Rice rallies late to stun Southern Miss

Published 6:07 pm Sunday, April 1, 2018

HATTIESBURG — In a weekend filled with big comebacks at Pete Taylor Park, Rice got the last word in.

The Owls rallied for five runs in the eighth inning to register a 7-6, come-from-behind victory over Southern Miss on Sunday afternoon.

Trei Cruz went 3-for-5 for Rice (12-18, 2-7 Conference USA), and his two-run single in the eighth inning gave the Owls the lead for good.

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On Saturday, Rice scored six runs in the eighth and then gave up five in the ninth before losing in extra innings. This time, reliever Jackson Parthasarthy pitched a perfect eighth and ninth inning to keep Southern Miss (19-7, 6-2) at bay.

Parthasarthy finished with three strikeouts — four Rice pitchers combined for 13 in the game — and earned his first save of the season.

Southern Miss still won two out of three in the series and is a half-game behind Louisiana Tech for first place in Conference USA.

Matt Wallner hit a grand slam during a six-run fifth inning Sunday that gave the Golden Eagles a 6-2 lead. It was his sixth home run of the season, and third in this series.

Hunter Slater went 3-for-4 with a double and scored a run in the sixth as part of a double steal.