Southern Miss

Cooper, Southern Miss overtake UNO

Southern Miss second baseman Storme Cooper helped the Golden Eagles beat the University of New Orleans on Wednesday.
Southern Miss second baseman Storme Cooper helped the Golden Eagles beat the University of New Orleans on Wednesday. ttisibell@sunherald.com

Southern Miss did the majority of its best work at the plate Wednesday night when it was down to its last outs.

The Golden Eagles scored all but one of their runs with two outs in an 8-4 victory over New Orleans at Pete Taylor Park.

“Seven of the eight runs that we scored were with two outs and many of those were with two outs,” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. “Great approaches at the plate, being able to compete like we need ‘em to.”

No. 23 Southern Miss (21-5), off to its best start since the 2011 season, won for the 12th time in its last 13 games and swept the season series from the Privateers (14-12).

After dropping their first midweek contest of the season at Alabama on Feb. 22, the Golden Eagles have won their last seven, including back-to-back wins over South Alabama and UNO this week.

“For us to be able to get two wins against two quality programs this week was big for our program,” Berry said.

Sophomore second baseman Storme Cooper started the two-out scoring binge with his first career home run as a Golden Eagle, a three-run shot to left in the bottom of the second inning.

“I knew it was out off the bat because I got it up in that wind,” Cooper said. “I just put a short swing on it.”

But UNO left-hander Christopher DeMayo checked the Golden Eagles on one hit over the next four innings as the Privateers chipped away the lead.

After a sacrifice fly by Tristan Clarke in the third, UNO made it 3-2 when Hezekiah Randolph led off the sixth inning with solo home run off Southern Miss reliever Alex Nelms.

The Privateers tied the game in the seventh when Clarke’s two-out single to right off reliever USM Trent Driver brought home Aaron Palmer.

But the Golden Eagles answered in the bottom of the inning, and Boyd got it started when he homered with two outs off UNO reliever Grant Baker (0-1).

Dylan Burdeaux followed with a double and came home on a double by Gulfport’s Daniel Keating. Hunter Slater’s single to right field scored Keating for a 6-3 lead.

Driver (1-0) allowed another UNO run in the eighth inning on Orynn Veillon’s single, but Southern Miss added two runs on a one-out wild pitch and a two-out double by Boyd.

Southern Miss banged out 10 hits against six UNO pitchers, including eight, extra-base hits. Boyd had a home run and double while Burdeaux hit a single and double.

The Golden Eagles resume Conference USA play this weekend, travelling to Bowling Green, Ky., to take on Western Kentucky. The first game of the three-game series is set for 5 p.m. Friday.

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