Recap by: John Sullivan, Rice Athletics (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HOUSTON – No. 16 ranked Southern Miss broke a one-run game wide-open with ten late runs for a 15-4 win over the Rice baseball team in the opening game of the Conference USA weekend series Friday night at Reckling Park.
After Rice took a 4-3 lead after four innings, Southern Miss pulled in front 5-4 with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the fifth. The margin was still a single run after seven-complete, but the Golden Eagles scored four in the top of the eighth and sixth in the ninth for a 15-4 final.
The Owls are now 12-24 on the season and 3-10 in C-USA action. Southern Miss improved to 27-8 overall and remained in sole possession of first place in the C-USA standings with an 11-2 league ledger.
Rice collected double-digit hits for the 18th time this season and opened the game’s scoring in the bottom of the second inning. Ford Proctor reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on Darryn Sheppard’s triple to right field. Tristan Gray followed with a RBI double for a 2-0 advantage.
The Golden Eagles answered with a run in the third and took the lead, 3-2, with a two-run homer by Daniel Keating in the fourth. Rice came right back with two in the bottom of the frame. Tristan Gray blasted his second homer of the season to make it 4-3.
USM moved in front with two runs in the fifth. The Owls had a chance to work around a pair of hits, but a Rice interference error helped keep the inning alive for a pair of unearned runs.
The C-USA series continues thru this weekend. Saturday’s second game of the series is scheduled to start at 2 pm. First pitch of Sunday’s series finale is set for 1 pm at Reckling Park.