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Southern Miss routs Rice to win series

HOUSTON – Southern Miss turned in another productive weekend.

Charlie Fischer collected four hits, including two doubles and two RBIs, to lead Southern Miss to an 8-1 Conference USA victory over Rice on Sunday.

The Golden Eagles (29-14, 16-7 Conference USA) won three of four games against Rice (18-26-1, 6-17-1) to claim their fifth conference series victories in six weekends. They outscored the Owls 30-3 over the final three games of the series, after losing the opener 6-0.

The Golden Eagles jumped out in front Sunday with four runs in the in second inning. After back-to-back singles from Reece Ewing and Danny Lynch, Will McGillis moved each runner up with a sacrifice bunt and Blake Johnson drove in the first run with a single to center.

Dustin Dickerson followed with a double down the left field line to score Lynch, and Johnson  came home when Rice misplayed the throw  back to the infield. A ground out by Gabe Montenegro drove in the final run of the inning.

Southern Miss added two more runs in the third as they collected three straight hits from Fischer, Christopher Sargent and Ewing. Fischer later scored on a wild pitch and Sargent on a sacrifice fly by Danny Lynch.

Fischer then drove in his first run with a double to left in the fourth inning, and knocked in the final run with a single in the sixth.

Golden Eagles starter Drew Boyd (3-2) went six strong innings and allowed one run — a solo homer in the second to Austin Bulman — and five hits with no walks and three strikeouts to earn the victory.

Tyler Stuart, Ryan Och and Garrett Ramsey each pitched scoreless innings to finish the contest.

Guy Garibay (1-2), who was making his first career start for the Owls, allowed six runsm — five earned — with eight hits over 2 1/3 innings to suffer the loss.

Southern Miss returns to action Tuesday for its final scheduled non-conference game against Southeastern Louisiana. Game time is set for 6 p.m., at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg.