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Southern Miss splits Friday doubleheader at Rice

Courtesy of USM Athletics

HOUSTON – Southern Miss exploded for double-digit runs in the nightcap after getting shut out in the opener, splitting a Conference USA series-opening doubleheader with Rice, 6-0 and 12-1, Friday at Reckling Park.

The No. 22 ranked Golden Eagles finished the month of April with a 27-14 overall record and are now 14-7 in league play, a game behind Louisiana Tech in the C-USA West Division.

After not scoring in the first game, Southern Miss jumped out front in game two with a pair of runs on Reed Trimble’s team-leading ninth home run to right-center as the team scored in six of seven innings.

Trimble drove in a game-high five RBI as he highlighted a four-run second with a two RBI double. Charlie Fischer and Christopher Sargent each followed with run-scoring doubles to make the score 6-0.

Trimble drove in his final run with a bases-loaded walk in the third, before Fischer did the same thing to give the Golden Eagles an 8-0 advantage.

Fischer then drove in his third run of the game with a single in the fifth before the Golden Eagles added two more runs in the sixth, scoring one run each on a wild pitch and a passed ball.

Freshman Brady Faust then completed the Golden Eagles’ scoring with a solo homer to right-center for his first collegiate hit in the seventh.

Golden Eagle starter Walker Powell threw a complete game, allowing a run on 10 hits over seven innings with two walks and five strikeouts. Powell gave up his only run of the contest in the seventh on the final play of the game as Southern Miss threw out a runner on the bases, but not before the lone Rice run scored.

Micah Davis last three batters for the Owls (18-24-1, 6-15-1) and gave up two runs without recording an out on a hit, a walk and a hit by pitch to suffer the loss and fall to 0-1.

In the opening game, the Golden Eagles were able to get leadoff hitters on base four times but left 11 runners stranded and was unable to secure a big hit.

Rice in turn jumped out with a couple of runs in the opening inning as they pieced together four singles and a walk off of Golden Eagle starter Hunter Stanley.

Stanley kept Owls off the board until the fifth when Bradley Kneiting homered for the seventh time this season. The home squad added two its lead with two more runs in the frame and then tallied one more run in the sixth with an RBI triple from Cade Edwards to complete the scoring.

Rice starter Mitchell Holcomb (5-4) collected the win as he gave up just four hits with four walks and five strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings. Brandon Deskins kept the visitors scoreless over the final 2 1/3 innings to register his first save.

Stanley (5-2) suffered the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits with three walks and six strikeouts.

The two teams return to action with a 1 p.m., single game Saturday.

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