Baseball swept in Hattiesburg

Haley Hays/The News The baseball team practices for their season opener that ended in loss against the Golden Eagles.
Haley Hays/The News The baseball team practices for their season opener that ended in loss against the Golden Eagles.

Haley Hays/The News
The baseball team practices for their season opener that ended in loss against the Golden Eagles.

Offenses were on display this weekend as the Racer baseball team dropped all three games in a series against the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.

The Racers scored a total of 12 runs over the three games, but they allowed 23. In games one and two, the Golden Eagles were able to string together enough hits to score six runs in a single inning.

“Southern Miss is a quality program,” Head Coach Kevin Moulder said. “They went to the college world series a few years ago, so they aren’t chopped liver.”

Game one started well for the Racers as the three hole hitter, sophomore Tyler Lawrence, connected on a pitch from Southern Miss’s senior pitcher Christian Talley. Lawrence drove it over the fence for a homerun, giving the Racers an early 1-0 lead. Senior pitcher Brock Downey held the Golden Eagles offense in check through four innings and only allowed one run in the fourth.

“We missed some opportunities with guys in scoring position with no outs or one out, but it’s early in the season and our situational hitting will improve,” Moulder said.

In the fifth inning, the Golden Eagles scored six runs with help from two errors by the Racers. Downey left the game after giving up eight hits, seven runs, six earned runs and recording five strikeouts.

The 7-1 deficit proved to be too much for the Racers to overcome. Talley struck out 11 Racers through six innings, six of which were consecutive.

“They ran some big arms out at us,” Moulder said. “Guys that were throwing in the low 90s.”

After a late comeback attempt, the Racers fell 4-7 in game one.

In game two, the Racers jumped out to an early lead once again, but a six-run seventh inning gave the Golden Eagles an edge to win 10-3.

During the final game of the series, the Racers attempted a late comeback but came up one run short, 6-5.

“We had good starts from our pitchers in the first two games,” Moulder said. “But we just struggled to find the strike zone in the third game and that came back to haunt us. All together we competed. We didn’t play scared and our guys didn’t back down.”

The game against Harris-Stowe State University originally scheduled for Feb. 17 has been postponed due to inclement weather. No makeup date is set yet.

Moulder said they are going to be creative at the next games in the Feb. 20-22 series against Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

The four-game home series against IPFW is scheduled to begin Friday at 2 p.m. and marks the Racers’ first home game of the season.

Story by Blake Bernier, Contributing writer