HOUSTON, Texas -- James McMahon threw 7.1 scoreless innings and Dylan Burdeaux had three hits with two runs driven in here Sunday afternoon as Southern Miss defeated No. 14 Rice 5-1 at Reckling Park in the final game of a Conference USA series.
The Golden Eagles (15-10-1, overall, 4-4 C-USA) salvaged the final game of the series with the win.
McMahon improved to 5-0 on the season and lowered his earned run average to 0.99 by limiting the Owls (19-11, 9-3) to just five hits and a hit batsman to go along with three strikeouts. A senior from Hattiesburg, Miss., he pitched to the minimum amount of hitters through four innings and his only trouble came in only the sixth and eight innings, but he escaped unscathed in both instances.
In the sixth, Rice collected back-to-back singles to open the frame, before McMahon got a double play and lineout to Michael Sterling at short to get out of that jam. In the eighth, he allowed a one-out single and was then replaced by Luke Lowery. A junior left-hander, Lowery came in to give up two singles but also posted two strikeouts to get out of the jam.
Golden Eagle closer Ryan Milton struggled in the ninth, giving up a run on a single, before Cody Livingston came in to get a popout and lineout to end the game for his first save of the campaign.
Southern Miss jumped out early offensively with two runs in the first. Michael Sterling, who had six hits over the weekend, led off the game with an infield single. Two batters later, Burdeaux tripled into the rightfield corner and then scored one batter later on a single to right.
The lead jumped to 4-0 in the fifth as Burdeaux added a run-scoring single and Durst added a sacrifice fly. Austin Roussel plated the final Golden Eagle on a single to center.
Rice starter Jordan Stephens (2-2) gave up four runs on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts to suffer the loss.