USM loses series against Florida Atlantic
|Jack Duggan, Assistant Athletic Director/Media Relations
Hattiesburg, Miss. - Chuckie Robinson collected three hits and drove in three runs, including a go-ahead two-run double in the sixth, to lead No. 14 Southern Miss to a 4-3 Conference USA baseball victory over Florida Atlantic at the FAU Baseball Stadium Sunday.
The Golden Eagles (31-14 overall, 15-6 C-USA) returned to first place in the league, tied with Rice, with the victory. FAU fell to 30-12 and 14-7.
Southern Miss starter Kirk McCarty kept the Owls offense in check for five innings as he limited them to just one run on eight hits with a walk and five strikeouts, with the home squad managing just an RBI single from Esteban Puerta in the third.
FAU then went to the pen to start the sixth as Sean Labsan left the contest, blanking the Golden Eagles over five innings, allowing just five hits and a walk with a pair of strikeouts.
After getting an out, reliever Robbie Coursel (3-3) gave up a walk to Chase Scott and Daniel Keating was hit by a pitch before Hunter Slater was fanned. Chuckie Robinson then delivered his two-run double over Billy Endris’ head in the center to give the visitors the lead for good.
Robinson later scored in the inning on a passed ball to increase the Golden Eagle advantage to 3-1 and then made the margin three runs with a sacrifice fly to left in the eighth.
McCarty, who got the victory and improved to 4-0 on the season, then got solid relief work from Walker Powell, who allowed just one hit and fanned two over the next 2 1/3 innings, before turning the game over to Nick Sandlin with one out in the eighth.
After an easy eighth frame, Sandlin retired the first two hitters in the ninth. The Owls then collected a walk, a hit by pitch and a single by Puerta to load the bases. Christian Dicks singled in a pair of runs to make the deficit one run, but Sandlin got Austin Langham to fly out to deep left to end the game and post his eighth save of the year.
The Golden Eagles return to action next weekend when they entertain WKU in a three-game C-USA series. Game times are 6 p.m., on Friday, 2 p.m., on Saturday and 1 p.m., Sunday at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.