CHARLESTON, W. Va. - Breck Kline delivered a go-ahead, pinch-hit double in the top of the ninth to help Southern Miss win its Conference USA baseball opener 3-1 over Marshall here Friday afternoon at Appalachian Power Park.
The two teams were supposed to continue the series with one game on Saturday, but because of expected bad weather in the area on Sunday, they will instead complete the series with a 12 noon CT doubleheader.
Marshall limited the Golden Eagles to just five hits in the contest, but Southern Miss collected two of those in the final frame. Down 1-0, Matt Durst collected one of his team-high two hits with a leadoff single to left-center. After Bradley Roney walked, Dylan Burdeaux reached on a fielder's choice with one out. Burdeaux's comebacker to Herd starting pitcher Josh King was hesitated on and when he decided to throw to third base to get the lead runner it was unsuccessful.
Kline, who is now three-for-three in pinch-hit appearances this season, then doubled just inside the base at third and plated both Roney and Lynch. Nick Dawson then hit a sacrifice fly to leftfield to complete the scoring.
The Golden Eagles got a solid starting pitching performance from junior right-hander Christian Talley who pitched five-plus strong innings, allowing an unearned run on three hits with four walks and a season-high nine strikeouts.
The Herd did not get to him until the sixth as Cory Garrastazu singled to start the stanza. After another single, Matt Reed put down a bunt that Talley threw away, give the Herd their only run of the contest.
After another fielding error on the next batter, the Golden Eagles went to the pen to replace Talley. Jake Winston came on and proceeded to get a double play and a groundout to end the frame and not allow any further damage.
The Golden Eagles, which turned a season-high four double plays, then got a twin killing to end each of the final three innings to end MU threats in each of those frames. Ryan Milton, who recorded a double play to end the eighth to the only batter faced, recorded the victory to improve to 2-1.
Roney then came on and got a strikeout and a double play groundout to end the game and register his sixth save of the year. The junior from Wetumpka, Ala., now has 24 saves for his career to move him alone into third place on the school's chart for that category.
King (2-1) went eight-plus strong innings for the Herd, allowing three runs on four hits with a pair of walks and seven strikeouts to suffer the loss.