In the first home midweek matchup of the season, Southern Miss took down Southern University 8-1 with a whole-staff pitching effort and late offensive surge.
Both sides worked slowly, with no pitcher from either side staying on the mound longer than two innings. Through five complete frames, the game remained scoreless.
“[Our pitching staff] hung zeros on the board,” said Head Coach Scott Berry. “Particularly early when plays were made by Southern University. Momentum could’ve certainly got in their dugout. Our pitching staff went right out there, one after another, and kept the momentum even for someone to try and take it at some point.”
It was in the bottom of the sixth where the Golden Eagles grabbed that momentum. With the bases loaded, back-to-back walks from Mason Irby and LeeMarcus Boyd gave the Golden Eagles a 2-0 lead. Southern University managed buy back one run in the seventh on Javeyan Williams’ RBI single, but it was miniscule compared to what Southern Miss had yet to come.
Southern Miss loaded the bases again in the bottom of the seventh. Six runs were scored in the inning on RBI singles from Daniel Keating and Cole Donaldson and, Slater scored on a fielder’s choice error, Boyd drove in a run on a groundout and Gabe Montenegro batted in two runs with a single to center field.
In the eighth inning, the Golden Eagles were not done scoring. Eric Hoard pinched-hit and sent a deep ball to center field for the first of his career, while Fred Franlkin added a sacrifice fly.
“It felt pretty good,” said Hoard. “I’ve been struggling and I’ve been hard on myself. I felt like that lifted a lot of my back so I can play my game. It’s just the mindset, tone. Everything is a grind; everybody can hit. When it’s time for your calling, you just get in there and get your at bat.”
Gabe Montengro closed the frame’s scoring as he batted in two more runs on a single to right field, giving the redshirt freshman a career-high four RBIs. At that, Southern Miss secured a 12-1 win – the eighth time this season the team has finished with 10 or more runs this season.
Southern Miss returns to action Friday, Mar. 23 in a conference road-series against Florida Atlantic.