Johnson pitches USM to victory

Published 11:52 pm Saturday, April 2, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Southern Miss remained red hot Saturday and put another series victory in the bank.

Nick Johnson threw a career-high eight innings, and the Golden Eagles tied a season-high with 15 hits as they routed Charlotte 9-1.

The Golden Eagles (21-7, 7-1 Conference USA) won for the 17th time in 18 regular-season league games, and won their sixth consecutive C-USA series dating back to last year. They’ll wrap up their three-game set with the 49ers (12-15, 3-5) Sunday at 10 a.m. in Charlotte.

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Johnson (2-0) allowed one unearned run in his eight-inning stint on Saturday. He struck out six, walked two, and scattered seven hits.

He had plenty of support from USM’s hitters. The Golden Eagles scored in each of the last five innings to break the game wide open after a slow start.

With the Golden Eagles leading 1-0, Chase Scott led off the fifth inning with a home run and they added two more runs on an RBI ground out by Jake Sandlin and an RBI double by Nick Dawson.

Daniel Keating hit a pinch-hit solo home run in the sixth, Dawson doubled and scored on a single by Tim Lynch in the seventh, and Dawson hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth to make it 7-0.

Tracy Hadley’s RBI single in the ninth stretched the lead to 8-1, and Southern Miss added one more run on a throwing error.

Dawson finished the game 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Lynch was 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Sandlin had two hits and an RBI, and Dylan Burdeaux scored two runs.