Southern Miss infielder Matt Guidry and pitcher J.C. Keys led the Golden Eagles to their sixth straight win, avenging an early-season loss to South Alabama.
Guidry drove in two runs for Southern Miss and Keys hung 4 shutout innings out of the bullpen to secure a 5-3 win over the Jaguars. Despite a 3-1 deficit in the fourth inning, Southern Miss rallied to improve to 29-11 on the season, beating a Jaguar team who entered this game 29th in the RPI standings. Left-hander Adam Jackson took the mound to make his the first start of his Southern Miss career, allowing three runs in four innings. Keys, now 3-3 on the year, added a win to his column and Matt Wallner earned his fifth save in the ninth.
“It’s fun out there when you have guys like Guidry, well all nine of them, playing behind you,” said Keys. “Tonight, I filled up the zone with my fastball and my curveball to get some good outs. You have to do whatever it takes to get outs and gain momentum. I felt like we did that as a whole.”
Guidry and the rest of the Golden Eagles, were reminded of the 10-9 loss at South Alabama on Feb.20 prior to the game – needless to say that the memory lit a fire under the Golden Eagles.
“Coach [Ostrander] reminded us of it,” said Guidry. “He kind of lit a fire under us before BP just to get the adrenaline going and get us locked in. We were definitely thinking about it. We’re just trying to play good baseball. Not trying to do too much. Not trying to play up to an opponent or play down to an opponent, just trying to play our game.”
A win streak of this type might generate extra momentum and confident, but Scott Berry stresses that its critical to keep an equilibrium. To stay consistent, this team has to settle in.
“Our confidence is where it needs to be,” said Berry. “What we’ve tried to really preach is we just play the game and stay even keel. We don’t get too high and we don’t get too low. We understand sometimes you’ve got to come out here and grind it. It’s hard to get wins. This team has played well for the last eight games or so. I would think that their confidence in that they should go out and expect a win is there.”
Southern Miss is set to face Old Dominion next for a three-game series in Norfolk, Virginia. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday.