The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


USM baseball gets series win over Indiana State

Jackson Kennedy

Southern Miss baseball took down Indiana State in a weekend series, two games to one, in arguably the biggest non-conference series in the nation this weekend.

Here is a recap of games two and three after Southern Miss beat Indiana State 5-1 on Friday night to open the series.

Game 2 –

A four-run opening frame helped lift Southern Miss past Indiana State 6-2 to claim the series on Saturday.

“Really proud of that win today,” Southern Miss head coach Christian Ostrander said. “I thought it was a very complete game from the offensive side…and the pitching side.”

Ostrander has been preaching about starting fast, and Southern Miss did not hold back on that today. Golden Eagle starting pitcher Billy Oldham started the day by fanning three straight Sycamore batters in the top of the first inning.

In the bottom half of the first, the Southern Miss bats also got going quickly. Dalton McIntyre came up with an infield single, followed by an Ozzie Pratt single through the right side of the infield.

McIntyre had two infield singles today, adding to his already odd pattern of being able to come through with those hits.

Slade Wilks doubled to score them both to put USM up 2-0 early. The Golden Eagles plated a few more when Seth Smith came up with a fielder’s choice RBI, and Carson Paetow scored on a balk called on the Indiana State pitcher.

With Southern Miss already in a commanding lead of the game, Oldham really settled in and threw three great innings of work. He gave up a few runs in the top of the fourth with a fielder’s choice RBI by Connor Hicks and an RBI single by Adam Pottinger. Those scores brought the Sycamores back to make the score 4-2.

Outside of those two runs, Oldham settled in and stayed in command throughout his entire outing.

“I know exactly what I’m going to get,” Ostrander said of Oldham’s consistency. “He’s going to plus and minus, he’s going to mix, and he’s going to keep the hitters off balance for the most part.”

He posted a final line of 5 IP, 7 K, 2 BB, 3 H, 2 R on 93 pitches.

“I felt like my stuff was pretty good,” Oldham said. “Changeup felt really good, I have been working on just being more consistent with that. “

After Oldham’s outing, Colby Allen came in for three innings and pitched a gem in relief. Allen was pumping in the low 90s with a wicked changeup that helped him fan a batter and allow just three hits.

Allen also forced a crucial double play in the top of the eighth inning, with the Sycamores having two runners on first and second with no outs. The batter lined it right to Russo, and Russo caught the ball and stepped on first to get the runner out.

“Sometimes the ball goes your way,” Ostrander said. “That guy hit it on the screws but right to Russo, and we got the double play. You got to have some of that sometimes, I’ll take it.”

Paetow gave Southern Miss some insurance in the bottom of the seventh when he blasted his second home run. He hit the ball 396 feet to center-right field, and the ball came off the bat at 106 MPH.

“It was a 3-1 count, and it was a fastball and I tried to put a good swing on it,” Paetow said. “I thought it was just going to be a pop-up but it kept going and it turned out to be a pretty good home run.”

Nick Monistere gave Southern Miss one more piece of insurance with a RBI-single in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Southern Miss hoped to go for the sweep on Sunday, as they had not been able to sweep an opponent this season, and this is the series that would be critical if they were to be able to do that.

“We have to have tunnel vision,” Paetow said. “Don’t get satisfied. Teams lose on Sunday’s when they are satisfied and we will do our best not to let that happen.”

Game 3 –

Parker Stinson gave the Indiana State Sycamores a loud start in Sunday’s series finale against Southern Miss with a grand slam in the top of the first inning. The swing came after an RBI single by Dominic Listi to give the Sycamores a 5-0 lead with no outs in the top of the first.

This start proved too much for Southern Miss to come back from, eventually losing the game 12-5, denying them the sweep for the third straight week.

“It’s disappointing today,” Southern Miss head coach Christian Ostrander said. “I felt like we had a chance to do something really special. We put ourselves in a position to get a sweep today and just didn’t get it done. They came out and set the tone.”

Will Armistead got the start for Southern Miss on the mound, and after giving up the grand slam, he settled in quite nicely. Throwing up two scoreless frames before allowing another two runs to come across in the top of the fourth inning for the Sycamores, extending their lead to 7-0.

Armistead (0-1) was given the loss, his first on the season. His final line from the game was 3.0 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 4 K, 62 TP’s.

“He just never got in rhythm,” Ostrander said. “It was kind of an ambush inning. When their backs were against the wall like it was, they got some runners on, and their guy got a big hit. So, he never really got any rhythm.”

Even with the scoreless frames, Southern Miss could get nothing on offense. Even with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, the Golden Eagles struggled to plate their first run of the game.

It finally came in the bottom of the fourth inning when Billy Butler blasted a 431-foot home run to center field. The deep fly was his first of the season.

“It was definitely a feeling I have been waiting for,” Butler said. “It felt really good to celebrate with the guys and to try and get something going for us. I’ve been trying to do a little too much the past day or two.”

Butler struggled from the plate throughout the past several games, as did the USM offense in certain situational moments. Butler attributed it to his issues with trying to do too much, which he defined as swinging for home runs.

“For me sometimes they [his swings] get a little too big,” Butler said. “When I saw that I mean that I’m trying to hit a home run, when I should be. And a lot of it is just adrenaline.”

Ostrander agreed with his sentiment and said that the issue is something he is preaching to his kids every day.

“I think it’s definitely something that guys have to control and slow it down and not try and do too much,” Ostrander said. “We need to take a single, you know. You don’t have to think big all the time. That’s maturity and that’s kind of slowing it down and playing the game the right way.”

Even though Ostrander did not necessarily want USM batters to swing for the fences, Nick Monistere did and gave Southern Miss their second home run of the day in the bottom of the sixth. The bomb pulled the Sycamore lead back to 8-4 after USM was able to plate some more runs in the bottom of the fourth.

“I thought Nicky looked good,” Ostrander said. “He swung the bat and had some good hits obviously. We need him to get going and hopefully this was a step in the right direction.”

Southern Miss’ put a final push at the lead in the bottom of the eighth when Dalton McIntyre pushed an RBI single into left field to make the score 8-5.

However, Indiana State ended the game by putting up a four spot in the top of the ninth to open up the game and deny Southern Miss the sweep.

“In the ninth inning when we gave up that four, you can’t do that and have a chance to win,” Ostrander said. “There are things we have got to learn from and get better next time.”

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