On the third pitch of the game, Matthew Guidry followed a Gabe Montenegro leadoff single and hit a two-run home run over the center field wall. The home run was part of Southern Miss’ seven-run rally in the first inning that led to a 9-0 win and weekend sweep over Old Dominion on Sunday.
“We got a lot of momentum,” Guidry said. “The offense is coming around and we’re just playing baseball and having fun. We have to keep building off that. We’re just getting in the flow. Whenever the offense is going, whenever everyone is trusting each other and doing their jobs it’s hard to not bring that confidence to the plate.”
The first inning featured three back-to-back RBI singles by Matt Wallner, Erick Hoard and Danny Lynch, but was capped off by Gabe Montenegro’s two-run RBI triple to open the game for Southern Miss with a 7-0 lead.
“The message was to pick up where we left off yesterday,” Southern Miss head coach Scott Berry said. “I think that’s exactly what they did. We did some things really well. A couple of hit and runs. We were aggressive in our base running all weekend. I thought we did a great of job and pressuring [Old Dominion]. I think no statement was made better than the pitching staff with two shutouts against a team that was hitting .296 coming in.”
Southern Miss tacked on two more runs both of which came from Erick Hoard. Hoard hit an RBI single in the second inning and then followed in the fifth inning with his first home run of the year.
“A lot of people were talking about the offense not producing and the pitchers [carrying the team] which they were,” Hoard said. “Now, we’re both carrying each other. You can’t have it one sided like that It’s a team sport. It feels good to get the bats going.”
Hoard finished 3-for-4 with three RBI and Montenegro finished 2-for-5 with two RBI.
The Southern Miss pitching staff for a second time on the series threw a shutout against the Monarchs. The Golden Eagles used six different pitchers but all together gave up only three hits.
Earning the win was Sean Tweedy, who in 2.1 innings pitched allowed one hit and struck out one batter.
“This weekend I would say all the credit goes to the hitters,” Tweedy said. “Their approaches this weekend were spectacular. It just set the tone for the pitches. You just come in and fill the zone up with strikes and we were able to win. As a staff, we’ve really accepted our roles. It’s really helped out a lot and everybody just coming and doing our jobs.”
Southern Miss will return to action on Tuesday against Nicholls St. on the road. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Shrine on Airline in Metairie, Louisiana.