RUSTON, LA (WLBT) - Bryant Bowen drove in five runs with three hits as Southern Miss swept its opening Conference USA baseball series with a 10-5 victory over Louisiana Tech Sunday at J.C. Love Field.
Southern Miss (11-6, 3-0 C-USA) won for the seventh time in its last eight games and swept the Bulldogs (11-8, 0-3) for the first time 2017. Louisiana Tech was the only team to win a conference series last season against the Golden Eagles, taking two of three games in Hattiesburg. The Golden Eagles are now 14-4 against the Bulldogs since they joined C-USA in 2014.
As it had all weekend, Southern Miss hit the ball well Sunday, collecting 12 hits against five Tech pitchers.
The Golden Eagles finished the series with 40 hits, getting more than 10 in each of the three games, and their 27 runs in the series tied the number Southern Miss scored in a season-opening series win with Purdue.
Sunday, Bowen hit a home run, double and single, and walked twice, reaching base in all five at-bats. He also drove in five runs and scored twice.
Matthew Guidry homered and singled, Will McGills doubled and singled and Gabe Montenegro singled twice. Cole Donaldson doubled and singled and drove in three runs, while Hunter Slater walked three times and scored a run.
For a second consecutive day, the Bulldogs managed seven hits, with Steele Netterville hitting a double and single and Mason Robinson singling twice. Mason Mallard hit a home run, drove in two runs and scored three times.
Southern Miss’ second of five pitchers, Mason Strickland (2-0), picked up the win, pitching three innings and allowing one run on three hits. He walked one and struck out one.
Left-hander Ryan Och pitched the final two innings and picked up his second save. He walked three batters and struck out one in two scoreless frames.
Tech starter Logan Bailey took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits in three innings, walking four and striking out four.
Southern Miss took a 3-0 off Bailey when the Golden Eagles loaded the bases and Cole Donaldson cleared them with a double.
The Bulldogs got two runs back in the bottom of the inning when Mallard hit a two-run home run off Southern Miss starter Adam Jackson.
The Golden Eagles went up 4-2 in the third on Bowen’s run-scoring single, but Tech scored an unearned run when Brant Blaylock dropped the ball in center field.
The Golden Eagles bumped back their lead to 7-3 in the fifth inning on Bowen’s two-run double and McGillis’ RBI double.
Tech cut the lead to 7-4 in the sixth inning on two walks and two hit-batsmen, and then made it 7-5 in the seventh on a run-scoring double play.
Guidry put Southern Miss back up three runs with his second home run of the season, a solo shot to right field in the top of the eighth inning, and Bowen’s second homer of the season, a two-run shot, slammed the door shut in the top of the ninth inning.
The Golden Eagles begin a four-game homestand at 6 p.m. Tuesday, welcoming the ULM to Pete Taylor Park.