ATLANTA — Corky Palmer's retirement plans have been put on hold for at least one more week.
B.A. Vollmuth hit two second-inning homers off Georgia Tech ace Deck McGuire to power Southern Mississippi past the Yellow Jackets 12-8 on Monday night and send the Eagles to their first NCAA super regional.
Palmer's surprising Southern Miss team, which won the regional as the No. 3 seed, will play Florida in the best-of-three super regional in Gainesville, Fla.
Palmer, a Southern Miss graduate who grew up in Hattiesburg, Miss., has announced his retirement at the end of the season. What better send-off than Palmer's first super regional?
"It's a special feeling," Palmer said after his team's second win over regional top seed Georgia Tech in three days.
Southern Miss (38-24) is two wins from the College World Series after a modest 12-12 finish in Conference USA games.
"Three or four weeks ago it was looking bleak, but it was good that we came on," Palmer said. "It just shows if you can play your best baseball the last three weeks, you have an opportunity."
Southern Miss finally advances after losing in 10 regionals, including each of the last six years.
Vollmuth, who drove in five runs in the second inning, hit a two-run homer high off the scoreboard in left field to open the scoring. His three-run homer capped the nine-run inning, the most runs McGuire (11-2) has allowed in a game in his career. Only four of the runs were earned.
McGuire pitched on only two days rest after throwing 121 pitches in Friday night's win over Georgia State. Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall wouldn't second-guess himself for selecting the sophomore to make his second start of the regional.
"One hundred times over I would start Deck tonight," Hall said, adding there was "no doubt in my mind."
Georgia Tech (38-19-1) committed three errors, including one by third baseman Matt Skole in the second inning. Only four of the runs allowed by McGuire were earned.
Southern Miss committed only one error and turned three double plays, including one to end the game.
Southern Miss starter Scott Copeland gave up four hits and three runs in one inning, but Todd McInnis (9-4) came in the game in the second inning and gave up two runs in 4 1-3 innings. Collin Cargill recorded five outs for his 11th save.
Derek Dietrich had three hits, including a three-run homer, and drove in four runs for Georgia Tech.
Vollmuth, a freshman shortstop, has only six homers, including three against Georgia Tech in the regional. He also hit a homer in a 10-7 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday and said he enjoyed playing at Russ Chandler Stadium.
"The ball does fly in this stadium, especially with the wind blowing out," said Vollmuth, named the regional's most outstanding player.
Vollmuth moved into the starting lineup after shortstop Brian Dozier suffered a broken collarbone on April 14.