Golden Eagles grab 4-3 win over UAB to open C-USA Championship
Southern Miss Sports Information
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Slade Wilks broke a tie game with a mammoth home run to right field in the bottom of the fifth to lead No. 14 Southern Miss over UAB 4-3 Wednesday night in the Conference USA Championship opener at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
In a game that started over five hours late due to rain delays earlier in the day, the Golden Eagles improved to 42-14 on the season as they won their sixth game in a row. UAB fell to 31-24.
Danny Lynch led the 11-hit Golden Eagle attack with three hits, while Gabe Montenegro and Wilks added two apiece.
UAB, which won the season series over the Golden Eagles in Birmingham earlier this spring, took the early lead with an unearned run in the second inning.
Southern Miss tied the game in the bottom of the frame as Christopher Sargent opened the inning with double to center. Wilks then singled to shortstop whose throw to first was late and wild and allowed Sargent to score on the play to make the score 1-1.
UAB retook the lead with a solo home run by Christian Hall to start the fourth inning, his 11th of the year, but again the Eagle tied the game in the bottom of the inning.
Lynch opened the stanza with a single and later went to second on a passed ball. Carson Paetow then singled to right and went to second on the throw to the plate to keep Lynch at third. Both runners then advanced on a sacrifice fly by Blake Johnson that tied the score at 2-2. Paetow then gave the Golden Eagles the lead when UAB starter Jackson Reynolds was called for a balk allowing the freshman to score.
A home run by Josh Sears tied the game in the fifth as he belted his 18th of the year, but the Eagles went ahead for good on Wilks’ homer.
Southern Miss starter Tanner Hall gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts to earn the victory. It was the sixth double-digit strikeout performance by the Ferriss Trophy winner, Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy semifinalist.
Dalton Rogers then returned three of four hitters before Landon Harper retired the final five Blazers to collect his 11th save.
Reynolds (2-6) suffered the loss after giving up four runs on nine hits over 4 2/3 innings with a walk and five strikeouts.
With the win, the Golden Eagles advance to Friday when they play the winner of Florida Atlantic/UTSA in a 10 a.m., contest. UAB will face the loser of the FAU/UTSA affair at 7:30 p.m.
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