HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Chase McDonald hit a single through the left side in the bottom of the ninth to lift East Carolina to a 3-2 Conference USA baseball victory over Southern Miss here Sunday afternoon at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The Golden Eagles (25-21 overall, 14-7 C-USA) had a string of five-straight conference series wins snapped as the Pirates won two of three games in the set. Southern Miss, which holds first place in the league standings, has a 1 ½ game lead in the regular-season race and steps out of conference play next weekend with a three-game home set against SIUE.
Southern Miss outhit the Pirates, 11-7, as Mason Robbins led the way with three knocks and Travis Creel and Andrew Furr added two apiece.
In the pivotal bottom of the ninth, USM starter Conor Fisk collected a groundout before giving up three straight singles with the last coming to McDonald for the game winner.
ECU's Luke Lowery got the Pirates on the board with a solo home run around the leftfield fair pole in the fifth, his fourth of the year, for the 1-0 lead.
McDonald then added to the Pirate lead with a solo shot to left in the seventh, his eighth of the campaign, to make the score 2-0.
The Golden Eagles tied the contest in the eighth. Both Creel and Isaac Rodriguez each singled with one out, before Robbins hit a pitch into the left-centerfield gap to drive in both runners to even the ledger.
Fisk (4-2) suffered the loss for the Golden Eagles as he went all 8 1/3 innings and fanned three while not allowing a walk.
ECU reliever Brett Mabry (3-2) gave up a hit and a walk with a strikeout to get the victory for the Pirates.