Southern Miss Storms back, beats LSU to force a deciding game in the Hattiesburg Regional

Photo by Charlie Luttrell

Southern Miss beat LSU 8-4 to force a game seven in the Hattiesburg Regional behind the stellar pitching performance of Justin Storm.

The one area that Southern Miss has been touting as its strength is its pitching staff and bullpen all season. In this game, that claim was tested and the Golden Eagles weathered the storm against LSU with Justin Storm.

“I think we really need to emphasize the day. Just the challenge that we had. I couldn’t be more proud of this group of young men and how resilient they are and what they were able to do,” Southern Miss head coach Scott Berry said. “Their body of work tonight on the mound, offensively, defensively. Of course, Justin and his five innings there after coming in the fifth inning and inheriting some runners. He was able to induce three ground balls and the momentum started.”

Join SM2 Sports Director Austin Lindsey in live coverage of last night’s victory over LSU.

Strom did not start the game on the mound for the Golden Eagles but instead came in to relieve Isaiah Rhodes in the fifth inning. Storm would then pitch for a line of: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 7 K, 1 Bb, 85 TP.

A remarkable performance that Storm will remember for a long time, no doubt.

“I’m really excited to get the opportunity. This is big boy baseball and that’s a good club over there, but we think we have a good club in our dugout as well,” Storm said.

Justin Storm celebrating good play| Photo by Charlie Luttrell

The LSU lineup is one of the best in the country and they tore up the bullpen of Southern Miss in the previous matchup, where they put on a stunning rally to defeat Southern Miss.

However, this time, it was Southern Miss who punched back. Today, the teams will meet again for a winner take all Regional Final and the winner will host an NCAA Tournament Super Regional. For Southern Miss, that would be the first time they would host a Super Regional in school history.  

In the game, LSU got on the board first thanks to a Cade Doughty two-run blast in the top of the first inning, making the score 2-0.

Southern Miss responded in the bottom of the second with a Danny Lynch double and an error allowed Slade Wilks to score—making it 2-1. Lynch would tie the game up after scoring on a fielder’s choice RBI.

LSU would take the lead back in the top of the third, with an RBI single by Doughty, followed by a pass ball score to make the score 4-2.

Southern Miss would respond in the bottom of the third. Wilks would add an RBI-single to his column, followed by a Lynch RBI-single to tie the game at 4.

Lynch would score to give Southern Miss its first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth. Dustin Dickerson would extend that lead with an RBI single. Rodrigo Montenegro would score on a balk from the LSU pitcher to make the score 7-4.

Finally, in the bottom of the eighth inning, Carson Paetow blasted a home run over the right field to give Southern Miss an 8-4 advantage.

From the third-fourth onwards, Southern Miss held one of the most explosive offensives in the country to no runs.

Storm’s outing is very similar to last year’s regional in Oxford when Tanner Hall came out and dealt against Ole Miss and pitched a great game.

“You know, I think a remarkable stat line with Justin’s outing was not only to cover five innings but his strikeouts to walks. Certainly, you know that’s key against a good offensive club like LSU,” Berry said. “But there is a lot of correlation to what he did tonight and what Tanner did last year.”

Last season, Southern Miss forced a game 7 after winning two games on Sunday. They would go on to lose that game 12-9. This year, everything is the same. This time, they are playing at home and for the right to host a Super Regional.

It will be all hands-on deck for Berry and his team today at 3 pm.