USM crushes Marshall
HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss and Marshall played two close games Friday. All things considered, a blowout was a lot more fun for the home team.
Dylan Burdeaux and Daniel Keating hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning, and Hayden Roberts pitched 7 1/3 solid innings as Southern Miss beat Marshall 13-3 in eight innings Sunday at Pete Taylor Park.
Southern Miss (19-5, 5-1 Conference USA) won the series after the teams split two extra-inning games in a doubleheader Friday. Southern Miss also remained tied with Old Dominion for first place in Conference USA.
“Thought we came out and made a statement right off the bat,” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. “Hayden goes three up, and three down and we answer with three runs, and really make their guy pitch a lot in the first inning.”
Burdeaux, one of three Golden Eagles who drove in three runs, hit his sixth home run of the season to start the game. later on, he hit a two-run double that capped a four-run eighth inning as Southern Miss run-ruled the Thundering Herd (11-10, 3-3).
Mason Irby had three of Southern Miss’ 15 hits, scored three times and drove in three runs, while Storme Cooper also had three hits and drove in three runs. Matt Wallner and Cole Donaldson had two hits each for the Golden Eagles, who have at least 10 hits in each of their first six conference games.
Roberts (3-1) allowed three runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out seven. Stevie Powers wrapped it up by getting the final two outs.
“Hayden Roberts really pitched (Sunday),” Berry said. “The reason I say that is because he did not have his best stuff. Honestly, it was probably the worst stuff he had all year, but he pitched with it, and you’re talking about a Marshall team that had double-digit hits in both games prior to this one, and he limits them to five.”
After Burdeaux and Keating led off with back-to-back home runs off Marshall starter Patrick Murphy (1-1), the Golden Eagles took a 3-0 lead when Taylor Braley walked and eventually came around to score on a passed ball.
Braley, who walked three times and scored two runs, has 24 walks on the season, an average of one per game.
Marshall made the score 3-2 on Shane Hanon’s two-run homer to left-center field in the top of the second inning, but Southern Miss bumped the lead to 4-2 in the third when Cooper forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk.
The Golden Eagles opened an 8-2 lead, scoring four runs with two outs in the fourth inning on Irby’s bases-clearing double and Donaldson’s single.
Hanon, who had entered the series without a home run, lined his second of the game over the left-field wall to lead off the fifth inning to get the Herd back to 8-3.
Cooper drove in a run in the sixth inning with a single to make it 9-3, then he and LeeMarcus Boyd each drove in a run in the eighth before Burdeaux ended the game with his two-run double over the head of Hanon in center field.