Pair of homers help lift USM to 8-3 win over Valparaiso

USM baseball bounces back to take 8-3 win
Updated: Mar. 11, 2023 at 8:01 PM CST
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Southern Miss Sports Information

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Dustin Dickerson and Danny Lynch each homered to lead Southern Miss to an 8-3 victory Saturday afternoon over Valparaiso at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.

The Golden Eagles (9-5) snapped a two-game losing streak as they evened the three-game series, The deciding game of the set with the Beacons (7-5) will take place at 11 a.m., Sunday.

The contest was moved up two hours to try and beat the bad weather expected later in the day.

It was Valpo that jumped out quickly in this contest. Kaleb Hannahs and Nolan Tucker each singled on the first pitch they saw to open the game off Golden Eagle starter Matt Adams. Kyle Schmack followed with a run-scoring double before Brady Renfro added an RBI groundout for the early Beacon advantage.

Valpo increased its lead to 3-0, two innings later, as they took advantage of a fielding error with the bases loaded by Dickerson.

Dickerson, though, made up for it in the bottom half of the frame. After Creek Robertson singled and Matthew Etzel walked with one out, Dickerson blasted a pitch off Connor Lockwood that hit off the light pole just to the third base side of the big wall in center field. It was Dickerson’s first home run since hitting one in the 2021 NCAA Oxford Regional against Southeast Missouri State, spanning 331 at bats between home runs.

After that, Adams settled down and retired 12 of his final 13 batters from the fourth inning on, giving up just a single over that time. Adams finished with seven innings and allowed all three runs on seven hits and two walks with seven strikeouts to earn the victory, improving to 2-0.

The Golden Eagles took the lead for good in the seventh as Etzel scored on a triple by Slade Wilks that banged high off the center field wall.

Southern Miss then added four insurance runs in the eighth for good measure. After the first two players recorded outs, Rodrigo Montenegro walked. Danny Lynch followed with a blast to right for his second homer of the year. The Golden Eagles did not stop there. After Robertson was hit by a pitch, Etzel drove him home with a triple down the right field line and then he scored via a wild pitch.

All five of those runs came off Beacon reliever Grant Jablonski, who gave up five runs on five hits with a walk and no strikeouts to suffer the loss and fall to 0-2. Lockwood finished his outing by giving up three runs on five hits with five walks and six strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings.

Kros Sivley retired all six batters he faced over the final two innings, with three strikeouts, to earn his first save.

Dickerson and Chris Sargent led the 10-hit Golden Eagle attack with two each.

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