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March 30, 2013

Homers power Eagles to series win

ORLANDO - Travis Creel and Blake Brown each hit two-run home runs to lead Southern Miss to a 4-3 Conference USA baseball victory over UCF here Saturday afternoon at Jay Bergman Field.

With the win, the Golden Eagles (11-16 overall, 3-3 C-USA) captured the series two games to one and played its final C-USA series in Orlando, winning 10 of 12 games here. UCF, which fell to 18-11 and 4-2, goes to the Big East Conference next season.

Creel, who hit his first home run since an Apr. 28, 2012, round-tripper at Marshall, gave USM the early 2-0 advantage in the fourth with a two-out drive over the leftfield wall, driving in Chase Fowler who doubled before him.

After UCF closed the gap on a RBI single by Chris Taladay in the bottom of the frame, USM's Brown then collected a two-out, two-run blast of his own in the fifth for his third homer of the year and scored Mason Robbins.

Right-hander Conor Fisk held the Knights to just a run over six innings as he earned the victory and improved to 2-1. Fisk, who retired the first nine hitters he faced, fanned a season-high seven and did not walk a batter but did surrender six hits.

It was UCF's Taladay, though, who again came up big in the ninth as he collected a two-run homer, his second, to left to close the gap to just a run off of USM closer Bradley Roney. The sophomore from Wetumpka, Ala., then retired the next three batters including a strikeout of Austin Johnston to end the game and collect his third save.

Mason Robbins led the Golden Eagle attack with three of their 10 hits, and has now gone 11-of-his-last-16 over the last four games. Fowler added a pair of doubles.

The Golden Eagles return to action Wednesday, when they complete their four-game road swing against LSU in a 7 p.m., contest at Zephyr Field in Metairie, La., as part of the Wally Pontiff, Jr., Classic.


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