April 12, 2013
Box Score (PDF)
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - With a man on first and two out in the bottom of the ninth, Southern Miss used the unlikeliest of plays to pull off a 1-0 victory over the Thundering Herd baseball team in Friday's series opener at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
A blooper to left field by USM pinch hitter Austin Roussel, nearly caught over the shoulder by Herd third baseman Aaron Bossi, dropped in for a base hit, and when the incoming relay throw went over the outstretched reach of Ryan Hopkins, USM's Chase Fowler was able to scamper home for the winning run.
Marshall fell to 13-20 (3-4 Conference USA). Southern Miss improved to 16-17 (6-4 C-USA).
Hopkins (1-2) suffered the loss, allowing two hits and the one (unearned) run over 1.2 innings.
Marshall had golden opportunities to break the deadlock in the fourth, sixth, and eighth innings. In the fourth, Gray Stafford drew a two-out walk, and an ensuing Eric Escobedo single up the middle put runners at the corners for Nathan Gomez. Gomez grounded one to the right side with RBI-single written all over it, but a diving stop by USM first baseman Blake Brown ended the inning.
In the sixth, Isaac Ballou lengthened his streak of reaching base to 25 games with a one-out double off the wall in right-center, but Golden Eagle starting pitcher Jake Drehoff dug deep to strike out Andrew Dundon and Stafford.
Drehoff ended up going seven and two-thirds but did not factor into the decision. The left-hander struck out eight while allowing six hits and two walks.
In the eighth, Ballou reached again on a two-out walk then was put in scoring position on Dundon's second single of the day, but USM relief pitcher Jay Myrick induced a fly ball to thwart the chance.
Southern Miss put a base runner aboard in each of the first six innings but came away with nothing as Wayland Moore and Matt Margaritonda held USM to three hits over the first seven innings.
Moore, who made the start for the Herd, was lifted after two and two-thirds. The senior struck out four, including a fanning of the side in the first.
Margaritonda went a career-long 4.1 innings with two strikeouts.
Dundon and Escobedo led Marshall with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate. Ballou, Bossi, and Matt Kirkwood had the other hits for Marshall.
Myrick (2-0) was credited with the winning decision as he was on record in the ninth. Fowler went 2-for-4 with the winning run.
Marshall and Southern Miss will finish the series on Saturday with a doubleheader scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.