HOUSTON – By the end of the game, the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles had used one inning to distance themselves from the Rice Owls in what had been a back and fourth waltz of a baseball game. By the end, with the score 1x-4, it looked more like a mosh pit.
Combining for 10 runs in the eighth and ninth, the Golden Eagles took game one by a score of 15-4.
“We always talk about momentum,” said Golden Eagle first baseman Dylan Burdeaux. “We hit a two run homer, they come back to hit a two run home run. All we think about is getting the momentum back on our side right there, and try to score one, maybe two, and take the lead. Once we got that momentum we never stopped.”
Rice starter Matt Canterino struck out seven Southern Miss through six innings, but surrendered five runs, three of them earned, in the process. After pulling Canterino, Rice used six pitcher, none of which lasted longer than 1.2 innings, through the remainder of the game.
“We looked at him [Canterino] and we wanted him out by the fifth,” said Burdeaux. “That was our plan. He ended up throwing six, but we scored five. He’s a heck of a pitcher. He can command all four or five of his pitches. He’s a good talent. Our whole goal is to see arms, and see a bunch of them. When see them running different guys out there every other batter, you know that you’ve succeeded.”
Burdeaux, who went three for five with three RBI and a walk, had no trouble hitting pitches from any pitcher.
“I have an approach every time I go up there, and if I stick to that I’m usually pretty successful.”
The revolving door Rice bullpen was a boon to the Golden Eagle batters, as evidenced by the scoreboard.
“I think any time you can get into people’s bullpens, that’s what you’re trying to do. We talk about that each game, particularly on a Friday night,” said Southern Miss head coach Scott Berry. “Hats off to our guys for being able to get in there.”