The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Southern Miss uses late surge to survive against New Orleans 5-4

Southern Miss Athletics

Southern Miss scored four runs combined in the seventh and eighth innings to rally past New Orleans 5-4 to avoid the upset.

“Another good come from behind win,” Southern Miss head coach Christian Ostrander said. “The first six innings was pretty stale; I’ll be honest with you. Then we finally got a little momentum with three hits in the seventh with Gillespie getting that big double to tie it up. And then all the momentum shifted and that’s what baseball is about.”

With every win critical for Southern Miss at this juncture in the season, a loss tonight could have been detrimental to their hopes of securing an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

Southern Miss doesn’t think about that; they are just focused on winning the game. Gabe Broadus, who collected the go-ahead RBI single in the eighth for the second time in three games, didn’t even know what RPI stood for a couple of weeks ago.

“I thought it meant runs per inning,” Broadus said.

Ostrander does not look at standings or RPI either. He recognizes that they matter but focuses on the next opponent.

“I don’t look at it,” Ostrander said. “It doesn’t matter, we just need to go win. I know it matters, but it’s nothing we talk about.”

New Orleans struck first in the top half of the first inning when Miguel Useche hit a routine fly ball to left field. Davis Gillespie misjudged it and let it drop for an RBI double, putting UNO up 1-0.

They added another run in the top of the third inning after Victor Castillo doubled to center field, Diego Villescas bunted, and a throwing error allowed Castillo to score.

The Golden Eagles did plate one run in the bottom of the third after Dalton McIntyre reached on an error and Ozzie Pratt scored him with a fielder’s choice RBI to make the score 2-1.

New Orleans added another run in the fifth, before Southern Miss finally collected its first hit of the night when McIntyre singled up the middle. However, Southern Miss could not score any runs in the fifth inning.

Saunier got an RBI single in the top of the seventh to go up 4-1 before a two-out rally by Southern Miss in the bottom of the seventh turned the tide.

After two straight outs, McIntyre singled up the middle for his second hit of the night, followed by a Pratt single to put runners at the corners with two outs.

Slade Wilks registered an RBI single to score his 41st run batted in this season, making the score 4-2. Then, Gillespie drilled a 2-2 pitch to the wall for a standup RBI double to tie the game at 4-4.

“I think the whole day we started off flat,” Broadus said. “From BP to pregame, and we were just a little dead. We were in between on timing on a not overpowered lefty and we were just guessing at pitches. After a few meetings in the dugout, we realized we had to lock it in and knew this was a crucial game for our season.”

Broadus delivered in the bottom of the eight with the go-ahead single up the right side of the infield to give Southern Miss their first lead.

“I knew that dude was going to throw fastballs,” Broadus said. “I was trying to not let him blow it by me and I thank the Lord for letting me get a good swing on it.”

It was not pretty, but a win is a win. This game had trap game written all over it, and USM survived it.

The Golden Eagles improve to 28-17, 12-9.

They host Coastal Carolina (27-17, 11-10) this weekend in a blockbuster series.

“They are very offensive,” Ostrander said. “We know that from last year, and they got a lot of returners, and you look at stats, and it’s another good opponent. We are going to have to play good baseball to beat them just like anybody we play. I don’t think we are good enough to just show and think it’s going to happen. So, we must go and play well.”

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