Arkansas dominated Southern Miss in every facet Saturday night. The Golden Eagles were outhit and outpitched in front of a jam-packed crowd at Baum Stadium, falling to the Razorbacks, 10-2, on day two of the Fayetteville Regional.
Behind 13 hits and eight shutout innings from Kacey Murphy, Arkansas improved to 2-0 in regional play, while Southern Miss (1-1) suffered its first loss.
“We obviously ran into a very good Arkansas team tonight, which we knew going in,” said Southern Miss head coach Scott Berry. “[Kacey] Murphy really pitched well. I thought he mixed his pitches, used both sides of the plate and really was in control of us.”
Murphy held the Golden Eagles to just two hits during his time on the mound.
“Offensively, we haven’t been held down that way for a long time this year,” added Berry. “I feel like that’s how good he pitched.”
The Razorbacks used a seven-run second inning to put it out of reach early and added insult to injury with three more later in the ballgame. Heading to the bottom of the ninth inning, Arkansas led 10-0.
Southern Miss then got on the board off a solo home run from Matthew Guidry. The Golden Eagles, who totaled just five hits on the night, added one more run off an RBI double from Matt Wallner that cut the Razorback’s lead to 10-2.
“I was proud of the way our guys battled back there at the end,” said Berry. “We didn’t go away quietly.”
Southern Miss (44-17) next faces Dallas Baptist for the second time in three days on Sunday at 2 pm in an elimination game. Walker Powell, a Fayetteville native, will get the start on the mound for the Golden Eagles.
“I know he [Powell] is probably excited and anxious to get out there, coming back home,” said Berry. “We never know how that’s going to play out. All we can do is, if you’re or a player or coach, is ask for an opportunity. I have total confidence in Walker. I hope he doesn’t try to do more than he’s capable of doing because of the atmosphere. If he stays within himself, he’ll do well.”
If Southern Miss can beat Dallas Baptist again, they’ll get a rematch with Arkansas later that night at 7 pm. The Golden Eagles would need to win that one in order to force a do-or-die Monday matchup for both teams for the region title.