Day helps Southern Miss take two from Pirates

Published 11:28 am Monday, May 14, 2012

Forget Mother’s Day. Sunday was Dillon’s Day in Hattiesburg.

Southern Miss centerfielder Dillon Day threw out the go-ahead run at home twice, in the eighth and 11th innings, then delivered a walk-off RBI single to lift the Golden Eagles to a 5-4 victory and a series sweep over East Carolina.

Day had three hits in the game, none bigger than the last.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“It’s Mother’s Day, but it’s also Dillon’s day as well,” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. “He throws those two guys out at the plate — both potential winning runs — then gets the walk-off hit. I was proud to see him do it, especially considering he hadn’t been swinging the bat the way I know he wants to. For him to come out here and play on that level was great to see.”

Southern Miss also beat East Carolina 5-3 Sunday morning in the conclusion of a game suspended Saturday night by rain. Blake Brown drove in two runs with a double in the seventh inning to give the Golden Eagles the lead for good, and Mason Robbins added a solo home run in the eighth.

Cody Livingston (2-1) pitched two innings of scoreless relief for the win.

“I was very proud of the way we came back in that first game,” Berry said. “Some freshmen played some big roles in there, like Mason with the big home run and Cody Livingston on the mound. It’s been a rollercoaster year, everyone knows that. We want to be playing our best ball right now at the end of the season. We know what we have to do, so there’s no more pressure as far as that goes. We just have to keep playing good baseball.”

The sweep brought USM back into a crowded middle of the pack in Conference USA.

Southern Miss (28-22, 12-9 C-USA) is among four teams separated by one game in the standings. All four teams — USM, Tulane, East Carolina (32-19-1, 13-10-1) and Memphis — are vying for third place heading into the final weekend of the regular season. All four teams have qualified for the C-USA Tournament May 23-27 in Pearl.

Central Florida (40-12, 15-6) and Rice (36-14, 15-6) are tied for first and are three games ahead of the pack. They’ll play each other in a three-game series beginning Thursday in Orlando that will determine the top seed for the tournament.

Tulane 11, Houston 2

Garrett Cannizaro went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs, former Vicksburg High star Bowen Woodson doubled and scored a run, and Tulane (35-17, 12-9 C-USA) routed Houston (17-30-1, 5-15-1). It’s the first time since 2000 that Tulane has won all of its C-USA road series in a season.

UAB 6, Rice 5

Harry Clark singled in the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th inning, pinch-runner Todd Wilkinson added an insurance run on a ground out, and UAB (28-25, 8-13 C-USA) rallied to beat Rice. UAB also rallied in the ninth to tie the game, as Tanner Bryant doubled and scored on a fielder’s choice.

Clark went 3-for-5 with two RBIs for the Blazers. Michael Ratterree had two hits and scored twice for Rice.

Memphis 8, Missouri 7

Memphis (25-26) scored two runs in the top of the ninth to beat Missouri (27-24) and secure the program’s first-ever series win over a Big 12 opponent.

Eli Hynes went 3-for-5 for Memphis, including a double that sparked the winning rally. Derrick Thomas had two hits and two RBIs.

The three-game series victory for Memphis is the program’s first over a Big 12 team and fifth time the club has won two games against a Big 12 opponent in two days. Memphis won two-game series against Missouri in 1978 and Kansas State in 1962, 1963 and 1964.

UCF 13, Marshall 6

Jeremy Matos went 3-for-5 with a homer, two RBIs and two runs scored, Chris Taladay hit a grand slam, and Central Florida routed Marshall (16-34, 4-17 C-USA) to reach the 40-win mark for the first time since 2005.

Oklahoma St. 12, Alcorn St. 2

Trey Whaley went 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and two runs scored, Jared Womack tripled and scored three runs, and Oklahoma State (32-19) finished a sweep of Alcorn State (17-35).

Eduardo Gonzalez went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for Alcorn, which led 2-0 after 31⁄2 innings. Oklahoma State scored seven runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take the lead, and added three in the fifth and two in the seventh.

After scratching out a 3-2 victory in the series opener Friday, Oklahoma State outscored the Braves 23-4 in the last two games.

JSU 5, Grambling 3

Charles Epperson went 4-for-4, Kendall Logan drove in two runs, and Jackson State (33-15) finished its regular season by beating Grambling State (22-24) in a rain-delayed game Sunday.

Jackson State scored all of its runs in the second inning. The Tigers batted around, getting seven hits including a two-run triple by Logan.

Jackson State will head into the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament as the No. 1 seed from the East Division. The tournament begins Wednesday in Baton Rouge.