Golden Eagles sweep Owls in C-USA baseball doubleheader

Trimble homers 3 times, drives in 8 runs in 2 games; Powell tosses 3rd consecutive complete game
Baseball(Josh Auzenne/WAFB-TV (custom credit) | WAFB)
Updated: May. 15, 2021 at 11:36 PM CDT
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From the University of Southern Mississippi Sports Information Department

BOCA RATON, Fla. (WDAM) – Walker Powell tossed a complete-game five-hitter in the opening game and Reed Trimble homered twice and drove in a career-high seven runs in the nightcap as the University of Southern Mississippi swept a Conference USA baseball doubleheader from Florida Atlantic University Saturday afternoon at FAU Stadium.

Powell followed a no-hit effort in his last outing with a third consecutive complete game, allowing one run on five hits over seven innings in USM’s 6-1 victory in Saturday’s first game.

Trimble, who would go 6-for-8 with three home runs, a double and eight RBIs on the day, went 4-for-4 in the nightcap with a pair of homers as USM roared back from 4-0, first-inning deficit to claim a 14-8 victory.

The 17th-ranked Golden Eagles (35-16, 22-8 C-USA) will meet FAU (28-23, 17-14) in a final, regular-season conference game at 11 a.m. Sunday. At stake: C-USA’s West Division crown.

The Golden Eagles hold a half-game lead over the Bulldogs (35-14, 21-8). Tech can claim first place only if it wins and USM loses.

USM put itself in prime position Saturday, shaking off a 3-1 loss Friday as Powell led the way.

Powell retired the game’s first eight batters, extending his streak to 26 batters set down, before allowing a two-out double to Jalen DeBose.

Wilfredo Alvarez followed with a single to score DeBose, but that was it for the Owls.

Powell (9-2) walked no one and struck out seven as he picked up his 29th career victory. That tied him with former USM standout Darrell Lindsay (1985-88) for second on the Golden Eagles’ all-time wins list.

The senior from Fayetteville, Ark., who currently tops the list for career wins by an active Division I pitcher, threw 94 pitches Saturday; 73 went for strikes.

USM staked Powell to a 3-0 in the top of third inning on a two-run home run by Gabe Montenegro to right-center field and followed by Trimble’s solo shot to center.

For Montenegro, who had seven hits in the first three games of the series, it was his fourth home run of the year.

For Trimble, who would finish one RBI shy of tying the USM single-game record,, it was his 11th homer of the season.

Will McGillis gave USM a 4-1 lead when he led off the fourth inning with his sixth homer of the season, and the first of two on the day.

The Golden Eagles added two more runs in the seventh inning on a Charlie Fischer single up the middle and a Reece Ewing groundout.

FAU starter Matt Sparling (2-5) got touched for four runs on eight hits and a walk with two strikeouts over 3 1/3 innings.

In the nightcap, the Golden Eagles had to rally from a 4-0 first-inning deficit as starter Ben Ethridge gave up a pair of two-run homers to B.J. Murray (13th) and Steven Loden (fifth), to give the Owls the early advantage.

The Golden Eagles responded right away with three runs in the second inning.

After a pop out, Danny Lynch singled and McGillis followed with an opposite-field home run to cut the deficit to 4-2

USM loaded the bases on a hit batsman, walk and Montenegro single, and Trimble forced in a run when he was hit by a pitch.

The Golden Eagles took the lead for good in the fourth inning.

Dustin Dickerson started the five-run rally by reaching on a FAU fielding error. Montenegro then singled and Trimble blasted a home run to deep left field to score three and give the Golden Eagles their first lead, 6-4.

After a walk to Fischer, Christopher Sargent followed with his 10th homer of the season for an 8-4 USM lead.

After FAU closed to 8-7, USM put the game out of reach with six runs in the sixth inning.

Trimble drove in three runs in the inning, with a solo homer and two run-single, while Blake Johnson added a two-run single. The final run scored on a FAU error.

Hurston Waldrep (1-0), who started the second inning after Ethridge’s rough first inning, allowed two runs on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts to earn his first USM victory.

Ryan Och tossed the final 2 2/3 innings, giving up a run on three hits with three strikeouts to collect his second save.

FAU reliever Adrien Reese (2-1), the second of six Owl pitchers, threw two innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on two hits and two walks with a strikeout.

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