HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) _ The University of Southern Mississippi Saturday afternoon again relied on what turned out to be a tried-and-true recipe for success this past week.
The Golden Eagles got another dose of stellar pitching and just enough offense to corral a 4-0 victory over the College of the Holy Cross at Pete Taylor Park.
The win gave the Golden Eagles (8-5) a sweep of the Crusaders (1-14) and extended USM’s winning streak to four games.
Left-hander Adam Jackson allowed two hits, walked two and struck out two. Jackson was followed by Cody Carroll (1-0), who struck out six and allowed just one hit in three innings.
Gabe Shepard, Hunter Stanley and Ryan Och combined on two, perfect innings to preserve USM’s second shutout of the season. Holy Cross stranded seven runners, including five in scoring position.
“We’ve got a lot of good pieces, and (pitching coach Christian Ostrander) has been using them really well coming out of the bullpen,” USM coach Scott Berry said. “Those guys have a lot of confidence.”
USM left fielder Gabe Montenegro led off the USM first with his first home run of the season, a long fly that carried over the right-field fence.
“It feels good (to win) after what happened before that,” Montenegro said of a five-game skid by the Golden Eagles. “But really, we’re just trying to keep going and just looking forward to the next game.”
USM tacked on a run in the sixth inning on a two-out single by third baseman Danny Lynch, who had just entered the game in the top of the inning.
The Golden Eagles wrapped up the scoring in the seventh, pushing across two runs without benefit of a hit. USM mashed together three walks and a hit batter to load the bases twice and scored on a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch.
Southern Miss collected nine hits and coaxed eight walks from five Crusader pitchers, but the Golden Eagles once again left double-digit men stranded, leaving 11 on base Saturday.
Will McGillis turned in a two-hit effort for a second consecutive game and Bryant Bowen, who started at catcher for all three games of the series, also had a pair of hits.
Montenegro, who leads the team with 14 runs scored, scored twice Saturday.
Holy Cross starting pitcher Garret Keough (0-2) took the loss, allowing a run on five hits in 4 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out three.
USM will spend the next four games on the road, stopping in at Louisiana-Lafayette at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday before opening Conference USA play at Louisiana Tech March 15-17.