By Al Jones/Sun-Herald (MCT)
HATTIESBURG – Boomer Scarborough gave Southern Miss a chance to beat Ole Miss Wednesday before a Pete Taylor Park record crowd of 5,689 with a solid performance on the mound.
Scarborough didn’t get the win but the Golden Eagles rallied for a 4-3 dramatic win in 10 innings when Travis Creel scored from first base with two outs.
Southern Miss, ranked No. 20, improved to 19-5 while the Rebels dropped to 18-8.
Scarbrough worked 72/3 innings and allowed six hits on 107 pitches against a team that didn’t recruit him out of high school.
“I would be lying if I didn’t say the win did not feel good,” Scarborough said. “I tried to go out there and give team a quality start. I hung in there and they came through for me in the end.”
Southern Miss, down 3-1 through four innings, tied the game in the seventh and picked up the win thanks to a two-out error by Rebels leftfielder Tanner Mathis.
With Creel pinch running for Isaac Rodriguez at first base, Adam Doleac hit a routine fly ball to left. But the wind forced the ball to turn back toward the infield and the ball hit the grass.
“Since there were two outs, I was running on contact,” Creel said. “When I was 10 feet from third, I saw the outfielder drop the ball. I was running (home) at that point no matter what.
“When I got to first, coach told me to get to second. When the ball was hit, the only way to score was if he dropped it and thankfully he did.”
Ole Miss, after falling behind 1-0 on a RBI single by Isaac Rodriguez to score Tyler Koelling, added a run off Scarborough in the second and two in the third.
In the second, Matt Snyder led the inning off with a walk before Oreston Overbey doubled to left to tie the game at 1-1. Scarborough then picked up two groundouts and a fly out to end the inning.
In the third, Blake Newalu walked and Alex Yarbrough singled to left before Newalu scored on a RBI flyout by Matt Smith.
Tracy, on the other hand, set the Golden Eagles down in order in the third and faced four batters in the fourth to protect a 3-1 lead.
Scarborough, after Southern Miss cut the lead to 3-2 on a Kameron Brunty home run in the fifth, got out of the sixth with two groundouts and a strikeout of Miles Hamblin.
Through six innings, Scarborough had thrown 89 pitches. From the fifth inning through two outs in the seventh, Scarborough retired 8 of 11 batters before being lifted for Dillon Day.
Offensively, Southern Miss tied the game at 3-3 on a single by Koelling to score Brunty to set the stage for the comeback win.
“That (win) is what makes this sport so great,” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. “There are so many ways to win a game. The hardest thing to do with two outs – when it seems like a routine play – to run like that. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it is out. He (Creel) was looking for that one percent to make something happen.
“‘It was a great game and Boomer threw really well.”