TROY, Ala. – No. 24 Southern Miss scored three runs in both the first and second innings en route to a 12-4 victory over Troy Friday night at Riddle-Pace Field in the series opener.
The Golden Eagles (6-3) scored multiple runs in three different innings and held a 13-6 advantage in the hit column. Tim Lynch drove home two runs in the first inning following a walk and an error around the first out of the inning. Southern Miss used a pair of extra-base hits following a leadoff walk in the second to jumpstart the three-run frame.
Lynch led the Golden Eagles with three hits on the night, while Mason Robbins and Isaac Rodriguez had two hits each. Andrew Pierce (3-0) allowed four runs on six hits over 7.1 innings of work to pick up the win for Southern Miss; he struck out 11 and walked one.
Troy starter Will Starling began to settle in and retired nine straight batters, including four via strikeout, before running into trouble in the fifth. Southern Miss opened the fifth with four straight singles and scored six runs in the inning to take a 12-0 lead.
Trae Santos put the Trojans on the board in the sixth with a towering home run over the 27-foot wall in right field. Danny Collins kept the inning alive for Santos’ second homer of the season with a two-out single up the middle.
The Trojans (6-3) kept attacking as they chased Pierce in the eighth with three straight hits, including back-to-back doubles by Logan Pierce and Collins following a Tyler Vaughn single.
Vaughn finished 2-for-4 on the night to extended his hit streak to 11 games while Pierce’s double in the eighth inning stretched his hit streak out to 13 games. Collins continued his torrid start to the season with two hits in four at-bats to raise his average to .484 on the season.
Starling (2-1) suffered his first loss as a Trojan after he allowed 10 runs – nine earned – on nine hits in four innings of work; he struck out five and walked two. Robert Price closed out the game for the Trojans with four scoreless innings and two strikeouts; he walked two and scattered three hits.
Troy will look to even the three-game series on Saturday when the teams meet at 1 p.m. It will be a battle of left-handers as Troy will send Shane McCain (1-0, 4.50) to the mound and Southern Miss will counter with Jake Drehoff (0-1, 2.79).