CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Chuckie Robinson drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth while a pair of relievers kept Marshall in check for the final 2 1/3 innings for Kirk McCarty as Southern Miss captured the Conference USA series with a 3-2 victory Saturday afternoon at Appalachian Power Park.
The Golden Eagles (16-5 overall, 2-1 C-USA) won their fourth-straight league series dating back to last season, while also capturing their 12 regular-season conference win over the last 13 games.
Both McCarty and JD Hammer, Marshall's starting pitcher, battled each other for four scoreless frames before Golden Eagle designated hitter Hunter Slater homered to right for his first career homer to start the fifth and give Southern Miss a 1-0 lead. The Golden Eagles then added to the lead in the seventh on an RBI double from Storme Cooper.
McCarty, who gave up just two hits over the first six innings and tallied a career-high nine strikeouts, gave up a one-out single in the seventh before Reynaldo Pestrana homered for the first time in his career to left-center to tie the game at 2-2.
The Golden Eagle sophomore then surrendered a double and a strikeout, before Nick Sandlin came in and got a groundout to Cooper at second base to end the threat. Despite not getting a decision, McCarty finished with 6 2/3 innings and allowed five hits and a pair of runs.
Southern Miss retook the lead in the eighth as Jake Sandlin and Tim Lynch both singled to start the frame. Robinson then knocked in what proved to be the winning run with a double to left.
In the bottom of the eighth, Sandlin fanned a batter and then gave up a single to DJ Gee. It was Robinson again, who then made a big play, as he erased Gee on an attempted steal and Sandlin followed with another strikeout to end the frame.
After a scoreless ninth for the visitors, Sandlin got a groundout and a strikeout before surrendering a walk. Cody Livingston, who struggled Friday night in the second game, came on and forced pinch hitter Sam Finfer to flyout on his first pitch to end the game.
Sandlin (1-1) allowed a walk and a hit with three strikeouts to earn the victory, while Livingston notched his team-best fourth save.
No. 8 Ole Miss 6, Tennessee 4: Ole Miss baseball team earned a hard-fought victory over Tennessee in Knoxville.
Michael Fitzsimmons belted a two-run homer in the sixth that proved to be arguably the biggest hit of the ballgame. Fitzsimmons also ripped a double, going 2-for-3 with two RBI off the bench. J.B. Woodman added two hits, while Ryan Olenek recorded a pair of RBI for the Rebels (18-2, 1-1 SEC).
Brady Feigl (2-0), earned his second victory with 2.1 innings of relief. Feigl took over for starter Chad Smith, who lasted 4.2 innings and struck out a career-high seven hitters. Dallas Woolfolk and Will Stokes combined to pitch one scoreless frame, and Wyatt Short recorded his fifth and 18th career save with three strikeouts in the bottom of the ninth. The Ole Miss pitching staff combined to strike out 13 Volunteers and held Tennessee (12-6, 1-1 SEC) without a hit in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
No. 15 Mississippi State 2, No. 2 Vanderbilt 1: Cole Gordo's RBI-single in the top half of the 13th inning lifted No. 15 MSU past No. 2 Vanderbilt in the opening-game of a three-game SEC baseball series on Friday night at Hawkins Field in Nashville.