From Southern Miss
Matt Wallner homered and drove in four runs to lead No. 12 Southern Miss over WKU 14-1 in seven innings Sunday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
With the win, the Golden Eagles (22-9 overall, 8-3 in Conference USA) clinched their eighth-straight league series victory and fifth consecutive home C-USA series triumph.
Southern Miss responded from a 7-1 loss on Saturday by scoring in five of six innings.
The Golden Eagles got three hits and three RBIs from Gabe Montenegro, while LeeMarcus Boyd tallied three hits and two RBIs and Matthew Guidry collected a homer and a double with an RBI.
Right-hander Walker Powell registered the Golden Eagles first complete game of the year as he limited the HIlltoppers (15-16, 5-7) to a run on three hits with a walk and four strikeouts as he threw just 69 pitches in the contest.
The Golden Eagles jumped out early on WKU starter Paul Kirkpatrick with a pair of unearned runs in the first.
After Montenegro started the frame by reaching on a fielding error, Guidry doubled. After a run-scoring groundout by Luke Reynolds, Wallner hit a sacrifice fly to left.
Southern Miss then added five more runs in the third. Reynolds, who walked three times in the game, led off the inning with a free pass. The next hitter, Wallner, blasted a two-run home run to right for this team-leading eighth of the year.
Hunter Slater followed with a single before Bryant Bowen walked. After an unsuccessful bunt attempt to move the runners, Boyd knocked in a pair of runs with a single and scored later on a single from Montenegro.
Kirkpatrick (3-2) was chased in that frame as he allowed seven runs (five earned) on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts to suffer the loss.
Ray Zuberer III plated WKU’s lone run in the fourth with a single, scoring Jacob Rhinesmith, who had two of the three Hilltopper hits during the contest.
The lead, though, was extended in the bottom half of the frame as Chase Donaldson and Mason Irby each tallied run-scoring singles to make the score 9-1.
The Golden Eagles then extended the lead with two more runs in the fifth on Wallner’s second sacrifice fly of the contest, before Bowen tallied an RBI single.
Southern Miss completed its scoring in the sixth with a two-run homer by Montenegro, his first of the year, and a solo shot from Guidry, his third.
The Golden Eagles return to the road for the first of five games away from Pete Taylor Park Tuesday night against Ole Miss at Trustmark Park in Pearl. Please note the game will start at 6 p.m., instead of the previously released time of 6:30 p.m.