The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Southern Miss earns hard fought sweep of Coastal Carolina

Jackson Kennedy

Southern Miss swept Coastal Carolina in the weekend series adding to their upward trend in both RPI and conference standings. Here is a recap of each game:

Game 1

***Per Release

FROM SOUTHERN MISS ATHLETICS: Davis Gillespie had three hits and drove in two runs while Billy Oldham limited Coastal Carolina to four hits over seven innings in leading Southern Miss to a Sun Belt Conference series-opening 7-2 victory Friday night at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.

The Golden Eagles (29-17 overall, 13-9 Sun Belt) banged out 15 hits as Dalton McIntyre added three as well, along with two apiece from Ozzie Pratt, Slade Wilks, Nick Monistere and Matthew Russo.

Oldham gave up two runs over seven innings and fanned a career-high 11 batters with just a pair of walks allowed to earn the victory and improve to 6-1. After allowing two runners on with a pair of outs in the fifth in a 2-2 affair, he got a strikeout to end the inning and went on to retire the final seven batters he faced with five strikeouts during that stretch.

The Chanticleers (27-18, 11-11) opened the scoring with a run in the second. Caden Bodine, who had two of CCU’s four hits, opened the frame with a double to center. He went to third on a groundout, before scoring on a Zack Beach groundout for the early lead.

The Golden Eagles tied the game in the bottom half of the inning on a Monistere home run to left, his eighth of the season.

Southern Miss then took the lead in the third on a Wilks single up the middle, plating McIntyre who doubled two batters earlier.

A Bodine homer to center in the fourth, his fifth of the year, tied the game at 2-2, before Southern Miss tallied the final five runs of the contest.

The Golden Eagles took the lead for good in the fifth with a pair of runs. After a strikeout to open the frame, McIntrye single and then scored from first on a Pratt double. Pratt later scored on a Gillespie double to make the score 4-2.

With two outs in the seventh, Southern Miss added to its lead with two additional runs. After a Gillespie single and a Carson Paetow walk, Monistere drove in the first run with a single down the third-base line, before Russo added an RBI single of his own.

Gillespie then knocked in the final run, McIntyre again scoring from first after singling, with an RBI double in the eighth.

Riley Eikhoff (5-1) gave up four runs on 10 hits with no walks and five strikeouts to suffer the loss. He was the first of five Chanticleer pitchers.

Game two of the series is set for Saturday at 2 p.m.

Game 2

Southern Miss ignited the offense with a five-run third inning, leading to a 7-3 series-clinching victory over Coastal Carolina. 

“Another great game by our guys today in all aspects,” Southern Miss head coach Christian Ostrander said. “Offensively, on the mound and defensively. To go out and secure that series today was huge.” 

The Golden Eagles desperately needed a series victory over a Q1 team for postseason reasons, and they did just that. 

Golden Eagles starter Niko Mazza followed Billy Oldham’s Friday night game with a stellar performance on the mound. Mazza pitched a line of 6.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 Ks on 113 TP. 

“Cutter was the go-to pitch today,” Mazza said. “It was playing pretty well.” 

Mazza and Oldham have come into their roles as starting pitchers throughout the season, and the past three weekends, they have been nothing short of spectacular. Mazza did start on Friday night at the beginning of the season, but Oldham took over that role three weeks ago. Since then, the duo has pitched for a combined 1.98 ERA, which is vital to the staff, which has depleted so many arms. 

“Well, they know they got to put the pitching staff on their back,” Ostrander said. “They are the alphas of the staff that need to go out there and do what they did last weekend and do what they did this weekend. We have a lot of options tomorrow.”  

Coastal Carolina took the lead in the top of the third inning with a two-RBI single from Graham Brown to go up 2-0. 

Southern Miss answered immediately in the bottom of the third inning when Gabe Broadus singled up the middle and Dalton McIntyre brought him home with an RBI-double.

 Slade Wilks singled to center field, extending his hitting streak to 20 games in a row. Davis Gillespie took a base on balls, and then Carson Paetow blasted his ninth homer of the year. The ball traveled 395 feet and 104 miles per hour, bringing three runs across, putting Southern Miss ahead 5-2. 

Southern Miss added single runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings, one of which came from Ozzie Pratt, who collected his third home run of the day. 

Pratt had a very productive day from the plate, going 3-4 with two RBIs. 

“I kind of just golfed it [his home run],” Pratt said. “If you go watch it, I assure you I was on the fairway and win probably helped it. But hey it went out; a home run is a home run.”  

Southern Miss will have a chance to sweep Coastal Carolina tomorrow; they are only 1-5 in sweep games this season. 

“They know. We are at a point where that every game is important. For us to add to that tradition of excellence everyone is important,” Ostrander said. 

Southern Miss improved to 30-17, 14-9 in the Sun Belt. 

The first pitch tomorrow is set for 11 AM. 

Game 3

Gabe Broadus lifted Southern Miss past Coastal Carolina 6-5 in seven innings with an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth in Sunday’s series finale. 

“Great win, that was a dogfight,” Southern Miss head coach Christian Ostrander said. “It was a battle in so many ways. Not just competing against them, but also the weather with a delay in there.” 

The game started two hours earlier than initially scheduled and had a drop-dead time 2:30 for the Chanticleers to make their flight tonight. This is why the game only lasted seven innings and ended at 2:30 PM sharp. 

A rain delay that lasted approximately 50 minutes, injuries, and reviews all contributed to the game’s prolonged duration and the inability to play the full nine innings. 

The flow of the game just felt off, but Southern Miss was able to weather that storm and kept punching Coastal back when they would punch them. 

Cole Boswell started the day for Southern Miss on the mound and had the longest outing of his career. He threw 3 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and a walk with no strikeouts. He gave Southern Miss the starter out of the gate they needed to piece together the rest of the game. 

“Cole was lights out,” Ostrander said. “He gave us everything we needed. We needed not just a guy who could start and get us one or two, but a guy who could go as deep as he could. He pitched with a lot of conviction and confidence, and I was very proud of him.” 

With Boswell tearing it up on the mound, the Golden Eagle bats got going in the bottom half of the third inning. After back-to-back walks, Slade Wilks continued his hitting streak with a 2RBI-double to put Southern Miss ahead 2-0. 

Wilks’s hitting streak has now extended to 21 games in a row, the longest since 2015. 

“There is some luck in there and I’m just constantly getting my swing off,” Wilks said. “I try to take the best pitches when I can.” 

After Wilks’s double, Davis Gillespie brought him home with an RBI single to put Southern Miss on top 3-0. 

Coastal did answer in the top of the fifth, and it all started on a nasty collision at first base between Nick Monistere and Ty Dooley. Dooley bunted and tried to reach first base, but he ran his knee into Monistere’s back. Both were down for quite some time, and Dooley stayed in, and Monistere had to come out of the game. 

“He got a pretty good knee in the kidney/ribs area,” Ostrander said. “We are going to get him X-rayed to make sure nothing is broken.” 

Ostrander did mention that Monistere wanted to keep playing but that he decided to pull him. 

The play allowed a Coastal runner to score, cutting the deficit to 3-1 before Caden Bodine singled up the middle for a 2 RBI game-tying hit. 

But Southern Miss responded in the bottom half of the fifth, with Wilks scoring another RBI with a single and Gillespie following him with an RBI double to put Southern Miss back ahead 5-3. 

Coastal answered instantly with several hits and a couple of runs in the top of the sixth to tie the game back at five. 

That led to Broadus’s go-ahead RBI double to win the game in the bottom of the sixth. 

The win gave Southern Miss just their second sweep of the season. They were previously 1-5 on the season in potential sweeps. 

“It’s so hard to do at this level,” Ostrander said. “Our message to the guys before the game was you got an angry dog backed into a corner and the best thing, I know how to do to defeat that is go right at him. You can’t stay back or else they will get you. So, I think our guys competed really hard and they wanted it.” 

Colby Allen came in and shut down the Chanticleers in the last two innings, earning the win, his seventh on the season. 

“It’s a huge step for us,” Allen said. “We kept fighting this weekend and took it one game at a time.” 

Southern Miss improved to 31-17 on the season and 15-9 in conference play. Their RPI also shot up with a Q1 sweep, now sitting at 39. 

They do not have a midweek this week and will be back in action next weekend at Arkansas State (20-26-1, 7-16-1). 

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