Southern Miss’ bats came to life Tuesday night as they pounded out 17 hits and three home runs in their 18-2 rout of Louisiana-Monroe.
The Golden Eagles put two runs on the board in the first, but did so without registering a hit. They took advantage of ULM’s starter Jared Dye being extremely erratic early on. Dye issued three walks in the first along with hitting two batters.
ULM would add a run of their own in the second inning before USM broke the game open in the fourth inning. Connor Barron would get the scoring started when he drove in two runs with a single to right field.
Barron stole second base before being brought home by a Michael Sterling double down the line. Tim Lynch followed suit with a double to center field that scored Sterling to give USM a 6-1 lead. With Lynch on second base, Matt Durst put a charge into a 2-1 offering that resulted in his third home run of the year.
The lead stayed at seven through six innings with each team scoring one more run until the USM offense broke through again in the seventh inning. Nick Dawson led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch as did Sterling after Barron grounded out.
Consecutive singles by Lynch and Durst scored Dawson and Sterling to give USM an 11-2 lead. Mason Robbins added an RBI double before Michael Gilbert struck out looking to end the inning, but USM’s offense was not done.
After USM scored two runs to start the eighth inning, Robbins stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. He fouled off the first pitch from ULM reliever Logan Dopson before launching a ball over the wall in right center for a grand slam. It was Robbins’ second home run of the season.
USM relievers Luke Lowery and James McMahon combined to pitch a scoreless ninth to preserve the 18-2 blowout win. Starter Cody Carroll picked up his first win of the season; he pitched five innings, allowing just one run on four hits while striking out five.
The first five batters in USM’s lineup, Barron, Sterling, Lynch, Durst and Robbins, combined to go 13-23 (.565 batting average) with 15 RBIs. The outburst was by far USM’s biggest of the season. In their last five games, USM combined for 18 runs.
The Golden Eagles will look to continue to swing the bats well when they host UTSA this weekend in their second conference series of the season. USM (10-11, 2-1) will have their hands full with UTSA (15-6, 2-1) as the Roadrunners have won nine of their last 11 games.
Game times are for 6 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.