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USM’s six home runs Sunday help USM clinch C-USA baseball series over UTSA.

Sargent’s 3 HRs tie school record in Golden Eagles’ 9-5 win over Roadrunners
USM baseball tops UTSA, 9-5, Sunday
Published: May. 15, 2022 at 11:52 PM CDT
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University of Southern Mississippi sports Information Department

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Christopher Sargent tied his own school record by hitting three of six Golden Eagle home runs swatted Sunday as No. 14 University of Southern Mississippi defeated University of Texas-San Antonio 9-5 at Pete Taylor Park.

The victory not only gave the Golden Eagles (38-14, 20-7 Conference USA) their first weekend conference series in three weeks, but dissipated some of the funk accumulated during a recent stretch that saw the Golden Eagles drop six-of-nine games.

The win also set up a situation where USM can earn the No. 1 seed in next week’s C-USA postseason tournament and do no worse than tie for the conference regular-season crown with a win Thursday in the first game at Middle Tennessee State University in the final weekend series of the regular season.

The Golden Eagles will start the week two games ahead of Louisiana Tech University and three games up on both MTSU and UTSA in the C-USA standings.

USM will face the Blue Raiders (28-20, 17-10) on Thursday (6 p.m.), Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (1 p.m.).

The Golden Eagles, who have won 20 league games for a sixth-consecutive season, cranked out 12 hits Sunday, with seven of them going for extra bases.

Five Golden Eagles turned in multiple-hit efforts, including three from Sargent and two each from Reece Ewing, Dustin Dickerson, Blake Johnson and Slade Wilks.

Sargent, who hit three home runs in a 2021 Oxford Regional game against Southeast Missouri State, drove in four runs Sunday with a two-run home run and two solo shots. He has 18 home runs on the season.

Ewing, who returned from a bruised wrist recently, drove in three runs with a two-run, home run and a double.

Dickerson had two singles and scored twice, Johnson singled twice. Wilks hit his eight home run of the season, while Carson Paetow also hit a solo homer, his 12th of the year.

After falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first inning on Ryan Flores’ 10th home of the year, the Golden Eagles rallied for three runs in the bottom half of the frame.

After an out, Dickerson singled and scored on Ewing’s double before Sargent launched his first home run of the to give USM a 3-2 lead.

It didn’t last. UTSA came back with a three-spot of its own against USM starter Hurston Waldrep to go ahead 5-3 in the third inning.

Waldrep gave up four hits in the inning, including a two-run single to Chase Keng and a run-scoring hit to Shane Sirdashney.

Waldrep allowed five runs on seven hits in three innings, He walked none, struck out six.

The Golden Eagles tied the game in their half of the third inning as Sargent and Wilks belted back-to-back homers. It was the second time this season that the duo hit back-to-back homers in a game.

USM then took the lead for good with two more runs in the fourth on Ewing’s ninth homer of the year.

The final two runs for the Golden Eagles also came via a homer, when Sargent added his third home run of the day in the seventh inning and Paetow opened the eighth inning with his 12th of the year.

Paetow homered in each game of the series and Sunday’s six home runs were the most by USM since swatting six against Ole Miss on June 7, 2021.

Justin Storm (2-0), the third of five Golden Eagle pitchers, fanning two over 1 2/3 innings. Storm coaxed a big double-play ball to get out of one inning and then added the two strikeouts too boot.

Landon Harper entered in the eighth inning with two runners on and no outs after Garrett Ramsey was hit in the leg with a batted ball and had to leave the game.

Harper got consecutive strikeouts and a flyout to end the threat and then retired the Roadrunners in order in the ninth to earn his 10th save. He became the first Golden Eagle to register 10 or more saves in a season since Nick Sandlin collected 12 in 2016.

UTSA reliever Luke Malone (7-3) suffered the loss by allowing five runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings. He walked one, struck out one.

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