HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss erupted for six runs in the top of the ninth to come back and defeat Chicago State 11-8 here Saturday evening at Cowboy Diamond in the Lake Area Classic.
The Golden Eagles, which lost earlier in the day to Missouri 4-2, evened its season's record to 1-1. Southern Miss completes play in the event with a 4 p.m., contest against host McNeese State on Sunday.
Junior Mason Robbins (Leakesville, Miss.) led the way for the Golden Eagles with three of their 12 hits with four runs driven in. Michael Sterling (Meridian, Miss.) added three singles as well for the designated visitors in the contest.
Southern Miss found themselves down 8-5 heading to the final frame. After a groundout to start the pivotal ninth, Chuckie Robinson (Danville, Ill.), Nick Dawson (Bartlett, Tenn.) and Sterling each then singled to load the bases. After Austin Roussel (Hester, La.) was hit by a pitch to drive in a run to make the score 8-6, Robbins singled in two more runs to tie the score. Matt Durst, one batter later, hit a sacrifice fly to give USM the lead for good. Southern Miss then reloaded the bases when Connor Barron (Hattiesburg, Miss.) hit a fly ball that was dropped by leftfielder Evan Davis and let two runs score. Bradley Roney (Wetumpka, Ala.), who tried to score on the play, was thrown out at the plate.
Roney then came on in the ninth to retire all three batters he faced to get his first save of the year and 19th of his career. James McMahon (Hattiesburg, Miss.) fanned two and gave up one hit to capture the victory and improve to 1-0.
The Golden Eagles got two runs in the fourth on a RBI double from Robbins and a run-scoring single by Tim Lynch (Jupiter, Fla.), before Robbins drove in another run an inning later with a two-bagger. Barron collected his first career home run to start the seventh with a drive to right.
CSU, which collected seven hits, got two from Jared Patterson with three RBI, while Chase Matheson added two hits and two RBI. The Cougars led by as much as 6-2 early in the contest.
Cougar reliever Dan Mehring (0-1) got tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout.