Golden Eagles fall flat against Alabama

Published 9:43 am Thursday, February 23, 2017

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Southern Miss wiped out an early deficit Wednesday against Alabama, and then watched as the Crimson Tide buried them in another hole later on.

Alabama scored seven runs in its last three at-bats — including five in the seventh inning — to hand Southern Miss its first loss of the season, 12-5.

Southern Miss (3-1) overcame a 5-1 deficit after two innings to tie it in the fifth, but Alabama (3-1) pulled back in front to stay with its late surge.

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Southern Miss had won four in a row against Alabama.

“I thought this was one of our biggest team wins that we’ve had, and of my career, honestly,” Alabama coach Greg Goff said. “Just a lot of courage from our hitters, and some of our guys that hadn’t played a lot stepped up tonight. You look at everyone we used, and it took everybody tonight, to beat a very good Southern Miss team.”

Hunter Alexander hit a two-run home run for Alabama during its big second inning, and then capped the five-run seventh with an RBI single. He went 2-for-3 with two walks, three RBIs and a run scored.
Chandler Avant was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored for the Tide, while Gene Wood and Cobie Vance each drove in two runs.

Dylan Burdeaux led of the game with a home run for Southern Miss, and then LeeMarcus Boyd had a bases-clearing double in the fourth inning to help spur the Golden Eagles’ initial comeback.

Cole Donaldson drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the fifth to tie it at 5, but an RBI double by Vance in the bottom of the sixth put Alabama ahead to stay.

Four Alabama relief pitchers combined to allow one run in 5 1/3 innings, and none after Sonny Potter got out of a two-on, no-out jam in the fifth inning with only minimal damage.

Potter, Kyle Cameron, Zac Rogers and Davis Vainer allowed four hits and three walks, and struck out six in their time on the mound.

Rogers (1-0), the third of the four relievers to see action, was credited with the win. Vainer allowed one hit and no walks while striking out four over the last three innings to earn his first save of the season.

Alabama starter Brock Love struck out seven batters in 3 2/3 innings, but got a no-decision.

Southern Miss used seven pitchers. The second in line, J.C. Keys (0-1), allowed only one run in three innings but still took the loss. Keys left the game after giving up a leadoff double to Avant in the sixth inning, and was charged with the run when Avant scored on Vance’s double that put Alabama ahead 6-5.

Southern Miss will return home to Hattiesburg to host Evansville in a three-game series beginning Friday at 6 p.m. The teams will also play Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

LSU 8, Hofstra 1

Greg Deichmann went 2-for-4 with a home run, double and two RBIs, and Cole Freeman and Michael Papierski each had two hits, an RBI and a run scored as LSU (4-1) beat Hofstra in a midweek game on Wednesday.

Six LSU pitchers combined to hold Hofstra (0-4) to just four hits. Starter Zack Hess (1-0) went five innings, allowed two hits and two walks, and struck out six. Todd Peterson threw two scoreless innings, and four other relievers finished by splitting up the last two innings.