USM rallies for wild win against Rice

Published 7:33 pm Saturday, March 31, 2018

HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss saw Rice’s big comeback, and then raised it two more.

Matt Wallner’s RBI single in the bottom of the 12th inning gave Southern Miss an 8-7 win over Rice, and capped a wild finish at Pete Taylor Park.

Southern Miss scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, after Rice had scored six times in the eighth, to tie the game at 7, and then won in the 12th.

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Chace Sarchet went 2-for-6 with three RBIs and a run scored for Rice (11-18, 1-7 Conference USA). His two-run single was part of the big eighth inning that gave the Owls a seemingly insurmountable 7-2 lead.

Southern Miss (19-6, 6-1), however, mounted a rally in the bottom of the ninth.

Two walks and an error loaded the bases, and another error by Rice right fielder Bradley Gneiting allowed three runs to score. LeeMarcus Boyd drew a nine-pitch walk, and Luke Reynolds delivered a pinch-hit single to center field to bring in the tying runs.

In the 12th, J.C. Keys was hit by a pitch and Matthew Guidry singled through the right side to set the stage for Wallner. He also singled through the right side, and Keys scored from second to give the Golden Eagles the walk-off win.

Keys (2-2), the last of seven Southern Miss pitchers used in the game, got the win. He threw one scoreless inning. Starter Stevie Powers allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings and left with a 2-1 lead, but wound up with a no-decision.