Golden Eagles Jump Out Early and Hold off No. 23 Louisiana Tech to Complete Sweep

March 19, 2017

Box Score 

RUSTON, La.Taylor Braley and Matt Wallner each drove in three runs, while Nick Sandlin shut down a potent Louisiana Tech offense for four innings as Southern Miss completed the three-game sweep of the No. 23 Bulldogs 8-5 Sunday afternoon at J.C. Love Field.

The Golden Eagles (16-4, 3-0 C-USA) won for the seventh consecutive game, marking the longest winning streak since the start of the 2016 season.

Southern Miss jumped out to a 7-0 advantage over the first four innings, doing it most with the long ball for a second-straight day.

After Matt Wallner grounded in a run in the first with the bases loaded, the Golden Eagles scored their next six runs via home runs.

Wallner started the home run barrage with a two-run shot in the third, scoring Taylor Braley who singled with one out. Wallner’s blast went deep over the rightfield wall to extend the lead to 3-0 with his fourth of the year.

Matt Guidry then led off the fourth with his first career homer, just inside the leftfield fair pole, before Braley hit a three-run shot over the tall wall center, scoring Mason Irby and Hunter Slater who each singled. It was Braley’s team-high sixth round-tripper of the season.

Golden Eagle starting pitcher J.C. Keys limited the Bulldogs (15-5, 0-3) to just three hits over the first four innings before the Bulldogs exploded for all five of their runs in the fifth. LA Tech sent 10 men to the plate in that frame and had six straight batters reach base off of Keys and Colt Smith, who allowed a single to the only batter he faced.

Enter Sandlin, who gave up a sacrifice fly to Chase Lunceford to his first batter, but then got a strikeout and allowed a walk before ending the threat with a flyout to center.

That was the last scoring inning as Sandlin then limited the Bulldogs to four hits and three total walks over his four innings of work to get the win and improve to 4-0 on the year.

Sandlin did give up a leadoff double to Brent Diaz to start the ninth and the Golden Eagles went to Stevie Powers, who registered a strikeout and then two groundout to end the game for his first save.

The Golden Eagles had added an insurance run in the eighth as Irby singled to left-center over the glove of shortstop Dalton Skelton, plating LeeMarcus Boyd who reached on a throwing error.

LA Tech starter Casey Sutton (3-1) allowed seven runs on nine hits with a strikeout and a walk to suffer the loss.

Southern Miss returns to action Tuesday when the take on Mississippi State in a 6:30 p.m. contest at Trustmark Park in Pearl.

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