USM outlasts Middle Tennessee St. 2-1 in 10 innings
From University of Southern Mississippi Sports Information Department
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – Will McGillis’ sacrifice fly in the 10th inning lifted No. 19 University Southern Mississippi to a Conference USA series-opening victory over Middle Tennessee 2-1 Friday night at Pete Taylor Park.
The Golden Eagles (30-15, 17 Conference USA) won 30 or more victories in each of the last 19 seasons. Middle Tennessee (21-22-1, 10-14-1) dropped its fifth consecutive game.
The game remained scoreless through nine innings as Golden Eagle starter Hunter Stanley and Blue Raider left-hander Trent Siebert locked horns in a pitchers’ duel.
Stanley carried a perfect game into the sixth inning, retiring the first 16 batters he faced before giving up a one-out double that jumped over the first-base bag into the right field corner.
For the game, Stanley fanned a career-high 16 and allowed just two hits and three base runners total, with one runner reaching by error.
The 16 strikeouts were tied for the fourth-most in school history alongside with Ed Assaf against Spring Hill College on April 6, 1968, and Chuck Shive against Towson University on March 19, 1989.
But Siebert proved stingy, too, allowing no runs on seven hits with three walks and seven strikeouts over 7 2/3 frames. MTSU replaced Siebert in the bottom of the eighth and kept USM off the scoreboard in the ninth as the teams went to extra innings.
With Fausto Lopez on second base, USM reliever Ryan Och opened the 10th inning by getting a strikeout.
But Och balked Lopez to third before a suicide-squeeze bunt from Brett Coker gave MiTSU its lone run.
In the bottom of the 10th, with Reed Trimble placed at second, Charlie Fischer grounded out to move Trimble to third.
Christopher Sargent then hit a ball to a drawn-in second base, but the throw home was still too late to get Trimble, who came across the plate to tie the score.
Zoz then hit Billy Garrity with a pitch and Danny Lynch singled to load the bases before McGillis’ fly into right-center field brought Sargent across the with the game-winning run.
The walk-off victory was the 21st for the Golden Eagles since the start of the 2017 season and the 18th-consecutive victory for USM over Middle Tennessee.
The Golden Eagles also improved to 3-0 in extra-inning games in 2021.
Och (6-0) picked up the victory despite allowing an unearned run on a hit and a walk and a balk and a hit.
Zoz (6-2) allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits to improve to 6-0, while Zoz allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits in two innings. He struck out one.
The series continues with a 2 p.m., doubleheader Saturday.
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