Cinderella still dancing

The crowds filing in, rain clouds rolling overhead, and music blaring as both teams took infield, the stage was set for USM to begin their debut in the College Super Regionals. The Eagles hoped to start this three game series off with a bang versus the Florida Gators.

BA Vollmuth started out the game on fire again. In the second inning he hit his seventh home run of the season to give USM the early 1-0 advantage.

The Eagles got another one across in the third with a sacrifice fly by Corey Stevens that scored Taylor Walker from third to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.

The rain came in the bottom of the third to delay for a while, but that got back to action after an hour or so.

Teddy Foster got things going for the Gators after the rain delay with a two run home run, tying the game up at two. They got the 4-2 lead later on in the inning as JR Ballinger struggled to find a groove after the rain delay.

After Ballinger loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth, his day was over and Cody Schlagel took the hill for the Eagles. Cody Schlagel got some help from his defense with USM's 78th double play, which leads the nation, to get out of the inning unscathed.

USM got the momentum with a big fifth inning. Bo Davis led the inning off with a double and James Ewing followed him up with an RBI double of his own. Kameron Brunty got a single to put runners on the corners for Corey Stevens. Corey hit what looked to be a double play ball, but it took a funny hop an allowed a run to score and leave runners on the corners.

USM took the lead with a wild pitch that let Kameron Brunty take home and leave the Eagles with a 5-4 lead and a runner on second with no outs.

The Gators loaded the bases again in the fifth with no outs. Cody Schlagel got the Gators to pop up for the first out and then it would be Jonathon Johnston's turn to take the hill.

He hit his first batter to allow one run to score and the Gators to tie it up. A pinch hitter for Florida hit a foul ball to left that Kameron Brunty made a sliding catch on, but it allowed the go ahead run to come in and make the game 6-5 Florida. Johnston got the next batter to ground out ending the inning.

USM responded once again in the sixth. James Ewing hit a single with runners at first and second to score Taylor Walker and tie the game at six. Brunty hit a Sac Fly to bring in Bo Davis and give the Eagles the lead.

That lead would be extended with a Corey Stevens double that scored James Ewing from first, making the score 8-6. Joey Archer kept it going with a bloop single that scored Corey Stevens from second giving the Eagles their largest lead of the game 9-6.

Collin Cargill gave up one run in the ninth, but the Eagles were able to hold the Gators off and take down game one 9-7.

JR Ballinger took the hill for the Eagles and did a great job through the first two innings, but lost some of his mojo after the rain delay. Cody Schlagel came in for relief and gave up two runs on his 1.1 innings of work. Jonathon Johnston came in for Schlagel and pitched a gem going 3.2 innings giving up only one hit and no runs.

"We were in trouble and he gave us a chance to get our momentum back with the bats" said Coach Corky Palmer of Johnston's performance.

Cargill gave up a run in the ninth, but was able to shut down the Gators the rest of the way.

At the plate USM spread the love around the entire lineup, with eight out of the nine positions getting a hit. James Ewing was the star of the game, though, with a 3 for 3 night with two RBIs and two runs scored.

"From top to bottom we did some good things and we executed and did a good job" said Coach Palmer.

USM will try to take down the series tomorrow night. Todd McInnis will take the mound for Southern Miss and he will toss out the first pitch at 7 P.M.

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