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USM Powerful Offense Not Enough in Series Loss to UTSA

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Junior Chase Scott hits a home run last Saturday afternoon before the rain delay against Florida Atlantic at Pete Taylor Park. The Golden Eagles played against UTSA this weekend winning the last game and loosing the first two.-Susan Broadbirdge/Printz

Despite outstanding offensive production throughout the weekend series against conference foe UTSA, Southern Miss could not overcome the equally deadly Roadrunner lineup.

After the Southern Miss lineup only managed two runs in the first game against UTSA, losing 7-2, the offense came alive for the Golden Eagles in the final two games of the series.  The series was expected to last the weekend, but due to a rain delay, the games were scheduled to be played on Saturday and Sunday.

That would not stop the Golden Eagles, who had three long balls in both games on Saturday, tying a season high. Both bullpens struggled to withstand either lineup. The Golden Eagles bullpen ranked in the top 10 in the NCAA before the series, but struggled mightily.

The Golden Eagles lost the deciding game two Saturday, 11-7 as USM starter Cody Carroll simply did not have control over any of his pitches against the Roadrunners.

He gave up eight runs on seven hits with four walks over 4.1 innings pitched. Carroll left his fastball up in the zone one too many times over the first four innings and the Roadrunners took advantage.

After USM took the early 2-0 lead with a two-run home run by Chase Scott, the Roadrunners bounced back with four runs in the second. Carroll started the inning off strong with two outs, but a double by UTSA and a pair of walks loaded the bases.

J.T. Gilmore then hit his first home run of the year, a grand slam to give UTSA the lead. USM retook the lead after a three-run fourth inning, but it would be for naught as the Roadrunners added a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh to seal it.

Facing the dreaded sweep, the Golden Eagles bounced back in the series finale and defeated UTSA with another three-homer performance. Tim Lynch had an outstanding series and it continued on Sunday as he had three hits that drove in three runs.

The Golden Eagles got the scoring started in the top of the fourth with an RBI single from Lynch. UTSA battled back on the strength of a three-run home run by Trent Bowles after a couple of base hits.

It was USM starter James McMahon’s fourth home run he has given up this season; however, he remained in the game and the three runs in that inning were the only runs he gave up. McMahon usually settles in after a few innings and that remained true Sunday as he became dominant with his control and fastball.

McMahon got the win and improved his record to 8-1. The Golden Eagles took the lead for good in the top of the sixth with Taylor Braley smashing a two-run home run to left-center. Austin Roussel notched an RBI single to finish off the scoring burst.

USM did a great job by taking several pitches and running the Roadrunners pitchers’ counts high and got deep into their bullpen, which is not one of their strong suits. The Golden Eagles took advantage and UTSA used four pitchers in the game. 

USM scored much-needed insurance runs in the eighth. They got five from contributions by Lynch, who hit another home run for USM and Connor Barron, who also hit a home run.

The Golden Eagles will look to keep their bats hot when they face Alabama for a 6:30 p.m. contest at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Alabama, Tuesday night.

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