ORLANDO, Fla. - The Southern Miss baseball team scored a run in the eighth and two in the ninth to defeat UCF 6-3, in Conference USA play Friday evening at Jay Bergman Field in Orlando.
The late inning rally was keyed by Brian Dozier and Travis Graves solo home runs and a Corey Stevens RBI single in the final two frames.
"This was a big road with, especially to come from behind like we did tonight," head coach Corky Palmer said. "I thought we got good pitching all night long and had two big home runs late to win this one."
Southern Miss (14-9, 2-2 C-USA) fell behind 2-0 after the first inning and was able to tie the game in the fourth at two and UCF tied the game after five at three. Dozier delivered the eventual winning run with a solo home run in the eighth inning and Southern Miss added two insurance runs in the ninth.
UCF (7-18, 0-4 C-USA) scored two runs in the top of the first with only one hit. Josh Siebenaler drew a one-out walk, Shane Brown singled up the middle off J.R. Ballinger and Brandon Romans walked to load the bases. Knight first baseman Kiko Vasquesz hit what should have been the inning ending double play ball but Brian Dozier could not field the ground ball allowing two runs to score.
Southern Miss tied the game in the top of the fourth as Taylor Walker drew a lead off walk and Kameron Brunty picked up the first Golden Eagle hit of the game with a single to right field before Bo Davis drew a walk to load the bases.
Joey Archer continued his hot streak with a two-RBI single to right center to score Walker and Brunty to tie the game at two.
Southern Miss took the lead in the top of the fifth inning as Josh Fields started the inning with lead off single and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Graves. Taylor Walker delivered a two-out double to score Fields and put Southern Miss in front 3-2.
UCF answered right back to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth inning as Josh Siebenaler delivered an infield single up the middle to score Eric Kallstorm who walker earlier in the inning to tie the game at three after five innings.
Ballenger's night ended after working five complete innings allowing only two earned runs on five hits while striking out two and walking three.
Southern Miss took the lead in the top of the eighth as Brian Dozier ripped a two-out solo home run to left field off UCF reliever Anthony Figliolia.
The Golden Eagles added insurance runs in the top of the ninth as Joey Archer led off the frame with a double to right-center field and Corey Stevens delivered a solid single up the middle to score Archer to make the score 5-3.
Travis Graves then delivered his second home run of the season with a two-out full-count solo shot over the left field wall to put Southern Miss up by three.
Cody Schlagel picked up his fourth win of the season working two scoreless innings of relief allowing only one hit and Collin Cargill picked up his third save of the season working two innings allowing one hit.
The Golden Eagles will return to action tomorrow with a double header at UCF. The schedule originally called for a single game on both Saturday and Sunday but the heavy rain that passed through south Mississippi over the past few days is due in the Orlando area on Sunday. First pitch for game one is set for 3:00 p.m. CST and game two will begin 45 minutes after the conclusion of game one.
Golden Eagles Go Through First Spring Football Scrimmage at Madison Central High School
MADISON, Miss. – Although the Golden Eagles cut their first scrimmage of the spring practice schedule early due to lightening, Southern Miss treated approximately 2,000 fans at Madison Central High School in Madison, Miss., their first look of the 2009 football team Friday night.
Second-year coach Larry Fedora, while not totally satisfied with his team's first performance in its first full scrimmage did see his team improve some during the workout.
"I was concerned about the tempo of the practice and at times it was slow," Fedora said. "But we had some good reps today and did some good things."
Redshirt freshman Desmond Johnson rushed for 154 yards on 14 carries to lead the offense which included a 70-yard rushing score, while rising senior Tory Harrison tallied 43 yards on 13 carries. Junior V.J. Floyd added 24 yards on seven carries.
In the air, sophomore Austin Davis completed 12-of-18 passes for 104 yards and a seven-yard touchdown completion to Harrison. Junior Martevious Young finished the night throwing 4-of-8 for 52 yards.
Johdrick Morris led the receiving corps by catching six passes for 40 yards.
On the defensive side, Anthony Gray tallied a tackle for a loss and a fumble recovery, while Korey Williams, Eddie Hicks and Roshaad Byrd all notched tackles for loss. Byrd and Joel Ross also notched sacks.
The Golden Eagles take off the remainder of the weekend before returning to the practice field for practice seven of 15 scheduled workouts this spring, Monday afternoon, at the Joe P. Park Practice Facility.
Season tickets for the 2009 campaign are available by calling 1-800-844-TICK (8425) as well as online at SouthernMiss.com, or by visiting the Pat Ferlise Athletic Ticket Office from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The Southern Miss Athletics Department is giving a highlight DVD of the 2008 season to fans that join or renew their Eagle Club donation, as well as making their season ticket and spring game ticket purchases prior to or on Apr. 18, the date of this year's annual Black and Gold Spring Game. The priority deadline is May 1.