Southern Miss finishes off sweep of ODU Sunday

By FROM SOUTHERN MISS,

HATTIESBURG – Southern Miss scored seven runs in the opening inning and six Golden Eagle pitchers blanked the visiting Monarchs for a 9-0 victory over Old Dominion Sunday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park to complete the three-game Conference USA sweep.

The Golden Eagles (15-6 overall, 6-0 C-USA) captured their seventh-straight victory and notched the 11th win over the last 12 games. ODU fell to 15-8 and 1-5.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click for photos from Michael Rahaim

Southern Miss, which finished the day with 10 hits, wasted no time getting on the board as seven of the first eight batters reached base. It was the eighth game in a row that they had registered at least 10 hits in a contest.

Gabe Montenegro opened the bottom of the first with a single, before Matt Guidry belted his second home run of the year over the centerfield fence to start the scoring barrage. Guidry upped his current hitting streak to his career-best of 10 games.

Hunter Slater, who has 16 hits in his last 27 at-bats (.592), then doubled. After a groundout by Brant Blaylock, Bryant Bowen walked and Matt Wallner drove in the third run of the frame with a single through the right side.

Erick Hoard and Danny Lynch then followed with back-to-back RBI singles, before Montenegro collected a two-out triple to left-center past a diving outfielder and the Eagles took the early 7-0 lead.

Hoard added a run-scoring single in the second and then belted a solo homer, his first, to open the fifth to complete the Golden Eagle scoring.

Southern Miss, which recorded two shutouts in a league series for the first time since May 8-10, 2015, against Charlotte, limited the Monarchs to three hits, four walks and a hit batter.

All four walks were issued by USM starter Gabe Shepard, who also fanned four over a 1 2/3 inning stint and did not qualify for the victory.

Sean Tweedy then allowed just one single and fanned one over 2 1/3 to register the victory and improve to 2-0. Alex Nelms added two shutout frames, while Aaron Ginn went a 1/3 of an inning, Hunter Stanley went 1 2/3 and Ryan Och worked a perfect ninth as the team orchestrated its fourth shutout of the season.

The Golden Eagles return to action when they travel to Zephyr Field in Metairie, La., to face Nicholls State in a 6:30 p.m., contest Tuesday, March 26.

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