Late Rally Pushes USM Over UCF

ORLANDO – 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 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 fist 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.

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