HATTIESBURG, Miss. - SIUE used a pair of homers early and then fought off Southern Miss late to beat the Golden Eagles 6-5 for the second-straight day here Saturday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field in non-conference baseball action.
The Golden Eagles (25-23) lost their third consecutive contest despite out-hitting the visitors, 12-8, in the contest.
The Cougars jumped on USM starter Conor Fisk in the opening inning. James Vazquez got the inning going with a run-scoring single, before Joel Greatting, who had two hits and drove in three runs, collected his second homer in as many days, mirroring last night's shot with a two-run, first-inning blast to leftfield. It was his seventh round-tripper of the season.
Skyler Geissinger then followed with a homer of his own, his fifth of the year, to give the visitors an early 4-0 advantage.
Southern Miss quickly cut into the gap with two runs in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly from Mason Robbins and an RBI single from Jared Bales.
The Golden Eagles then tied the game in the fourth. After Andrew Furr reached on a Cougar fielding error, Dillon Day - who finished the day by going 4-for-5 - doubled to put runners at second and third. Travis Creel then singled home Furr, before Isaac Rodrigiuez added a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 4-4.
After the first inning, Fisk settled down for the Golden Eagles and did not allow a run for the rest of his 6 inning appearance in which he allowed five hits and four walks, but fanned seven in a no decision.
SIUE then welcomed Golden Eagle reliever Daniel Wineski in the seventh. Nick Lombardo led off the frame with a double. With runners at the corners and one out, Vazquez drove in a run on a groundout fielder's choice and then scored from first one batter later on a long single to right-center off the bat of Greatting.
Wineski (0-1) surrendered two runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout to suffer the loss.
The Golden Eagles tried to rally in the bottom of the eighth. USM loaded the bases with no outs on a walk to Creel, and followed that with singles from Rodriguez and Robbins. Roney cut the gap with the Eagles third sacrifice fly in the game, but could manage only an infield single the rest of the frame to go along with two lineouts ended the threat.
Rodriguez extended his current team-best hitting streak to 14 games, as he and Robbins added two hits apiece.
Tony Schaeffer went six-plus innings for the Cougars (16-30) by giving up five runs (three earned) on nine hits with three walks and a strikeout to get the victory and improve to 2-4. Schuster allowed three hits and fanned one over the final three innings to earn his first save of the year.
The series concludes with a 1 p.m., contest Sunday