HATTIESBURG, Miss. — A key Tulane error in the bottom of the fourth inning allowed Southern Miss to take the lead and cruise to a 6-2 win in Conference USA baseball action Saturday at Pete Taylor Park.
With the score tied in the bottom of the fourth, Southern Miss got back-to-back singles from Isaac Rodriguez and Tim Lynch off Tulane starting pitcher Alex Byo.
After striking out Chase Fowler for the first out of the inning, Byo (2-4) got Blake Brown to hit a ground ball up the middle. It could have been a routine inning-ending double play — but after Tulane’s Bowen Woodson forced out Lynch at second base, Woodson overthrew first baseman Sean Potkay. The overthrow allowed Rodriguez to score and gave Southern Miss the lead.
Then, with the next at-bat, Southern Miss’ Bradley Roney hit a two-run homer over the left-field wall. Southern Miss (12-17, 4-4) never looked back, and the Green Wave (16-17, 4-4) never caught up.
“I thought Alex pitched extremely well,” Tulane coach Rick Jones said. “Southern Miss took advantage of one defensive breakdown, and that was the ballgame. Alex gave us a great performance. We just have to try and fight to win the series tomorrow.”
Andrew Pierce pitched well for the Golden Eagles, going eight innings and striking out seven. Pierce (6-1) allowed six hits on the day, three of which were by freshman Richard Carthon.
“Pierce had great stuff today,” Jones said. “He is one of the best we’ve seen. Our guys fought, but he had great stuff. If you can get into their bullpen, you have a chance. But we just couldn’t.”
Carthon went 3-for-4 on the day while Brandon Boudreaux, Garrett Cannizaro and Potkay each added a hit. Boudreaux scored the only two runs of the game for the Green Wave.
Roney and Rodriguez each had two hits for the Golden Eagles, who collected eight hits in all.
The teams finish their series at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Senior left-hander David Napoli (3-1, 1.40) will take the mound for the Green Wave. Right-hander Conor Fisk (2-1, 1.14) will pitch for Southern Miss.