BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Nick Dawson completed a late Golden Eagle comeback with a go-ahead, run-scoring single in the top of the 10th to lift Southern Miss to an 8-7 extra-inning win over UAB here Sunday afternoon at Young Memorial Field.
The victory gave the Golden Eagles (21-16 overall, 10-5 C-USA) their fifth Conference USA series victory to start the league season - the best start since the 2004 club accomplished the same feat.
Southern Miss rallied from four runs down in the ninth and then took the lead for good in the 10th for its first extra-inning triumph in three tries this season.
With the score tied at 7-7 in the 10th, Austin Roussel drew a two-out walk. Blazer reliever Adam Lau then walked Mason Robbins before Dawson, who had two hits in the contest, singled to center to drive in the game's winning run.
Golden Eagle reliever Ryan Milton, who threw the final three innings, then got two flyouts to leftfield and followed with a strikeout to end the game and improve to 3-2 with the victory. Milton allowed just a hit and fanned two in his strong outing for the visitors.
Southern Miss, though, had to score four times in the ninth just to force the game into extra innings.
USM pinch hitter Andrew Furr greeted UAB reliever Cory Eller in the ninth with a walk. After the Blazers recorded a couple of outs, Dawson was hit by a pitch before Breck Kline cut the margin to 7-4 with a RBI single. Eller then hit Michael Sterling before seeing his day end. Tim Lynch, who ended his day with three hits, came to the plate to face Lau, who entered the game at that point.
Lynch, who extended his hitting streak to nine games, laced a 1-0 pitch into rightfield to clear the bases and tie the score at 7-apiece. Lynch finished with a career-best four RBI in the contest. Lau took the loss for the Blazers, allowing a run on two hits with two walks over an inning of work to fall to 0-1.
It was Lynch, who also got the Golden Eagles on the board first in the opening inning. With one out and Michael Sterling on first after being hit by a pitch, Lynch doubled just over the bag at first base to score Sterling on the play. Lynch later scored on a passed ball to give Southern Miss an early 2-0 lead.
Jeff Schalk put the Blazers on the board for the first time with a home run to right, his fourth of the year, to start a four-run, fourth inning. UAB went on to record five hits in the frame and take a 4-2 advantage.
Southern Miss cut the gap to a run in the fifth on a double play groundout by Kline to plate a run, but the Blazers kept their two-run gap in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run from Griffin Gum.
The Blazers then took advantage of three Golden Eagle errors in the sixth to score three more times and take a 7-4 advantage.
The Golden Eagles return to action Tuesday when they travel to Metairie, La., to face LSU at Zephyr Field as part of the Wally Pontiff, Jr., Classic. Game time is set for 7 p.m.