HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Connor Barron drove in Southern Miss' game-winning run in the ninth of the nightcap, after the team fell in the opener in 15 innings as the Golden Eagles split a Conference USA doubleheader with East Carolina here Saturday at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field - losing 7-5 and winning 2-1.
The Golden Eagles (29-22 overall, 16-10 in C-USA) ended a three-game losing streak in the nightcap as the twinbill was made necessary due to rain Friday night.
Barron had three hits in the nightcap and Christian Talley threw a complete game to get the Golden Eagles the victory in the second game.
The Golden Eagles fell behind 1-0 in the fourth on a run-scoring single by Hunter Allen, plating Dylan Brown who doubled to start the frame.
The game remained that way until the eighth when Barron, who extended his team-high hitting streak to seven games, started the inning with a double in the gap in left-center. After a sacrifice to get him to third, Barron scored on a ECU reliever Drew Reynolds' wild pitch to tie the score.
Talley, who improved to 4-4 on the year with the victory, scattered six hits in his complete game and only gave up two singles after the fourth as he struck out five of the final six batters he faced to finish the night with 10 punch outs for the game. It was his third double-digit strikeout performance of the season.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Michael Gilbert singled to right. After an infield single to Nick Dawson that hit the base runner allowing Gilbert to go to third, Barron hit a smash to second base with the infield playing in to drove home Gilbert for the game winner.
ECU reliever Drew Reynolds, who got the victory in the first game, threw the final 1 1/3 to suffer the loss, allowing an unearned run on a walk with two strikeouts and falling to 3-2.
In the first game, the two teams played extra frames at least once for the third-straight season.
The Golden Eagles tried to wrap it up in the ninth leading 4-3, but Bryce Harman hit a mammoth home run to rightfield off of USM reliever Bradley Roney, a solo shot for his sixth of the year and the game went to extra innings. Roney, who threw a career-high seven innings of relief of Conor Fisk, blew his first save opportunity in 11 chances this spring.
In the longest game in Pete Taylor Park history, both teams did not score until the 14th inning as they each traded solo runs. Charlie Yorgen gave the Pirates a 5-4 advantage with an RBI single, but Austin Roussel's sacrifice fly sent the game to the 15th frame.
The Pirates (29-22, 16-10) then exploded for two runs in the 15th on three singles with a RBI one-base hit from Brown and a sacrifice bunt by Joshua Lovick off of USM reliever Ryan Milton (3-3), who suffered the loss in one inning of work.
Reynolds got the decision in the first game as well for ECU, throwing the final 1 1/3, limiting Southern Miss to a walk with a strikeout.
Zach Houchins, who collected four hits and a home run, led the Pirates, while Mason Robbins tied a career-high with four hits.
The series concludes with an 11 a.m., game on Sunday.