HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Andrew Pierce threw eight strong innings and Bradley Roney drove in three runs to lead Southern Miss to a 6-2 Conference USA baseball victory over Tulane here Saturday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
The win evened the series at a game apiece as the Golden Eagles improved to 12-17 overall and 4-4 in C-USA play. Tulane fell to 16-17 and 4-4. The deciding game of the series is set to take place at 1 p.m., Sunday.
Roney and Isaac Rodriguez each had two hits in the eight-hit Golden Eagle attack, while the Green Wave got three of their six hits from Richard Carthon.
Golden Eagle starter Andrew Pierce, who has gone at least seven innings in all eight starts in 2013, limited the Wave to a run on all six of its hits and fanned seven while walking one over eight innings to get the victory and improve to 6-1.
"I couldn't be more proud of Andrew Pierce, and the consistency he gives us every time he comes out," Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. "But for Roney, with us to be struggling offensively and to give us that big spark that we needed right there, that was huge.
"He had a fire in him (Saturday), and that's what we need him to play like, and we need a whole team of that."
Roney slapped a Alex Byo pitch the other way through the right side to drive in Blake Brown, who had doubled down the leftfield line with two outs, with the game's first run on a single in the second.
After Tulane tied the score in the top of the fourth on a RBI infield single by Garrett Cannizaro, the Golden Eagles took the lead for good in the bottom of the frame.
After consecutive singles from Isaac Rodriguez and Tim Lynch to start the inning, Brown hit into a fielder's choice with one out. Green Wave second baseman Bowen Woodson threw the relay throw away on the double play attempt and Rodriguez was able to score on the play.
Then Roney belted his first home run of the season over the leftfield wall off of Byo, a two-run shot, to make the score 4-1. The Golden Eagles then increased their lead with two runs in the eighth. Rodriguez knocked in a run with a single and Mason Robbins, who had an eight-game hitting streak snapped in the contest, scored USM's final run on a passed ball.
Tulane tried to rally with no outs and the bases loaded on two walks and a hit batter, but Daniel Wineski got a strikeout, before getting Woodson to hit into a RBI fielder's choice and Max Goodman to hit a comebacker to end the threat in the ninth.
Byo threw 7 1/3 innings for the Green Wave as he gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits and two walks with four strikeouts to suffer the loss.