FAU knocks off Southern Miss again

Published 9:14 pm Saturday, April 30, 2016

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Southern Miss’ weekend trip to sunny South Florida has been anything but relaxing.

C.J. Chatham went 5-for-6 with a home run, triple and five RBIs as Florida Atlantic beat Southern Miss for the second consecutive day, 9-4 on Saturday.

Southern Miss (30-14, 14-6 Conference USA), which entered the weekend in first place in C-USA, has lost a conference series for just the second time in seven weekends.

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Florida Atlantic (30-11, 14-6), meanwhile, pulled into a tie for second place with Southern Miss. Both teams are a half-game behind Rice, which beat Charlotte 12-4 on Saturday.

“Absolutely fantastic game. I’m so proud of the guys,” Florida Atlantic coach John McCormack said. “Right from the beginning we had great at-bats. (Pitcher Brandon) Rhodes was really good, the bullpen was good and we played good defense. I couldn’t be prouder of the guys.”

Southern Miss hit three solo home runs — one each by Dylan Burdeaux, Jake Sandlin and Tim Lynch — but Florida Atlantic pulled away late.

After Chuckie Robinson delivered an RBI double in the top of the seventh to cut Florida Atlantic’s lead to 4-3, Chatham hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning to help the Owls regain control.

Lynch homered in the eighth to make it 7-4, and the Owls struck again in their half. Chatham’s two-run single made it 9-4.

Rhodes pitched 6 2/3 innings for Florida Atlantic, allowing three runs on five hits and one walk. He struck out two.

Alex House pitched the last 2 1/3 innings for his first save of the season.