Feb. 26, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Mississippi got a game-winning, RBI single by pinch hitter Breck Kline with one-out in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Golden Eagles to a 2-1 victory over the No. 21 Alabama Crimson Tide on Wednesday night from Pete Taylor Park.
The Golden Eagles (4-5) got the leadoff batter aboard on the eighth inning when Mason Robbins singled to right field. After a sacrifice bunt moved Robbins to second, Alabama reliever Taylor Guilbeau intentionally walked Dylan Burdeaux to put runners on first and second. Southern Miss went to the bench and pinch hitter Breck Kline delivered a single to left field and Robbins beat the throw home to score the eventual game-winning run.
"Pitching continues to be consistent and it was an excellent start from Nick Eicholtz" Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "Taylor Guilbeau came in and threw the ball very well. We were right there and had a number of opportunities with one or two outs and couldn't get the big hit. They got the hit late and we couldn't deliver one. We have to give our best at-bats in those most critical situations."
After the Golden Eagles took the lead in the eighth inning, Bradley Roney (2) took the mound in the top of the night and earned the save when he recorded a pair of strikeouts in the inning. Reliever Jay Myrick (1-1) got the win getting the final two outs of the eighth inning in relief of USM starter Christian Talley. Talley went 7.1 innings, allowing an unearned run on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
Alabama (4-3) got a good start on the mound as freshman Nick Eicholtz threw five innings, allowing just one unearned run on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Guilbeau (0-1) took the loss after allowing one run on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
Offensively, Alabama had seven hits in the game, as Kyle Overstreet led the way going 2-for-3 with a walk. Wade Wass was 1-for -4 and had the only extra base hit of the night, a double in the eighth inning, Casey Hughston was 1-for-3 with a walk and William Elliott was 1-for-4 and scored the lone run for the Crimson Tide.
Along with his save, Roney had two of Southern Miss' seven hits and he scored a run. Burdeaux was 1-for-2 with two walks and Robbins was 1-for-4 with a run scored.
"We had too many missed opportunities tonight" Gaspard said. "We had a number of scoring situations and couldn't deliver the hit when we needed it. That's an area we have to improve on. We're seven games into the season and were not scoring enough runs to get on top and put teams away."
After four scoreless innings to start the game, the Tide manufactured a run in the fifth inning thanks to some help by the Southern Miss defense. Elliott got an infield single to start the inning then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Chance Vincent. After Georgie Salem grounded out to second, Elliott scored when Mikey White reached on a fielding error by the Golden Eagles second baseman.
Southern Miss answered in the bottom of the fifth win an unearned run as well. USM's leadoff hitter Connor Barron had a bunt single and advanced to second on a throwing error. A sacrifice bunt moved Barron to third and he scored on a groundout to first base, tying the score at 1-1.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the eight when Kline delivered the game-winning RBI single.
The Tide travels to Lafayette, La., for a weekend matchup with the No. 10 ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns. First pitch is slated for 6:00 p.m. on Friday, 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. Saturday's matchup will be broadcast on MyKLAF and ESPN3.
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Alabama Game Notes
*Tonight's game marked the 99th meeting all-time between Alabama and Southern Miss in baseball.
* Following the loss, the Crimson Tide is 71-28 all-time against the Golden Eagles.
* Mitch Gaspard is now 4-7 all-time against the Golden Eagles, including a 4-3 record as the head coach at Alabama.
* In his first career start, freshman RHP Nick Eicholtz threw five innings, allowing one unearned run on four hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
* In three appearances and 10 innings pitched, Eicholtz has allowed just one run and has yet to give up an earned run this season.
* As the designated hitter, freshman outfielder William Elliott went 1-for-4 in his first career start.
* Second baseman Kyle Overstreet was 2-for-3 to notch his second multiple hit game of the season and 20th of his career.