The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Southeastern Louisiana walks off Southern Miss 7-6

Southern Miss Athletics

HAMMOND, La—Shea Thomas blasted a solo game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth to lift Southeastern Louisiana past Southern Miss 7-6. The loss ended Southern Miss’s seven-game road winning streak over the Lions.

On the mound was Golden Eagle reliever Colby Allen, who had been sitting down batters before Thomas came to the dish. Four pitches into the ninth inning, Thomas drove the ball deep to right field, to give Allen his second loss of the season and second loss in a row where surrendering a run in the ninth cost the game for Southern Miss.

“We tried to go fastball in there and obviously it wasn’t in enough,” Southern Miss coach Christian Ostrander said in his postgame radio interview.

Slade Wilks gave the Golden Eagles the early advantage with a two-out solo home run, his sixth of the year, to right field in the first inning, putting USM up 1-0. The Golden Eagles plated three more runs in the second inning, starting with an RBI fielder’s choice administered by Nick Monistere.

Then, Lawson Odom scored an RBI single before Dalton McIntyre scored an RBI double to put the Golden Eagles ahead 4-0.

The Lions came roaring back, however. In the second inning, Jake Killingsworth plated their first run with a leadoff homer, his second of the season.

Perhaps the biggest momentum shift of the night was when Southeastern put up a five spot in the fourth inning to put them ahead 6-4. The Golden Eagles needed three pitchers to get out of the fourth inning – Ben Riley Flowers, JW Armistead and Chase Adams.

Those pitchers allowed a couple of RBI walks and three hits to put the Lions up 6-4. Also, add in a Billy Butler error in left field, encapsulating the woes of the inning for the men in black and gold.

The bullpen has surprisingly been a piece of the puzzle for this team that has not been answered yet. While most knew that the hitting would take time to find itself, most believed that the bullpen’s depth and experience would lead it to be locked down.

That has not been the case so far this season, and while there is still time to turn that around, it is somewhat alarming.

In his radio postgame interview, even Ostrander called it a “glaring weakness” tonight.

“We just got to find some guys that are going to step up and compete a little bit better on that mound out of the bullpen,” Ostrander said. “That right now is a glaring weakness that we got to figure out who is going to want to answer that call.”

Billy Butler pulled Southern Miss with a solo shot in the fifth to bring the score to 6-5 in favor of the Lions. The teams traded zeros before Ozzie Pratt came up with a single, and then an error by the Southeastern left fielder, which led to the game-tying run. McIntyre came across to the plate to make the game 6-6.

But Southern Miss squandered the opportunity to take the lead, stranding a couple of runners on base. Then, Thomas’s home run in the bottom half of the ninth to secure the win for Southeastern.

With the loss, SOuthern Miss falls to 18-11, 6-3 in conference play. They travel to Mobile to face South Alabama in a Sun Belt Conference series. The set opens Friday at 6:30 p.m.

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