USM wins on Brunty’s walk-off homer

Published 12:26 pm Monday, May 9, 2011

Southern Miss finished a weekend sweep of UAB with a little bit of dramatic flair.

Kameron Brunty smacked a three-run, walk-off homer off the right field foul pole in the bottom of the ninth to give the Golden Eagles an 8-5 victory Sunday afternoon in Hattiesburg.

Southern Miss (36-11, 14-4 Conference USA) didn’t have a hit through six innings and trailed 5-0, but scored in each of the last three innings to earn its third sweep of the season against a league opponent. USM also maintained its two game lead in the C-USA standings over Rice, which beat Houston on Sunday to complete a sweep of its own.

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“That was a great come-from-behind win,” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. “We didn’t start well. I thought we were a little lethargic. In a lot of ways I thought this game paralleled last Sunday’s game at East Carolina, but we were able to push through this one and get the win.”

Patrick Palmeiro and Keith DePew each hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning to put UAB (25-22, 9-12) ahead 4-0, and Jamal Austin made it a five-run lead with an RBI single in the sixth. Southern Miss battled back, though, as B.A. Vollmuth broke up the no-hitter with a two-run homer in the seventh.

An RBI single by Tyler Koelling and a two-run single by Marc Bourgeois tied it in the eighth, then a walk and a botched fielder’s choice set up Brunty’s game-winning homer.

“Kameron Brunty hadn’t had a good weekend, but one thing we talk about is that your last at-bat is usually the most important, and that’s what you have to focus on,” Berry said. “Fortunately, he put a good swing on a pitch and gave us the win.”