filled up the stat sheet in mostly every offensive area. Hudzina finished the game with two hits, two runs with two RBI’s in three at-bats.

Southern Miss pitcher Cody Carroll struggled in his six innings pitched. Carroll gave up six hits, four runs while striking out six batters.

The Golden Eagles were shut out for the first time this season and ended their three-game winning streak.

Southern Miss avenged itself with a 15-3 thrashing of Western Kentucky on Saturday, erasing doubts of a lack of offensive firepower from Friday’s loss.

Southern Miss exploded for six runs, in each of the second and third innings on three Western Kentucky errors. Southern Miss took an early 12-0 lead heading into the fourth inning.

In the fourth inning, Southern Miss scored two additional runs to make it 14-0 before Western Kentucky was able to answer. In the bottom of the fourth for WKU, Paul Murray singled to left field bringing in Wofford for the score. Western Kentucky trailed 14-1 until they scored two additional runs in the eighth inning.

Kirk McCarty got the start for Southern Miss, allowing eight hits, one run while striking out four batters to pick up his second win of the season.

McCarty allowed his only run in the game in the bottom of the fourth inning to a Paul Murray single to left field, bringing in Cody Wofford for the score.

Michael Sterling led the way for the USM offense with a grand slam in the second inning, his first home run of the season. Connor Barron hit his fourth home run of the season in the third, a three-run shot to put the Hilltoppers away.

The Golden Eagles jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning of game three, behind a Taylor Braley home run, driving in Burdeaux and Sterling.

The Hilltoppers did not answer until the fifth inning, scoring two runs of their own. The Golden Eagles also had two runs in the inning, increasing their lead to 5-2.

James McMahon got the start in the game and continued to establish himself as the best arm in the rotation. He pitched five innings, allowing six hits and two runs and improved to 7-0 on the season with a 1.27 ERA.

Ryan Milton delivered a perfect ninth to pick up his eighth save of the season. Southern Miss finished the game with 15 hits in only 38 at-bats.

Southern Miss will play at Tulane on Tuesday as they hope to continue their recent surge at the plate. First pitch is for 6:30 p.m.