Southern Miss

Burdeaux's big day leads Southern Miss to sweep

ROGELIO V. SOLIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS 
 Southern Mississippi's Dylan Burdeaux lines out to second base during the first inning of the Mississippi College Series against Mississippi at Trustmark Park in Pearl on April 7. Burdeaux helped lift the Golden Eagles to a lopsided series sweep of visiting UTSA on Saturday.
ROGELIO V. SOLIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS Southern Mississippi's Dylan Burdeaux lines out to second base during the first inning of the Mississippi College Series against Mississippi at Trustmark Park in Pearl on April 7. Burdeaux helped lift the Golden Eagles to a lopsided series sweep of visiting UTSA on Saturday. AP

HATTIESBURG -- Southern Miss trounced UTSA 13-2 Saturday to sweep their three-game Conference USA baseball series, and plenty of credit must go to Golden Eagle right fielder Dylan Burdeaux.

Burdeaux homered in the first inning, singled and scored in the third, homered again in the fourth and drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in his fourth run of the game in the seventh.

"I was actually looking to bunt that first pitch (in the first inning) and he threw a ball," Burdeaux said. "After that, I figured he was trying to get back to a 1-1 count and I got aggressive and tried to put a swing on it."

He did. He put such a good swing on it the ball landed 410 feet over the center-field wall -- with no wind.

"I felt good and was seeing the ball well," the junior right fielder said. "He left another fastball up (in the fourth inning) so I tried to put another good swing on it and it got out."

Burdeaux's second homer of the game, which put Southern Miss ahead 6-2, was his seventh home run of the season. Taylor Braley leads the team with eight homers.

The winning pitcher was starter Kirk McCarty, who struck out nine and walked zero for the second straight appearance on the mound. And the game ended when former Gulfport High star Daniel Keating belted a two-run line-drive home run with two out in the eighth inning, putting into effect the 10-run rule that is used in the third game of all C-USA series.

"That's my first walkoff in my whole career," Keating said. "It feels pretty awesome.

"I've been swinging at some bad stuff lately. I haven't been taking my walks. It was nice to get that last AB (at-bat). I'm glad Gilley (Michael Gilbert) walked so I could get in there that last time."

The Eagles improved to 19-6 overall and 5-1 in Conference USA with the weekend sweep. The Roadrunners fell to 10-13 and 1-5.

UTSA actually held the upper hand in Saturday's first two innings, going ahead 2-1. But McCarty (2-0, 3.34 ERA) settled down and set down 10 in a row, although he said there was no big difference in the way he pitched.

"The first two hits I made decent pitches and they put a pretty good swing on it," McCarty said of C.J. Pickering's solo home run and a bloop single. "Even later, there were some loud outs. They hit it hard right at guys.

"They made some good plays in the outfield."

McCarty credited his catcher, Claudio Rubiera, with helping his strikeout total.

"Claudio stole a couple of strikeouts. There were some balls down in the zone but he did a good job getting under it. That made them look a lot better than they were."

In the meantime, the Golden Eagle bats got hot. USM finished with 13 hits while UTSA had seven.

For the Eagles, along with Burdeaux's three hits and four RBIs, designated hitter Hunter Slater had a single and home run and three RBIs and Jake Sandlin had a single and double to extend his hitting streak to 12 games and improve his batting average to .400.

Tim Lynch, Braley, Rubiera and Tracy Hadley had one hit apiece.

With the four home runs, the Golden Eagles now have 33 for the season, compared to 42 all last season.

Walker Powell pitched the final inning for USM.

Karan Patel (1-4) was the losing pitcher in the game, which lasted only two hours, 10 minutes.

Southern Miss will play again at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against Mississippi State at Pearl's Trustmark Park.

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