Southern Miss wins the conference weekend opener


Southern Miss continued to stay hot over the University of Texas at San Antonio. The Golden Eagles now hold a six-game win streak and improve their overall record to 14-4.

Southern Miss dealt with two rain out days and salvaged a doubleheader on Saturday.

In game one Nick Sandlin and the Southern Miss bats took control of the game early.

In the first inning, Sandlin stuck out the side of UTSA to start the game. The Golden Eagle bats exploded early and took a 6-0 lead.

“Whenever you spot him six runs after one inning, it’s pretty tough for the opposition to recover from that with him on the mound,” Head Coach Scott Berry. “He set the tone right off the bat in that first inning.”

The Golden Eagles started with Gabe Montenegro walk and a double from Matthew Guidry. Hunter Slater and Cole Donaldson then hit back-to-back RBI singles. Mason Irby then tripled hit a triple to score to more run and LeeMarcus Boyd topped the inning off with an RBI single.

Southern Miss then had back-toback three-run innings. In the fifth inning, Matt Wallner led the inning off with a first-pitch solo home run. Slater doubled and Boyd got on base with an error which was capitalized on a two-run single by Montenegro.

In the sixth inning, Slater hit a three-run home run after Luke Reynolds singled and Wallner walked to start the inning.

In the top of the ninth relief pitcher, Alex Nelms gave up a two-run home run just before the end of the game.

In seven innings pitched, Sandlin allowed three hits but tied his careerhigh with 14 strikeouts.

The Golden Eagles finished with 14 hits, Montenegro finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Slater finished 3-for-5 with four RBIs.

In game two, Southern Miss’ pitching overcame a 3-0 deficit to take the second the game of the doubleheader 4-3.

UTSA scored its first run in the third inning off an RBI double and then extended its lead in the next inning from a leadoff solo home run.

Starter Stevie Powers pitched the first 3.1 innings before having to remove himself due to aggravating his oblique muscle. In Powers’ start, he allowed two runs on three hits and struck out three.

Keller Bradford and J.C. Keys stepped in relief and combined for 4.2 innings pitched allowed three hits and one run.

Solid performance covering 3.1,” Berry said. “Obviously, J.C. [Keys] really covered those inning and it was what we need him to do coming out of the ‘pen to get the back end. That’s three outings in a row now where he’s come on in relief and he’s throwing really good.

In the sixth inning, UTSA added another run to give them a 3-0 lead.

Southern Miss responded and capitalized on mistakes by UTSA’s pitching. In the inning, UTSA threw three wild pitches, hit a batter and walked another helped give the Golden Eagles a pair of runs. Guidry then scored on a fielder’s choice which tied the game, 3-3.

Southern Miss then took the lead in the eighth inning from an RBI infield single from LeeMarcus Boyd.

Matt Wallner closed the game in the ninth inning giving only one hit to record his third save of the year.

The final game of the series was canceled due to weather. This is the second-time Southern Miss could not complete a three-game conference series which was against Memphis in 2000.

Southern Miss will return to action against Southern University at Pete Taylor Park.