May 13, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Dillon Day's single in the bottom of the 12th lifted Southern Miss (28-22, 12-10) to a series sweep of No. 30 East Carolina (32-19-1, 13-10-1), 5-4, Sunday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park.
With the game knotted at four, Blake Brown singled through the left side with one out and then took third on a failed pick off by ECU reliever Tanner Merritt setting up Day's walk-off hit.
Cody Livingston (2-1) got the win in relief working two innings where he surrendered a pair of hits. Starter Mason Robbins allowed four runs (all earned) on eight hits with a walk and one strikeout in five full innings of work before handing the ball to Cameron Giannini, who worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief allowing one hit with a pair of walks. James McMahon worked 2 1/3 innings allowing a pair of hits with one walk.
Merritt (3-6) suffered his second loss of the day allowing a run (unearned) on two hits with a strikeout. Tyler Joyner worked 6.2 innings allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits with seven strikeouts and no walks in his seventh quality start of the season. Andy Smithmyer tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief with a pair of strikeouts, two walks and two hits.
In the top of the 11th, ECU had a runner on second with one out and once again Day made a great throw to the plate nailing a Pirate runner. With Bryan Bass standing on second, Tim Younger singled back up the middle and Day threw a perfect strike to the plate getting Bass for the second out. Reynolds would pop up to third to end the top half of the 11th. For Day, it was the second runner he threw out at the plate on the afternoon.
ECU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning thanks to four hits. With the bases loaded, Philip Clark singled to center scoring Chase McDonald, who walked to start the frame. Mike Ussery grounded into a double play scoring Corey Thompson and Tim Younger's two-out bunt single to third plated Jack Reinheimer to cap the scoring in the second.
Southern Miss responded with a run in the bottom of the second pulling within two, 3-1. Travis Creel singled through the left side plating Blake Brown, who reached on an infield single to short with one out. Dillion Day followed with a single to right field and Brown took third on John Wooten's error in the field putting runners on the corner for Creel.
Three doubles in the bottom of the third by the Golden Eagles knotted the game at three. Kameron Brunty doubled to center to start the frame, Mason Robbins followed with a one-out two-base hit to right center that scored Brunty. Brown drove in the final run of the stanza with another double, this time to left center pushing across Robbins.
Wooten smashed his team-leading eighth home run of the season, fifth in league play, putting ECU up 4-3 in the fifth inning.
Graeter's double to right center in the bottom of the seventh tied the game at four for Southern Miss. Michael Sterling reached on a one-out infield single to short, took second on Brunty's ground out to second and trotted home on Graeter's extra base hit.
ECU had a chance to take the lead in the eighth when pinch hitter Bryan Bass stepped to the plate with runners on first and second and two outs. Bass singled up the middle and Thompson tried to score from second, but was gunned down by the center fielder Day to end the threat.
In the bottom of the eighth, Southern Miss also had a chance to break the tie. With runners on first and second and two outs, pinch hitter Austin Roussel ground out to Smithmyer, who flipped over to Chase McDonald at first to record the final out.
Southern Miss left the bases loaded in the 10th squandering an opportunity to win. Merritt entered the game with one out and the bases juiced and got Roussel to pop up to Younger at second and Sterling to fly out to left center. Smithmyer plunked the first two hitters and intentionally walked Connor Barron to load the bases before Merritt came in to close down the frame.
The Pirates will be back in action Tuesday, May 15 when they play host to High Point in their final home game of the 2012 season. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. (EDT).