Freshmen continue to find stride in 8-6 rubber match win over UCA

By ANDREW ABADIE,

Freshmen performances both on the mound and in the batter’s box helped Southern Miss get the edge in not only Sunday’s 8-6 rubber match win. 

 

“I think they have come out for seven games and have played all the way to the end from start to the end,” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. “We find ways to win. Today was about getting the series win.

 

“We signed [the freshmen] here for a reason. I think we identified them as good players that can help us win. You never know how freshmen are going to impact your team right off the bat. Certainly, we have got guys thrown into the fire and have responded well and continue to do that.”

 

Southern Miss jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning with Charlie Fischer hitting a solo home run and Hunter LeBlanc hitting a two-run RBI single to take a 3-0 lead. 

 

However, freshman starting pitcher Chandler Best fell into trouble after loading the bases to start the inning and then giving up a one-out, two-run RBI double. 

 

Stepping into relief was freshman Ben Ethridge who, after giving up a sac fly that tied the game quickly, retook control of the game.  

 

Southern Miss rebuilt its lead in the third inning with a two-run RBI double from Dustin Dickerson and Matthew Guidry scoring from hit pitch. In the fifth inning, Guidry came up with a two-run RBI double to extend the lead to 8-3

 

On the mound, Ethridge threw three scoreless innings until the seventh inning after giving up a two-run RBI that cut the lead to 8-5. 

 

“(Ethridge) came out of the bullpen when we needed the strikes,” Berry said. “Really good live arm that can really dot it from both sides of the plate. I thought the biggest key for him and what some of the other guys need to do is to land some secondary pitches. He did that with his breaking ball and that made his fastball that much better.”

 

Ethridge allowed two runs off six hits, struck out six batters and out of his 56 total pitches, threw 46 strikes. 

 

“I had everything today it felt like,” Ethridge said. “My off-speed was good. My slider and curveball were getting into the zone. The fastball was able to up and elevate and get past people. It felt like everything was going well.” 

 

Dickerson finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBI and scored once. According to Dickerson, the key to the freshmen classes’ success has been due to the leadership of Guidry. 

 

“It starts with our leader Guidry,” Dickerson said. “We are young. Every time one us get an opportunity, we try to step up.

 

“(Guidry’s) awesome. I heard a lot of good things about him and it’s been everything I thought it was.”

 

Notably, freshman Reed Trimble left the game early on Sunday with an ankle sprain after missing first base. 

 

Southern Miss will start a six-game road stretch starting on Tuesday against Ole Miss with first pitch for that game set for 4 p.m. Southern Miss will then travel to Lake Charles to compete in a tournament against McNeese State and Valaparaiso. 

 

According to Berry, helping the freshmen class get prepared for the upcoming road stint is a part of establishing the team’s culture.

 

“The biggest thing is that we try to have a philosophy of one game at a time,” Berry said. “The most important game on the schedule is Tuesday and it happens to be Ole Miss and we need to commit to do everything we can to win that game. From there, then we’ll concentrate on Valparaiso and McNeese State. It’s a tough stretch of games. It’ll be a good challenge for this team.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freshmen performances both on the mound and in the batter’s box helped Southern Miss get the edge in Sunday’s 8-6 rubber match win.

“I think they have come out for seven games and have played all the way to the end,” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. “We find ways to win. Today was about getting the series win.

“We signed [the freshmen] here for a reason. I think we identified them as good players that can help us win. You never know how freshmen are going to impact your team right off the bat. Certainly, we have got guys thrown into the fire; and they have responded well and continue to do that.”

Southern Miss jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning with Charlie Fischer hitting a solo home run and Hunter LeBlanc hitting a two-run RBI single to take a 3-0 lead.

However, freshman starting pitcher Chandler Best fell into trouble after loading the bases to start the inning and then giving up a one-out, two-run RBI double.

Stepping into relief was freshman Ben Ethridge who, after giving up a sac fly that tied the game quickly, retook control of the game. 

Southern Miss rebuilt its lead in the third inning with a two-run RBI double from Dustin Dickerson and Matthew Guidry scoring from hit pitch. In the fifth inning, Guidry came up with a two-run RBI double to extend the lead to 8-3.

On the mound, Ethridge threw three scoreless innings until the seventh inning after giving up a two-run RBI that cut the lead to 8-5.

“(Ethridge) came out of the bullpen when we needed the strikes,” Berry said. “(He has a) really good live arm that can really dot it from both sides of the plate. I thought the biggest key for him and what some of the other guys need to do is to land some secondary pitches. He did that with his breaking ball and that made his fastball that much better.”

Ethridge allowed two runs off six hits, struck out six batters and out of his 56 total pitches threw 46 strikes.

“I had everything today, it felt like,” Ethridge said. “My off-speed was good. My slider and curveball were getting into the zone. The fastball was able to up and elevate and get past people. It felt like everything was going well.”

Dickerson finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBI and scored once. According to Dickerson, the key to the freshmen classes’ success has been due to the leadership of Guidry.

“It starts with our leader Guidry,” Dickerson said. “We are young. Every time one of us gets an opportunity, we try to step up.

“(Guidry’s) awesome. I heard a lot of good things about him, and it’s been everything I thought it was.”

Freshman Reed Trimble left the game early on Sunday with an ankle sprain after missing first base.

Southern Miss will start a six-game road stretch on Tuesday at 4 p.m. against Ole MissSouthern Miss will then travel to Lake Charles to compete in a tournament against McNeese State and Valparaiso.

According to Berry, helping the freshmen class get prepared for the upcoming road stint is a part of establishing the team’s culture.

“The biggest thing is that we try to have a philosophy of taking it one game at a time,” Berry said. “The most important game on the schedule is Tuesday, and it happens to be Ole Miss and we need to commit to doing everything we can to win that game. From there, then we’ll concentrate on Valparaiso and McNeese State. It’s a tough stretch of games. It’ll be a good challenge for this team.”

 

Photo via Southern Miss athletics.