HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Mason Robbins connected on a go-ahead, three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to lift Southern Miss to a 5-3 come-from-behind victory over Missouri here Saturday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
The Golden Eagles opened this weekend with their second consecutive victory over the Tigers with the finale set for 1 p.m., here Sunday. The game can be heard on the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network, including the flagship station, 94.3 WKZW-FM, in Hattiesburg/Laurel.
Down 3-2 in the seventh, USM's Chase Fowler was hit by a pitch with one out. After a fielder's choice and a walk to Travis Creel, Robbins blasted reliever Ryan Yuengel's 0-1 fastball high over the rightfield wall. The line-drive homer banged off the second fence some 20 yards deeper in the Rightfield Roost which gave the home team a lead they did not relinquish.
Mizzou initially took the lead with solo runs in the first, fifth and sixth inning. The Tigers got all three runs of their runs Golden Eagle starter Jake Drehoff, who allowed just one earned run on six hits and one walk with five strikeouts.
The Tigers scored on a run-scoring single in the first by Keaton Steele and then added a RBI single by Dane Opel in the fourth, before Josh Lester scored in the sixth on a misplayed grounder under the glove of third baseman Bradley Roney.
The Golden Eagles registered their runs in three consecutive innings with Fowler driving in his fourth run of the season with a RBI single to center in the fifth, before Tim Lynch added a sacrifice fly one inning later.
Three Southern Miss relievers combined for zero runs and no hits with seven strikeouts over the final 3 2/3 with Cameron Giannini fanning the final five batters he faced, a career-best, to garner the victory and improve to 1-0 on the season. Roney fanned two in the ninth to notch his first save of the season.
USM pitching accounted for 22 strikeouts over the first two days of the series, while allowing just four walks.
Yuengel, the second of three Tiger pitchers, suffered the loss by allowing three runs on one hits with one walk over two innings of work.
Robbins, who was the offensive hero on this day, will get the nod on the mound in the series finale. The Leakesville, Miss., native, who finished 1-0 with a 4.01 ERA last season, will oppose right-handed pitcher Jace James from Mizzou.