USM sweeps Western Kentucky

Published 9:21 am Monday, April 3, 2017

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Southern Miss put an emphatic exclamation point on a series sweep of Western Kentucky as its status as one of the hottest teams in the country showed no signs of slowing down.

The Golden Eagles hit five home runs — two of them by designated hitter Daniel Keating — and J.C. Keys allowed one hit in eight innings in a 13-1 rout of Western Kentucky on Sunday.

The Golden Eagles (24-5, 8-1 Conference USA) have won six consecutive games, 15 of their last 16 and eight straight on the road. They’ll play Ole Miss Tuesday night at Trustmark Park in Pearl.

Storme Cooper, Matt Wallner and Bryant Bowen also homered Sunday as the Golden Eagles collected 16 hits. Southern Miss outhit Western Kentucky 40-14 over the weekend and outscored the Hilltoppers 24-2.

Western Kentucky (9-20, 3-6) lost its fourth consecutive game, and for the 11th time in its last 14 games.
Western Kentucky’s only run — and its only hit — Sunday came on a solo home run by Thomas Peter in the bottom of the third inning.

Keys walked two batters and struck out seven in a complete game victory. The game ended via the run rule after the eighth inning.

Keys retired 16 of the last 18 batters he faced.

By the time Peter went deep, Southern Miss had the game well in hand.

Cooper hit a solo home run and Keating a three-run shot in the second inning, and Mason Irby added an RBI double in the third to stake the Golden Eagles to a 5-0 lead.

Keating went deep again with a solo homer in the fourth inning, Bowen hit a two-run shot in the fifth and Wallner a solo home run in the sixth to extend the lead to 9-1.

The Golden Eagles tacked on four more runs in the top of the eighth and then finished it when Keys retired the side in order in the bottom half.