June 1, 2009
ATLANTA – Freshman B.A. Vollmuth belted two home runs in a nine-run second inning for Southern Miss, and the Golden Eagles defeated Georgia Tech, 12-8, Monday night to capture the championship of the NCAA Atlanta Regional baseball tournament at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Golden Eagles (38-24) advanced to a super regional for the first time in their history after having lost in the championship round on three occasions, and will face Florida next weekend in a super regional in Gainesville, Fla. Tech’s season ends at 38-19-1.
“We have been trying hard for six years to go to the next step, and we just got there,” said USM head coach Corky Palmer. “We are going to our first super regional. We worked really hard to get to this next step, and hopefully we can take it farther.”
Trailing 3-0 after the first inning, Vollmuth hit two home runs in Southern Miss’s decisive second inning, his first career multi-home run game. A freshman who became the regular shortstop in late April, he hit a two-run shot his first time up and a three-run blast on his second at-bat, giving him three for the tournament, all against Tech.
In between, the Golden Eagles loaded the bases on three singles, scored one on a hit batter and another on a bases loaded walk. An error on Tech third baseman Matt Skole with two out allowed two more runs to cross.
Run-scoring singles by James Ewing and Kameron Brunty against freshman reliever Jed Bradley extended USM’s lead to 11-3 in the fifth.
Meanwhile, Todd McInnis (9-4), Friday night’s starter against Elon, relieved starter Scott Copeland after the first and shut down the Jackets for four innings, allowing only one hit. He struck out five batters and walked two.
Both walks came in the sixth inning, leading to his exit. Tech capitalized when Derek Dietrich launched his 10th home run of the season to right off Cory Schlagel, making the score 11-6. The Jackets drew within 11-8 by scoring a pair of runs on two hits in the eighth, including a run-scoring double by pinch-hitter Thomas Nichols.
Bo Davis added a two-out solo home run in the ninth to provide the final margin.
Closer Collin Cargill came on after Nichols’ double to get the final five outs and his 11th save of the season, retiring the Jackets in order save for an error by Vollmuth with one out in the ninth. But Cargill got Jason Haniger to ground into a double play to end the game, the Golden Eagles’ third twin-killing of the game.
Tech All-American Deck McGuire (11-2), who went seven innings in a Friday win over Georgia State, could not hold the early Tech lead, giving up nine runs in the second on six hits. Aside from allowing the two homers to Vollmuth, he hit a batter and walked in a run.
Dietrich finished the game with three hits and four RBI for Tech. Davis, James Ewing, Joey Archer and Taylor Walker each added two hits in the Golden Eagles’ 13-hit attack.
NCAA ATLANTA REGIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
P – Jimmy Reyes, Elon
P – J.R. Balliner, Southern Miss
C – Marc Mimeault, Georgia State
1B – Joey Archer, Southern Miss
2B – Bennett Davis, Elon
3B – Matt Skole, Georgia Tech
SS – B.A. Vollmuth, Southern Miss (Most Outstanding Player)
OF – Luke Murton, Georgia Tech
OF – Michael Ewing, Southern Miss
OF – Bo Davis, Southern Miss
DH – Jay Dantzler, Georgia Tech