HATTIESBURG, Miss. - UCF scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth to register a 4-3 comeback victory over Southern Miss here Friday night at Jay Bergman Field in Conference USA baseball action.
The win evened the series for the Knights (18-10 overall, 3-1 C-USA) as the Golden Eagles fell to 10-16 and 2-3. The final game of the series takes place at 11:30 a.m., CT Saturday and can be heard on the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network with flagship station WKZW-FM, 94.3, carrying the game in the Hattiesburg/Laurel area.
Mason Robbins, Jared Bales and Travis Creel each tallied two hits in the Golden Eagle attack.
Southern Miss opened the scoring with its first run in the fourth on a RBI groundout from Creel and then collected two more in the fifth on a run-scoring double from Robbins and a single by Bales to drive in the visitor's final tally.
Down 3-0 in the eighth, Golden Eagle starter Andrew Pierce hit pinch hitter Jeramy Matos to start the inning. After a groundout to move Matos to second, James Vazquez walked. Erik Hempke then doubled both runs in with a double to end Pierce's night.
Pierce, who finished his appearance with three runs on five hits and three walks to go along with four strikeouts, gave way to Cody Livingston from the bullpen.
Chris Taladay greeted Livingston with a single up the middle to tie the game. The Knights later scored what proved to be the winning run on a bases-loaded walk to Tommy Williams by Jay Myrick.
Livingston got tagged with the loss to fall to 0-4 as UCF registered a run on three hits off the lefthander over 1/3 of an inning.
Chris Matulis improved to 3-0 for the Knights as he gave up three runs on eight hits over eight innings with two walks and five strikeouts. Spencer Davis threw a scoreless ninth to get his third save.
The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak against the Knights in Orlando.