Southern Miss stays hot, topples Troy

Published 11:30 am Monday, March 3, 2014

Southern Miss manufactured a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat Troy 7-6 and win its first series of the season Sunday. Southern Miss (6-6) has won four of its last five games, including two of three in this series.

“I hope it shows what we can do as a team,” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. “Winning this series was very big. We had to be able to get in there and go toe-to-toe, and I think that’s exactly what you saw. Both sides didn’t give in.”

Matt Durst hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning to help stake the Golden Eagles to a 4-0 lead. Troy’s Nick Masonia hit the first of two home runs, a two-run shot in the third, to help the Trojans (7-5) tie it. Masonia led off the eighth with a solo homer and Tyler Vaughn delivered an RBI single to put Troy ahead 6-5.

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In the bottom of the eighth, two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Southern Miss. Nick Dawson tied the game with a sacrifice fly, and Connor Barron drove in the go-ahead run with a fielder’s choice to make it 7-6.

Southern Miss closer Bradley Roney struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to seal the win and earn his fourth save of the season. It was the 22nd save of his career.

 Ole Miss 9, UCF 2

After packing a season’s worth of late-inning drama into a week’s worth of games, Ole Miss had a little less stress on Sunday afternoon.

Sam Smith allowed four hits in six scoreless innings, Auston Bousfield went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, and the Rebels routed Central Florida 9-2 to finish a sweep of their weekend series.

Ole Miss won its fifth straight game. The first four were all walk-off wins.

“It was a much better game by us,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “We talked so much about the walk-off wins and winning in extra innings, but today we played better. We were really clean defensively. Sam (Smith) was terrific as well as all the pitchers that pitched today. Offensively, we looked more like ourselves today. We were able to drive the ball to the gap and steal bases. The score reflected that.”

Central Florida (6-5) left the bases loaded in the top of the first inning, then Ole Miss (11-1) immediately threw a counter punch in the bottom half.

Back-to-back singles and a hit batter loaded the bases for Will Allen, who delivered a sacrifice fly to put the Rebels on the board. Another run scored on a wild pitch, then Preston Overbey and Colby Bortles came through with RBI singles to give Ole Miss a 4-1 lead.

Ole Miss added three more runs in the fourth inning and another in the fifth to go up 9-0. The fifth-inning run came when Sikes Orvis was hit by a pitch and moved around the bases on three wild pitches.

Mississippi State 9, Eastern Illinois 0

Jake Vickerson and Seth Heck had three hits apiece, and Derrick Armstrong singled in a pair of runs during a seven-run seventh inning that propelled Mississippi State (10-4) past Eastern Illinois (2-10).

Mississippi State swept two games each from Eastern Illinois and Michigan State at the Diamond Classic in Starkville, and has won six in a row after starting the season 4-4.

“I felt good before this weekend but it adds to the confidence, there’s no doubt about that,” said Armstrong, who finished 2-for-5 with a double. “It’s really as simple as we played good this weekend and it’s a better feeling than last weekend.”

Dakota Hudson struck out five batters in 52⁄3 scoreless innings. Four relievers covered the last 31⁄3 innings to finish Mississippi State’s first shutout of the season. Eastern Illinois had 10 hits, but hit into a pair of double plays and left nine runners on base.

“I thought we got a lot of Dakota today. He seems really close to making a big jump and we noticed he threw a lot of fastballs to the glove side, which is a huge key for him,” MSU coach John Cohen said. “We really defended the field well with double plays and had some running plays in the outfield too. In order to scatter 10 hits in a game you have to be fundamentally sound defensively.”

Yale 8, LSU 7

Yale finally got on the scoreboard against LSU, and into the win column as well.

Green Campbell scored the go-ahead run on a throwing error in the eighth inning, and Yale (1-2) held on to beat LSU in the finale of a three-game series in Baton Rouge. LSU (9-2) had shut out the Bulldogs in each of the first two games. LSU blew a 6-0 lead after four innings in the finale.

“Yale deserves a lot of credit, they played their hearts out,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “It was only their third day to be outside all season, and that’s usually when a northern team will play its best, on that third day. I don’t think we played poorly, we hit balls hard all day right at people, and they score the winning run without a ball leaving the infield. But that’s the game of baseball, and it’s up to us to keep our heads up and confidently move forward.”

Campbell had two hits and scored two runs, and Robert Baldwin was 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Yale. LSU’s Kade Scivicque was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, and Christian Ibarra went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

Tulane 6, Sacred Heart 5

Richard Carthon drove in the winning run with a walk-off RBI single in the 10th inning to lift Tulane (8-2) over Sacred Heart (1-1).

Former Vicksburg High star Bowen Woodson went 1-for-4 with a single for Tulane.

 Delta St.16, Valdosta St. 3

Benji Sullivan went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and Brent Langston hit a solo home run to power Delta State (7-5, 6-3 Gulf South Conference) to a series win over Valdosta State (11-4, 4-4).

Langston was 3-for-5 with one RBI and three runs scored. Jordan Chovanec had two hits and two RBIs for the Statesmen.