The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Southern Miss baseball takes series over Troy

Jackson Kennedy

Southern Miss (18-10, 6-3) hosted Troy (18-11, 4-5) in Sun Belt play for a weekend series. Here are the game recaps after the weekend series:

Game 1:

With the offense’s recent struggles and Troy’s starting pitcher, Luke Lyon, entering the game with a 0.62 ERA, among the country’s best, the metrics point to a tough night for the Southern Miss offense.

But that wasn’t the case, as the Golden Eagles put up a season-high 20 hits and 15 runs on their way to run-ruling Troy 14-4 to open the series.

“I’m very proud of our offense tonight,” Southern Miss head coach Christian Ostrander said. “It started in the first inning and continued all the way until that last run scored.”

After working around a single, Southern Miss starting pitcher Niko Mazza fanned a batter to begin the game in the top of the first.

Southern Miss started to impose its will at the bottom of the first. Dalton McIntyre led off with a single (more on him later), and after a flyout, Slade Wilks doubled to bring home McIntyre. Billy Butler followed Wilks with a double to left field, scoring Wilks. After back-to-back singles by Carson Paetow and Davis Gillespie, Nick Monistere came through with a two-RBI single to put Southern Miss up 4-0 in the bottom of the first.

“I thought our offense was outstanding tonight,” Ostrander said. “It was really good to see that from many guys. Dalton McIntyre had an unbelievable night, I’m very proud of those guys but also am proud of the pitchers.”

The Golden Eagles added another run at the bottom of the second after McIntyre secured his second base hit, and Wilks batted him in with an RBI fielder’s choice to score 4-0 in favor of USM.

After a Troy run in the top of the third, Southern Miss continued its offensive dominance in the bottom half.

Gillespie doubled to lead off the inning, followed by a Monistere RBI double, followed by yet another hit for McIntyre and an RBI single. After a wild pitch scored another run for the Golden Eagles, Ozzie Pratt batted in another with an RBI single, resulting in a 9-1 lead for Southern Miss going into the fourth inning.

“We had a great approach [to Troy’s starter],” McIntyre said. “We really bought into it. We worked on it in BP and in the cages and they did a great job of drilling it into our head. We knew we had to stick to the approach, and we did.”

Southern Miss added another run in the bottom of the fifth after McIntyre singled for the fourth time and Wilks batted him in with his third RBI of the night to put Southern Miss up 10-1.

Troy added three runs in the top of the sixth inning, but the Golden Eagles would close the door in the seventh.

Dalton McIntyre picked up his fifth hit of the night, going five for five from the plate. He became the first Golden Eagle to record five hits since Christopher Sargent did it back in 2022.

“It’s honestly crazy,” McIntyre said about his five-for-five night. “You never go into a game expecting to get on base five times, but it’s a really good feeling.”

McIntyre has become an element in center field that very few Golden Eagle fans saw coming. Everyone assumed that the job was Monistere’s to lose, but with McIntyre’s bat and his defense, he cemented himself not only in the lineup but also in center field.

“I think Dalton is just being himself,” Ostrander said. “He’s fine with hitting a ground ball on the backside and letting his speed get him there. He has extraordinary hand-eye coordination, and we’ve seen that all year.”

After McIntyre singled in the seventh, Pratt singled through the left side of the infield to bring Broadus home. Then, a throwing error on Troy allowed a Golden Eagle to run to score. Then Matthew Russo ended the game with an RBI double to make the score 14-4, ending the game on the league’s 10-run rule.

On the mound, Mazza bounced back from his tough outing at Georgia Southern last week. He posted one of his best starts of the season so far, with 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, and 4 Ks on 100 TP.

“I needed to get that taste out of my mouth,” Mazza said. “Short week, but we recovered and did as good as we can ask for.”

He earned the win, his fifth.

Southern Miss improved to 17-9, 5-2 in conference play. They will play the series tomorrow night, with the first pitch slated for 6 p.m.

Game 2:

Carson Paetow slipped and fell in the top of the ninth inning on a routine single by Brooks Bryan that turned into a go-ahead two-run triple to lift Troy past Southern Miss 9-8.

The game saw six lead changes and two ties, with both teams able to land the preverbal “punch” back to their opponent.

“Tough one there, I was proud of our guys battling,” Southern Miss head coach Christian Ostrander said. “That was a great ballgame, both sides were competing hard. In my opinion we made one or two mistakes that ended up costing us in a one run ball game.”

Southern Miss committed three errors in the game, all of which eventually led to Trojan runs, which ultimately decided the game.

After both teams’ scoreless first innings, Nick Monistere got the scoring going with a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning. The ball traveled 102 miles per hour off the bat and soared 389 feet off the scoreboard in left field to put Southern Miss up 2-0.

The teams traded zeros through the next few innings before Troy tied things up in the fifth inning. First, with a double steal to plate the Trojan’s first run, then a throwing error by Monistere allowed another Trojan run to score to even the game at two a piece.

The Golden Eagles responded in the bottom half of the fifth with an RBI walk drawn by Billy Butler and a Paetow sac-fly RBI to give Southern Miss a 4-2 lead in the fifth.

Kyle Mock nailed a two-run home run in the top half of the sixth to bring the Trojans back to even at four apiece.

Then, Troy grabbed their first lead of the night in the eighth inning. After another error allowing the lead runner to score, a single by Mock and balk allowed Troy to plate two runs to put them ahead 6-4.

But the Eagles responded in the bottom half of the eighth when Davis Gillespie slammed his fourth home run of the year. The ball was hit on the screws traveling 432 feet and 109 MPH off the bat. Gillespie is a player who has really found his swing over the last few games, and the Eagles need all the power they can use in the lineup.

“Every game and every at-bat are just more information for him,” Ostrander said. “He’s getting experience every day that he plays, and I think he’s doing a great job.”

After the home run brought Southern Miss within one, Ozzie Pratt gave Southern Miss back the lead with a two-RBI single, putting Southern Miss ahead 7-6.

Kole Myers led off the ninth with a single for Troy. He then tried to stretch an extra base on a single by the next batter, Ethan Cavanagh but was gunned down at third by Paetow. Golden Eagle reliever Colby Allen walked Will Butcher before Brooks Bryan hit a ball to right that Paetow slipped on and got by him for a two-run triple to give Troy the lead. Tremayne Cobb, Jr., then grounded out to short on a drawn-in infield to plate the Troy final run.

“The tough part about this is once you have that comeback in the bottom of the eighth, you come back out and can’t finish it,” Ostrander said. “But Colby has been our guy and they hit him. I told him ‘Man if they are going to beat you make them beat you swinging the bat.’ I felt good about him being out there and just didn’t go out way.”

The win by Troy sets up a huge rubber match tomorrow, with the first pitch slated for 1 pm.

“It sucks getting punched in the mouth, especially after a tough ball game like that,” Monistere said.

“But we get to wake up tomorrow and try and punch them right back.”

Game 3:

With the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the eighth inning, Southern Miss turned a crucial double play to lift them past Troy in the series finale 5-3 to clinch the series.

Center fielder Dalton McIntyre came down with a flyball and threw it into Matthew Russo in the diamond. Russo noticed that the second base runner for Troy was off the bag and zipped it over to Nick Monistere to tag the runner out.

“Those are little things that help you win ball games,” Southern Miss coach Christian Ostrander said Saturday. “Last night, we didn’t do enough of those.”

Southern Miss scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning on a two-RBI single from McIntyre to break a 3-3 tie. McIntyre continued his hot streak from the plate, an incredible piece that the team has added to increase its productivity from the batter’s box.

“He’s fine with hitting a ground ball on the back side and letting his speed get him there,” Ostrander said. “He’s got extraordinary hand-eye coordination and we’ve seen that all year.”

McIntyre, Slade Wilks and Monistere all collected two hits in the win.

From the mound, Golden Eagle pitcher Will Armistead had a stellar performance. Armistead limited the Trojans to just two hits over 5 1/3 innings with a pair of walks, a hit batsman and a career-high 10 strikeouts.

“I knew going into this series against this team that they had like six or seven lefties in their order,” Armistead said. “I knew they’d be better matched up against me, so I thought I’d be extra focused and have more intent in everything I did.”

Chandler Best came in after Armistead, and after giving up a game-tying home run on the first pitch, he settled in from the rubber. He went on to sit down five Trojan batters in a row, including strikeout three of them, to keep the Golden Eagles and Troy tied going into the eighth.

Southern Miss improved to 18-10, 6-3 after the win.

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