USM scores late, but often, in 12-1 win over Southern University

USM scores late, but often, in 12-1 win over Southern University
USM (9-9, 2-3), which saw a two-game winning streak snapped. (Photo source: USM)

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - It took No. 15 University of Southern Mississippi a while to get untracked Tuesday night at Pete Taylor Park.

But once the Golden Eagles got going, they rolled to a 12-1 victory over Southern University in USM's first midweek home game of the 2018 baseball season.

Outfielder Gabe Montenegro drove in a career-high four runs with a pair of two-run singles as USM scored all its runs in its last three at-bats on its way to a seventh consecutive victory.

USM (15-4) scored at least 10 runs in a game for the eighth time this season and has scored 170 runs in 19 games. Over the last eight games, the Golden Eagles have limited the opposition to three runs or less.

The Golden Eagles broke open a scoreless game in the sixth inning on one-out singles by outfielder Matt Wallner and first baseman Hunter Slater and consecutive two-out walks to catcher Cole Donaldson, outfielder Mason Irby and shortstop LeeMarcus Boyd.

After the Jaguars (6-13) cut the lead to 2-1 on a run-scoring single by center fielder Javeyan Williams in the top of the seventh inning the Golden Eagles packaged four hits with three more walks to take an 8-1 lead in the bottom of the inning.

Donaldson and designated hitter Daniel Keating each knocked in run with a single, Boyd knocked in another on a fielder's choice and a fourth run scored on a throwing error on a force play at the plate. Montenegro capped the six-run rally with his first two-run single.

USM added four more runs in the eighth inning, including Erick Hoard's first home run as a Golden Eagle, Fred Franklin's sacrifice fly and Montenegro's second two-run single.

USM used eight pitchers, with only starter Walker Powell (two hits in two scoreless innings) going more than one inning. Jacob Weirich (3-0) picked up the win, striking out two in a scoreless sixth inning.

Reliever Brandon Sykes (0-2), the fourth of seven pitchers used by the Jaguars, took the loss, allowing two runs on two hits in 2/3 of an inning.

Montenegro, Boyd, Wallner and Keating each had two of USM's 13 hits. Keating, Wallner and Slater each scored twice, while Boyd drove in a pair of runs.

Williams and shortstop Tyler LaPorte each had two hits for Southern University.

USM will head to Boca Raton, Fla., this weekend to take on Florida Atlantic University this weekend for its first Conference USA road series of the season.

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