The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Southern Miss holds off No. 14 Alabama in 9-7 victory.

Dima Mixon

Last year, Southern Miss got a reality check in a 12-0 loss to Alabama in Tuscaloosa. This season, they got their sweet revenge by beating the fourteenth-ranked Crimson Tide 9-7 in front of the largest crowd this season (5,560).

It got dicey in the end, but Southern Miss managed to hold on and secure the victory.

“Big win for us tonight against a really good opponent,” Southern Miss head coach Christian Ostrander said. “Those guys were as advertised. We knew we were going to have to play a good game and I’m very proud of those guys for competing hard tonight and putting a great game together.”

Ostrander earned his first ranked win as the head coach with the victory tonight.

After a stellar double play in the top of the first inning by Davis Gillespie, he came to the plate in the bottom half with the bases loaded and two outs. The freshman delivered with a base-clearing double to give Southern Miss (11-6) the early 3-0 lead, and they never looked back.

Southern Miss added another run, with Slade Wilks driving home Ozzie Pratt to make it 4-0.

Alabama (15-2) finally scored in the top of the third inning when Bryce Eblin homered to right field, bringing the score back to 4-1.

After both teams pitched scoreless innings, Southern Miss extended its lead when Wilks hit his fourth home run of the season in the bottom of the fifth inning. The ball was a blast to center, 432 feet long and 112 miles per hour.

Cole Boswell started on the mound for Southern Miss and struggled early to throw strikes, but once he got into a groove, he mowed down Tide batters.

After Boswell, Colby Allen came in and gave up that solo home run to Eblin in the top of the second, but that was the only run he gave up during his 3.1 innings of work. Allen collected a career-high six strikeouts in his outing. He earned the win, his second.

“I kind of got some momentum going from Louisiana Tech,” Allen said. “At La tech, I got my sinker going early and I carried that one today. I threw a lot of fastballs and some sliders but that sinker really plays well to finish innings.”

Chase Adams stepped to the rubber after Allen and threw an inning. In the top of the sixth, he gave up a solo home run to Evan Sleight, making the score 5-2.

But he picked up a couple of strikeouts to get out of a jam, giving USM’s offense a chance to extend its lead.

“I was very pleased with the pitching all the way across the board,” Ostrander said. “I thought Colby Allen was the difference maker in this, coming in and covering three and a third and keeping the game right there. And then, Chase Adams gets his three outs..”

The Southern Miss offense came alive and blew the game open in the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth, Tucker Stockman kept the inning alive with a two-out single to right field, followed by Pratt getting hit by a pitch.

Dalton McIntyre picked up an RBI single to left field to put USM up 6-2. Pratt scored on the next pitch after a failed pickoff attempt to put USM out in front 7-2.

Then, in the seventh inning, Carson Paetow homered to left center field to bring in two runs for Southern Miss to put the score at 9-2 in favor of the Golden Eagles.

However, Alabama wasn’t done. After McCarty English was taken out for JB Middleton, the Tide shellshocked USM with five runs on two pitches in the ninth inning: a three-run triple and then a two-run home run.

Ostrander said he was just “hoping to get the last two outs.”

“We gave them something there with that leadoff error,” Ostrander said. “The whole inning could have been changed if we don’t allow that. It’s part of the game but they got a little momentum. They started putting some swings on it and that’s the way baseball is. You have to be stingy and not give up freebies.”

Southern Miss scored 40 runs in the past four games, a significant improvement from the team’s 74 runs in the first 13 games.

“We have challenged them,” Ostrander said. “Coach Creel, Coach Rhodes and Coach Brewer have done a great job really instilling that mentality of using the whole field, using the backside and I thought we did that well again tonight. Strikeouts were down, and we put a lot of balls in play.”

Southern Miss returns to action this weekend against Marshall (6-10) to open Sun Belt play.

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