A six-run seventh inning propelled No. 3 Southern Miss to a come-from-behind victory over No. 6 UAB in game three of the 2007 C-USA Baseball Championship at Clark-LeClair Stadium on the campus of East Carolina University. The Golden Eagles trailed 5-1 through five innings, but rallied for one run in the sixth and six in the seventh to grab a 9-5 win. Southern Miss has now won 11 games in a row.
Both teams tallied one run each in the first inning. Phil Bell of UAB recorded a one out single through the left side and then stole second to move into scoring position. Bell then scored on J.R. Bond’s single for the early 1-0 advantage.
First team All-Conference USA selection Trey Sutton led off the bottom of the first for Southern Miss with a solo home run on the first pitch he saw to knot the score at 1-1. The home run extended his hitting streak to 21 games, the longest streak in C-USA this season.
The score remained deadlocked until UAB tallied four runs in their half of the fifth inning. The Blazers (25-32) scored the runs on four hits and an error and seized control.
In the Southern Miss half of the sixth inning, the Golden Eagles cut the lead to 5-2 and threatened to creep even closer. Jody Blount laced a one out double to left field and later advanced to third on a ground ball. Blount scored when second baseman Tyler Rollin mishandled a ground ball and was charged with an error.
After a walk and a single, Keith Winstead stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and looked to give his team the lead. Winstead battled pitcher Mitch Kloskowski, but eventually struck out looking to end the threat.
Southern Miss (38-19) took advantage of two UAB errors and used timely hitting to bang out six runs in the bottom of the seventh to surge ahead.
Sutton worked the count for a one out walk and was advanced to second on a Brian Dozier single. Blount then reached first to load the bases after an error by third baseman Ryne Lovdahl that scored Sutton and moved Dozier to third.
Brandon Wallace then issued two walks to force home a run. With the bases loaded, James Ewing doubled to left center field to clear the bases and give Southern Miss the lead.
The Golden Eagles then tacked on one more run in the frame to make their lead 8-5.
Brandon Wallace was charged with the loss for the Blazers, giving up three earned runs and walking two without getting an out in the seventh. Kloskowski struck out six and walked three in 6.1 innings of action.
Tyler Conn struck out a team-high three batters in 2.2 innings of work to grab the win for the Golden Eagles. Conn is now 1-1 on the season.
Southern Miss advances to face the winner of Wednesday night’s game between No. 2 East Carolina and No. 7 Tulane at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. UAB will play the loser of that contest at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday.