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USM splits C-USA baseball doubleheader Friday at Rice

Senior University of Southern Mississippi pitcher Walker Powell held Rice University to one run...
Senior University of Southern Mississippi pitcher Walker Powell held Rice University to one run Friday night as the Golden Eagles split a Conference USA baseball doubleheader with the Owls.(University of Southern MIssissippi Sports Information Department)
Updated: May. 1, 2021 at 1:06 AM CDT
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HOUSTON, Texas (WDAM) _ Call it an evening of scoreboard feast or famine for the University of Southern Mississippi Friday night against Rice University at Reckling Park.

Michael Hickman and Brandon Deskins combined on a seven-inning four hitter as the Owls ambushed the No. 22 Golden Eagles 6-0 in the first game of a Conference USA baseball doubleheader.

USM turned the table in the nightcap as Reed Trimble drove in five runs and Walker Powell allowed one run over seven innings in a 12-1 Golden Eagles’ victory.

The doubleheader split bumped USM (27-14, 14-7) back another half-game of West Division leader, No. 16 Louisiana Tech University.

The Bulldogs (29-11, 15-6) moved a game ahead of the second-place Golden Eagles by picking up their seventh consecutive road win Friday with a 9-7 victory at Middle Tennessee State University.

Rice (18-24-1, 6-15-1) grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the opener on RBI-singles by Bradley Gneiting and Will Karp.

USM starter Hunter Stanley allowed four of the seven hits he would give up and walked a batter in the opening frame.

Gneiting’s solo homer would spark a three-run, fifth inning by the Owls and Cade Edwards’ triple put another Rice run up in the sixth.

Despite the quiet bats, USM managed to put 11 men on base, thanks to six walks and a Rice error. But the Golden Eagles stranded them all.

Stanley (5-2) allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits in 4 ½ innings. He walked three, struck out six.

Hickman (5-4) picked up the win, allowing four hits over 4 2/3 scoreless innings. He walked four, struck out five.

Brandon Deskins earned his first save of the season, walking two and striking out one in 2 1.3 scoreless innings.

Trimble shook the cobwebs off the USM bats in the second game and shook up Rice starter Micah Davis in the process, blasting his ninth home run of the season to give USM a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Davis (0-1) would see just three batters before being pulled. He hit Gabe Montenegro to open the game, surrendered Trimble’s no-doubt shot and then walked Charlie Fischer.

USM would use a mix of nine hits, eight walks, six hit batsmen and four wild pitches delivered by six Rice pitchers as the Golden Eagles snapped a two-game losing streak.

USM starting pitcher Walker Powell (7-2) allowed a run on 10 hits over seven innings. He walked two and struck out five.

Trimble finished with a home run and double, five RBIs and two runs scored. Fischer would finish 2-for-2 with three RBIs, while Brady Faust clubbed the first home run of his Golden Eagle career.

Braden Comeaux had two hits for the Owls, while Guy Garbay drove in the Owls’ lone run.

The teams will meet at 1 p.m. Saturday before wrapping up the four-game weekend contest 1 p.m. Sunday.-

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