HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Old Dominion (28-12, 12-6 C-USA) belted a season-high-tying 18 hits en route to a series-clinching 9-2 victory over No. 16 Southern Miss (30-12, 13-5 C-USA) on Sunday at Pete Taylor Park.
The series win is Old Dominion's first road series win over a ranked opponent since 2000, when ODU swept No. 21 East Carolina under the guidance of Tony Guzzo. It also marked the first time Southern Miss had dropped a home Conference USA series since April of 2015.
In the first inning, Vinnie Pasquantino's RBI groundout gave ODU the early lead. The Monarchs then extended the lead to 4-0 with a three-run fifth that was headlined by a two-RBI double by Zach Rutherford.
USM closed the gap to 4-2 with runs in the fifth and sixth, but Craig Lopez, who spelled starter John Wilson after five innings, escaped a bases loaded jam with one out with an inning-ending 463 double play.
The Monarch bats then came alive, as ODU added two insurance runs in the seventh and three in the eighth to secure the 9-2 victory.
Kyle Battle led ODU's high-powered attack, going 4-for-6 with a double and three runs. Battle, who moved into the leadoff spot for this series, ended the series with a .571 average and seven runs. Aside from Battle, Rutherford went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, while Pasquantino went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Jared Young, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games, and Culver Lamb also registered three-hit performances.
On the mound, Wilson, Lopez, Isaiah Nelson and Corey Klak combined to hold the Golden Eagles to two runs on six hits, its lowest run total in conference play this season. Wilson, who improved to 6-1 on the year, went five innings, allowing two runs on four hits.
In the league standings, ODU moved into a three-way tie for a second with Charlotte and Florida Atlantic, one game behind USM.
Up next, the Monarchs return to The Bud to host Marshall in a three-game set next weekend. For the second straight week, ODU will not have a midweek game.
GAME NOTES USM still leads the all-time series, 3-2 ... The series win was ODU's first road series win over a ranked team since 2000, when ODU swept No. 21 East Carolina in CAA play ... USM lost a home C-USA series for the first time since April of 2015, when the Golden Eagles dropped 2-of-3 to Florida Atlantic ... The four runs for USM were the lowest total for the Golden Eagles in conference play this season ... Jared Young extended his hitting streak to 14 games ... Zach Rutherford extended his RBI streak to nine games ... Vinnie Pasquantino extended his reached base streak to 36 games ... Kyle Battle's four-hit game was his second of the season ... ODU is now 2-2 against ranked teams this season.
BASEBALL VOUCHER BOOKS Baseball voucher books can be purchased here for $50 and contain a total of 36 ticket vouchers. The ticket vouchers can be used at any of the 36 home ODU baseball games this season, including the Harbor Park game against Virginia Tech and the Key Dog Classic against VCU on May 10 at the Bud Metheny Complex.
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