HATTIESBURG, Miss. (SOUTHERN MISS ATHLETICS) – Matt Wallner collected two hits and drove in a career-high tying five runs to lead Southern Miss to a 16-7 victory at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field, Sunday, completing a three-game sweep of visiting Purdue.
The Golden Eagles opened the season with a three-game sweep for the fifth-consecutive season as they drew 11,030 fans for the series with the Boilermakers (0-3).
Hunter Slater led the home squad with three hits and a pair of RBI, while Danny Lynch knocked in three runs in the 13-hit Golden Eagle attack.
Southern Miss jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after a frame as Slater put the Golden Eagles on the board first with an RBI single. Matt Wallner followed with a three-run homer, his first of the season and 36th of his career. Wallner moved into a 10-place tie for career home runs with Kyle Logan (1994-97) at the school.
Purdue, though, rallied with five runs in the second to take the lead and added two more runs in the fifth to go up 7-4.
That Boilermaker lead did not last long as the Golden Eagles erupted for five runs of their own in the fifth.
The first two and final runs of that decisive frame scored via bases-loaded walks and Wallner put the Golden Eagles up 8-7 for good in-between with a two-run single to leftfield.
Southern Miss extended its advantage with seven more runs in the eighth.
Slater started the scoring with an RBI double, followed by a RBI single from pinch hitter Hunter LeBlanc. Danny Lynch then added a two-run double before Cole Donaldson contributed with a run-scoring double of his own. Fred Franklin knocked in the sixth run with a single, before finishing the scoring by coming home on a wild pitch.
Zac Fascia led the Boilersmakers (0-3) with two hits and two RBI, while Patrick W. Smith knocked in a pair of runs for the visitors.
Hunter Stanley, the fourth of sixth Southern Miss pitchers, earned the victory by throwing 1 2/3 shutout innings with a hit, a walk and two strikeouts to improve to 1-0. Austin Peterson allowed four runs on one hit with two walks and a strikeout to suffer the loss and fall to 0-2.
The Golden Eagles return to action Wednesday, when they play Troy at Trustmark Park in Pearl. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.