HATTIESBURG — Jimmy Camerota’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth propelled Rice to an 8-6 win over Southern Mississippi to capture the Conference USA tournament title Sunday.
The win gave Rice (39-15) an automatic berth in the NCAA regionals.
The Owls took a 2-0 lead in the first on Anthony Rendon’s two-out, two-run homer off Todd McInnis. Rice scored two more runs in the fifth inning on a bases-loaded error by third baseman Taylor Walker.
Southern Mississippi’s Tyler Koelling hit a three-run double in the sixth, followed by B.A. Vollmuth’s RBI. A two-run double followed by Rice’s Diego Seastrunk in the bottom of the sixth put the Owls ahead 6-4. The Golden Eagles (35-23) tied the game at 6 on Kameron Brunty’s two-run homer.
In the bottom of the eighth, Rice added an insurance run when Camerota scored on an outfield error.
The winning pitcher was Jordan Rogers (8-3). Colin Cargill (3-3) took the loss.
The Associated Press