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No. 21 USM completes sweep of Purdue


From Special Reports



HATTIESBURG -- Matt Wallner had two hits and drove in a career-high tying five runs Sunday to lead the No. 21 Southern Mississippi baseball team to a 16-7 victory against Purdue at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field. 


The victory helped the Golden Eagles complete a three-game sweep of the season-opening series. Southern Miss drew 11,030 fans for the series. 


Hunter Slater led the home squad with three hits and two RBI, while Danny Lynch knocked in three runs in the 13-hit attack. 


Southern Miss took a 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 home run, 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 rallied with five runs in the second to take the lead and added two more runs in the fifth to go up 7-4. 


The Golden Eagles responded with for five runs 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 left field. 


Southern Miss extended its advantage with seven 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. Fred Franklin knocked in the sixth run with a single, before finishing the scoring by coming home on a wild pitch. 


Hunter Stanley, the fourth of sixth pitchers, earned the victory by throwing 1 2/3 shutout innings. He allowed a hit and a walk. He struck out two. 


Southern Miss will return to action at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when it plays Troy at Trustmark Park in Pearl. 


· Game 3 between Ole Miss and Wright State canceled: At Oxford, Rain washed out the series finale between Wright State and Ole Miss on Sunday. 


No makeup game has been scheduled. 


No ticket refunds will be issued, but fans can exchange their Sunday Wright State ticket for a ticket to another non-conference game. 


Ole Miss will return to action at 4 p.m. Tuesday against Arkansas State at Swayze Field. 


· Alabama moves up game against with Jacksonville State: At Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the Alabama baseball team moved up its game against Jacksonville State to 4 p.m. Monday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. 


The game was scheduled for Tuesday, but the threat of weather forced the move. 


Alabama will take on Alabama State at 3 p.m. Wednesday. 


Alabama opened its season by taking two of three games from Presbyterian. The Crimson Tide claimed a 7-2 win on Opening Day before splitting a Saturday doubleheader at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Tide fell, 4-1, in the early game before rallying for a 9-4 win in the nightcap. 


· East Mississippi Community College goes 1-3 in season-opening tournament: At Marianna, Florida, the East Mississippi Community College baseball team went 1-3 against National Junior College Athletic Association Division I opposition this past weekend at Chipola Field. 


Along with splitting two games against Gordon State, EMCC dropped close decisions to preseason top-ranked Chipola and Columbia State. 


On Friday, EMCC used a three-run fifth inning to claim a 4-3 victory against Gordon State before dropping a 6-5 decision to host and two-time reigning NJCAA Division I national champion Chipola College. On Saturday, EMCC lost 15-2 in a run-rule rematch with Gordon State prior to an 8-5 loss to  


Coach Brett Kimbrel's team will return to the Sunshine State Feb. 22-23 to play four games in two days at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Florida, EMCC will take on Motlow State at 10 a.m. Friday in a doubleheader. EMCC will meet Motlow State at 2 p.m. Saturday before capping the weekend against the host NWF State Raiders at 5 p.m. Saturday.



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