Southern Miss Takes Friday's Series-Opener

March 30, 2018

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Recap by: John Sullivan, Rice Athletics (

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – A 4-1 game heading into the bottom of the eighth inning ended in a 12-1 final as No. 14 ranked Southern Miss claimed the opening game of a three-game Conference USA series over the Rice baseball team Friday evening in Hattiesburg, Miss.

It was not until the Southern Miss' final offensive inning that broke the close contest wide-open. The Golden Eagles had three hits and the Owls' bullpen issued six walks in the eighth inning, part of a 14 total walks in the game, that paved the way to the late eight-run frame.

USM opened the game's scoring with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Two walks surrounded by a pair of singles led to one run. A bases-loaded sacrifice fly plated another for a 2-0 advantage. Southern Miss added unearned runs in both the bottom of the third and fifth to stretch the margin to 4-0.

Rice scored in the top of the sixth. Andrew Dunlap led off with a double to center field and advanced to third on a grounder to the left side. He hustled home on Ryan Chandler's sacrifice fly to make it a 4-1 game with three full innings left to play.

Sophomore Matt Canterino started on the mound and worked a total of 5.2 innings. The right-hander from Southlake, Texas, allowed two earned runs on five hits and five walks while striking out eight.

Rice fell to 11-17 on the season and 1-6 in C-USA league play. Southern Miss improved to 18-6 overall and 5-1 in conference.

The three-game weekend series continues through Sunday. Saturday's first pitch is set for 2 pm. Sunday's series finale is scheduled for 1 pm.

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