Southern Miss pulled together a successful offensive performance to open its series against the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a 7-2 win on Friday.
Southern Miss put up 11 hits with three different Golden Eagles having a multi-hit day. One of the notable performances was Danny Lynch, who finished the day 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Despite opening the season 2-for-20 and having a batting average sit under .200, Lynch is now on a six-game hitting streak and has increased to .247.
“Early in the year, me and (assistant coach Travis) Creel before LA Tech that my hands weren’t going straight to the ball and they were dragging a little bit,” Lynch said. “We lowered my hands a little bit, and I started to feel better against LA Tech. I was also talking to Charlie Fischer, who’s been the best hitter on the team all year, and he said something about how every time he is in the box, he is trying to relax. That’s when I realized early in the year I wasn’t relaxed. I was always trying to do too much or think about something; instead, I’m getting in the box there’s nothing I’m thinking about. I’m just relaxed and am just doing see ball and hit ball.”
Lynch also credited Gabe Montenegro, who was 3-for-4 on the day and now batting .313, for helping the team find offensive momentum by breaking out of his own slump.
“I think Gabe Montenegro kind of started us,” Lynch said. “Gabe kind of started us against La Tech. That’s when he really started hitting the ball. Once Gabe kind of starting hitting the ball, it kind of made everything a little easier because he’s the leadoff guy and sets the tone.”
In the first inning, the Golden Eagles loaded the bases but failed to take advantage of the early break. However, in the third inning, Southern Miss quickly put momentum together as UAB’s defense failed to cover second or third, allowing Reed Trimble to come up with a one-out triple.
After Charlie Fischer was hit by a pitch, Christopher Sargent drove in the first run of the game with an RBI sac fly. Reece Ewing then delivered an RBI single followed by an RBI triple by Danny Lynch to give the Golden Eagles a 3-0 lead.
In the fourth, Trimble’s bat stayed hot as he hit a two-run home run, which was his seventh of the season. Then in the fifth inning, Lynch, like Trimble, found power in his bat with a solo home run to push Southern Miss’ lead to 6-0.
While Southern Miss’ hitting stayed productive, starting pitcher Hunter Stanley had another strong outing. The only trouble Stanley fell into was in the sixth inning as he gave up back-to-back RBI singles. Fischer added an insurance run in the eighth inning with an RBI sac fly.
“I thought all three pitches were working for me,” Stanley said. “I felt like my changeup was really working for me, and I have kind of been searching for it a little bit throughout the season. I was happy to see that one show up today. It’s something to build on.”
In eight innings, Stanley allowed two runs off two hits while walking one and striking out eight.
“Credit to (UAB) for stringing some hits together there,” Stanley said. “They did a good job being ready to hit. We didn’t change anything. It’s just a matter of keeping yourself composed and executing the pitch. Credit to them again, I thought they battled with two strikes and battled early in the count. It’s rare you go through eight or nine innings and don’t have some trouble. We were able to minimize and credit to our offense for scoring seven runs today.”
The first pitch for Saturday’s doubleheader is set for 2 p.m.