BILOXI, Miss. – Southern Miss, the No.15-ranked team in the nation, pulled away late, defeating Southeastern Louisiana, 11-3, at MGM Park.
The Golden Eagles (41-12) took an early, 1-0 lead in the third inning, expanding their lead with four more runs in the fifth.
Southeastern (34-17) scratched across a run in the sixth.
Ryan Byers and Brennan Breaud knocked back-to-back singles leading off the inning, putting runners on the corners with no outs to chase Golden Eagle starting pitcher J.C. Keys.
Taylor Schwaner drove a sinking line drive to right-center field, but Southern Miss right fielder Mason Irby made a sliding grab to rob Schwaner of a hit. The ball was deep enough, however, to allow Byers to score from third.
The Lions rallied in the seventh, threatening to take the lead.
With the bases loaded and one out, Webb Bobo scored on a wild pitch. After reliever Hayden Roberts hit Brennan Breaud with a pitch to load the bases again, Taylor Schwaner drew a walk to force in another run and pull the Lions within a pair, 5-3. Carson Crites flied out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Golden Eagles took advantage of the Southeastern bullpen to push across six runs and put the game out of reach.
Keys (3-3) earned the win, allowing one run in five innings pitched. He scattered five hits and one walk, striking out two.
Derrick Mount (1-2) suffered the loss, allowing one run in three innings. He scattered two hits, two walks and a hit batter. The senior from Saucier, Mississippi, struck out four batters.
Breaud (2-for-4) led the Lions at the plate. Schwaner drove in a pair to push his season total to 68 RBI, the third most ever recorded by a Lion during a single season in school history.
Southeastern returns home this weekend to close out the regular season at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field with a three-game series versus Seton Hall.
The series opens Thursday with a 6 p.m. contest. Thursday will also feature a Cane’s Challenge. If the Lions score four or more runs, fans will be able to redeem their game ticket or student coupon at their local participating Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers by the end of business on Friday for a free combo with the purchase of another of equal or greater value.
The series continues Friday with a 6 p.m. contest and Military Appreciation Day. All fans presenting a valid service member ID will receive free admission.
The regular season wraps ups with a 12 p.m. contest Saturday. Prior to the game, seniors Carson Crites, Jacob Seward, Derrick Mount, Webb Bobo, Ryan Byers and Cliff Hurst will be honored in a special Senior Day ceremony.
General Admission tickets for Lion home games are $9 for adults and $6 for children (ages 3-12). Tax is included in the price of admission. Southeastern students are admitted free with a valid university ID card.
Students and campus organizations can earn points toward their Lion Up Loyalty account at any home game by checking in on the mobile app while in attendance.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.LionSports.net/Tickets or by contacting the athletics ticket office at (985) 549-5466 or 1-866-LION-TIX. Ticket office hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The box office at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field opens one hour prior to the scheduled first pitch.
Southern Miss 11, Southeastern 3 (May 16, 2017 at Biloxi, Miss.)
Southeastern………. 000 001 200 – 3 8 1 (34-17)
Southern Miss……. 001 040 60X – 11 9 0 (41-12)
Pitchers: Southeastern – Mount, Derrick; Robinson, Payton (4); Graffeo, Carlo (6); Martin, Cole (7); Green, Josh (7); Pickett, Gage (7); Hurst, Cliff (8) and Wasinger, Daniel; Pace, Evan. Southern Miss – J.C. Keys; Trent Driver (6); Stevie Powers (6); Hayden Roberts (7); Sean Tweedy (8); Alex Nelms (9) and Cole Donaldson; Bryant Bowen.
Win-J.C. Keys (3-3) Loss-Mount, Derrick (1-2) T-3:07 A-1467
HR USM – Taylor Braley (12); Daniel Keating (9).
Weather: 82, sunny, SSE 7 mph
J.C. Keys faced 2 batters in the 6th.
Martin, C. faced 3 batters in the 7th.
Green, J. faced 1 batter in the 7th.