The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Southern Miss uses strong pitching and timely hitting to beat Coastal Carolina 5-0 to open Sun Belt tournament

Dima Mixon

MONTGOMERY, AL – Southern Miss baseball used a strong day from Billy Oldham and two swings of the bat to beat Coastal Carolina 5-0 in a defensive battle. While the score may not indicate it, it was tied at zero throughout the game until the bottom of the eighth. 

“Real proud of that win,” Southern Miss head coach Christian Ostrander said. “I thought it was a great pitcher’s duel. I thought Billy did a great job and their guy did a great job. Runs were hard to come by, but our guys stayed in the middle of the ring and finally got a chance to strike in the eighth inning,” 

Oldham threw a career-best 11 strikeouts last time Southern Miss played Coastal Carolina in the Pete. He didn’t bat an eye this afternoon, fanning nine Chanticleer batters across seven innings of work. He only allowed a single hit. 

“I was super excited to throw against them again,” Oldham said. “I know they were a good team so I knew I had to have my best stuff prepared. Even though I had a good outing last time, they can hit all of your mistakes.” 

Oldham’s outing is crucial to the win because of the tournament’s structure. Only using two pitchers, Oldham and Colby Allen, gives Southern a plethora of riches on the mound going into the winner’s bracket game. 

“Really a true four-pitch mix [from Billy today],” Ostrander said. “A few different typed spin, the changeup, and the fastball that he can command at all quadrants. So he can elevate and he can go win out and so forth. We’ve grown accustomed to it, he’s done it a lot for us.” 

Oldham’s final line on the day was: 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K’s, 105 TP.

The offense really struggled to get going for basically the entire game. They only had three hits through seven innings and a couple left on base in critical moments. 

But they eventually came through, with runners on second and third. Slade Wilks blistered a ball off the wall on a 3-0 count for a 2RBI-double to give Southern Miss the lead in the bottom of the eighth. 

Wilks extended his hitting streak to 29 games with the hit and came through for Southern Miss when they needed him. His hot streak gave Ostrander the confidence to give him the green light on the 3-0. 

“Coach Creel looked at me and I gave him the hit away sign, I thought it was the right time to do it,” Ostrander said. “He got his pitch, and he put a great swing on it.” 

In recent seasons, Wilks has not put the numbers he might have wanted to in the postseason. But with his hot streak, this could be the year USM fans see a healthy Wilks in the postseason. 

Today, he showed what that is. 

I’m just trying to keep doing what I’m doing right now,” Wilks said. “Making sure that I get my swing off on counts that I’m looking at driving a pitch.” 

After Wilk’s double, Nick Monistere blew the game open with a three-run homer to center field. The ball traveled 106 miles per hour and 416 feet for Monistere’s ninth homer of the year to put USM up 5-0. 

Carson Paetow did not play in the game, and Ostrander cited a wrist injury as his reason. Ostrander said he will be ‘day-to-day’ throughout the tournament. 

Southern Miss will take on Troy in the winner’s bracket tomorrow at 4 PM.

Leave a Comment
Donate to SM2

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Southern Mississipi. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to SM2

Comments (0)

All Southern Miss Student Media Center Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *