MIAMI, Fla. - Nick Day hit two of four FIU homers and the Panthers broke open the game after a fourth-inning Southern Miss fielding error to complete the sweep of the nationally ranked Golden Eagles 13-8 Saturday afternoon at FIU Baseball Stadium.
The Golden Eagles (36-18, 20-10) completed the regular season by suffering their first C-USA sweep since losing three at Tulane during the 2012 campaign. Depending on the outcome of the Rice-Louisiana Tech game later on Saturday, Southern Miss will be either the No. 3 or no. 4 seed in next week’s C-USA Baseball Championship starting Wednesday at Pete Taylor Park.
Hunter Slater led the Golden Eagles with three of their 13 hits, while Dylan Burdeaux, Tim Lynch, Daniel Keating and Chase Scott added two hits each.
Southern Miss jumped out to an early advantage with four runs in the first inning, as Burdeaux led off the game with a single on the contest’s first pitch. After a walk to Jake Sandlin, Lynch singled in Burdeaux and Slater added a single before Keating knocked in a pair of runs with a one-base hit to right-center. The visitors completed the scoring in the frame with Slater scoring on a wild pitch.
After Jack Schaaf got the Panthers on the board in the second with a run-scoring double, Day collected his first homer of the day – a two-run shot to left-center in the third – to make the score 5-3.
Golden Eagle starter then got the Panthers with a pair of quick outs in the fourth, before an Austin Rodriguez ground ball to second was misplayed by Scott and the Panthers took advantage of the gaffe by notching a run on a RBI single by Nick Mira, a three-run homer by Eddie Silva and another home run by Day, a two-run blast, to give the home squad the 9-5 advantage.
The Panthers then added four more runs in the fifth as Kenny Meimerstorf started the scoring with a two-run shot, before the final two tallies were added via wild pitch and walk to up the margin to 13-5.
Lynch cut the deficit with his ninth home run of the year to start the seventh and the Golden Eagles added a pair of runs in the ninth on an RBI double from Slater and a run-scoring single from Michael Gilbert.
Michael Agis (1-1), the second of six Panther pitchers kept Southern Miss off the board for 3 2/3 innings and allowed three hits with four strikeouts to earn the victory.
Powell suffered the loss by giving up seven runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts to fall to 4-3.
The Golden Eagles open the C-USA Tournament at 4 p.m., Wednesday.