USM baseball takes down USA

By FROM SOUTHERN MISS,

HATTIESBURG – No. 15 Southern Miss manufactured all of its runs Tuesday night en route to defeating South Alabama 5-3. USM (29-11) won its sixth consecutive game as it also defeated USA at home for the fourth-straight time and split the season series with the Jaguars (24-15).

USA starter Ryan Terry held Southern Miss hitless in his start but walked six – three in the first and third innings. Terry escaped the first with no damage but hit Daniel Keating with the bases loaded in the third to drive in the game’s first run.

The Jaguars then went to the bullpen for Zach Melton, who got a flyout to end the threat.

The visitors then took its only lead of the game in the next frame as Carter Perkins followed a one-out double by Brendan Donovan with a two-run homer to right for his sixth of the year. After a groundout, Michael Sandle homered off of Golden Eagle starter Adam Jackson, who tallied his second round-tripper of the campaign.

Jackson gave up three runs on four hits and one walk with five strikeouts in his first career start for Southern Miss.

USM then put together a couple of two-run scoring innings in the fourth and sixth stanzas.

In the fourth, Mason Irby singled to start the frame. After a bunt by LeeMarcus Boyd that was mishandled by the Jaguar shortstop put two runners on, Gabe Montenegro followed with a successful sacrifice bunt to move both Golden Eagles into scoring position.

Matthew Guidry plated the first run with a groundout to first and Luke Reynolds tied the game at 3-3 with a run-scoring single to left field.

Irby started the frame again in the sixth with a walk, before Boyd reached with an infield single. After Montenegro’s second sacrifice bunt, Guidry hit a sacrifice fly and Reynolds delivered an RBI single to add to the Golden Eagles’ lead.

J.C. Keys threw four innings of scoreless relief, allowing two hits and two walks with a pair of strikeouts to earn the victory and improve to 3-3. Matt Wallner retired all three Jaguar batters in the ninth to collect his fifth save.

USM hits the road this weekend when it travels to Norfolk, Va., to face Old Dominion in a three-game C-USA series.

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