No. 16 Southern Miss broke open a tie game with a six-run third inning in defeating Old Dominion 10-2 at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Friday night in the first of a three-game Conference USA series.
The Golden Eagles (30-10 overall, 13-3 C-USA) increased their league lead to two games over Florida Atlantic, who lost 9-6 at UTSA, and three games over the Monarchs (26-12, 10-5). The two teams continue the series Saturday at 2 p.m., as the game was moved up two hours due to impending bad weather expected in the Pine Belt.
Southern Miss got two hits each from Mason Irby, Matt Wallner, Matthew Guidry and LeeMarcus Boyd in their 12-hit attack.
“I was real proud of the way our team came out in all phases,” said Southern Miss coach Scott Berry. “Defensively, we played very well; and of course offensively, I thought we had a great approach.”
With the score tied at 2-2 in the third, Irby led off the inning with a single. Following a pair of outs, Wallner collected the first of two doubles down the rightfield line to put runners at second and third. After a walk to Jake Viaene to load the bases, Donaldson drove in the go-ahead run with a walk of his own off of ODU starter Sam Sinnen.
Guidry then doubled over Darrius Gillus’ head to clear the bases and give the Golden Eagles a 6-2 advantage.
After Boyd singled in Guidry, he later got into a run down after being picked off of second base. Boyd eluded Sinnen in the rundown and the throw to get him at third was wild allowing him to score on the play in upping the lead to 8-2.
Southern Miss added another run on a Wallner double in the fourth and then completed the scoring one inning later with a RBI single to center by Dylan Burdeaux. The senior from West Monroe, La., extended his hitting streak to 17 games with the hit.
After giving up a solo run in the first on groundout by Vinnie Pasquantino and a run-scoring single by Zach Rutherford, Southern Miss starter Kirk McCarty (7-2) settled down to limit the Monarchs to a pair of runs on seven this with two walks and six strikeouts.