The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Southern Miss baseball rebounds and flies past Air Force 7-5

Dima Mixon

After an embarrassing loss to Marist, Southern Miss bounces back and flies past Air Force 7-5 to get back into the win column.

“Very proud of the guys bouncing back after a tough loss last night,” Southern Miss head coach Christian Ostrander said. “To come out here for the fourth day in a row and you know, as Coach Berry used to say, stay in the middle of the ring. We had to earn it, and very pleased with the pitching and thought are guys battled at the plate today.”

The day was highlighted by situational hitting and excellent pitching by starter Will Armistead. Armistead fanned a career-high nine Falcons in his first start in the 2024 season.

“Adrenaline was pretty high,” Armistead said. “I was excited to be out and back on the mound for the first time. All my pitches felt good, it felt like I commanded them and I think that’s what happens when you attack the zone like that.”

Dima Mixon

Armistead hit two batters in the second inning, which paved the way for the Falcons to push the first run across with a fielder’s choice RBI in the second. Armistead’s final line was 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, and nine K’s.

“Will looked amazing,” Ostrander said. “He’s got good stuff. There are three pitches coming out of the same spot. When he is like that he can keep hitters on ice skates pretty good.”

Southern Miss got right back in the game in the bottom of the third inning when freshman Seth Smith drew a walk, and Dalton McIntyre batted him in for his first colligate hit and RBI to tie the game at 1-1.

Seth Smith (3) rounded the bases before scoring in the bottom of the third inning. (Dima Mixon)

Southern Miss took the lead in the fourth inning after Ozzie Pratt drew a leadoff walk and scored on a RBI-single by Lawson Odom to make the score 2-1.

Air Force grabbed the lead right back in the top of the sixth after a leadoff triple and fielder’s choice tied the game, and an error charged to Pratt scored another run for the Falcons to put Air Force up 3-2.

However, their lead didn’t last for long when Southern Miss took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Braden Luke collected his first hit and RBI as a Golden Eagle when he singled through the right side of the infield to score Pratt after he doubled to open the inning. Then, Falcon pitchers allowed three straight Golden Eagles to reach base thanks to two players hit by pitch and one base on balls.

Southern Miss went up 5-3 coming out of the disastrous inning for the Falcons.

Pratt led off the seventh inning with another double, though he thought it was a home run. The ball carried to the fence and hit the top of the wall before falling back into play.

Carson Paetow followed him with a ball that was a no-doubter home run to deep right-center field for his first home run of the season. The ball traveled 408 feet and came off the bat at 106 MPH to put Southern Miss up 7-3.

“It was a move situation since we had a runner on second,” Paetow said. “So I knew I just had to hit the ball on the right side in the air. So to be quite honest, I was trying to pull the ball.”

Paetow has hit a ton of homers as a Golden Eagle, but he said the first is always special each year.

“It’s incredible,” Paetow said. “It reminds me of how fortunate I am to be here. I’m super blessed to be here. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

The Falcons got a couple of runs back in the top of the eighth, but Landon Payne shut them down in the ninth to secure the victory for the Golden Eagles.

Southern Miss improves to 3-1 and will head south to take on New Orleans (2-1) on Wednesday night.

Ostrander said he knows who will go on the mound for the Eagles but withheld who it will be.

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