Southern Miss opens Sun Belt play with 4-2 win at Texas State

USM wins baseball debut in Sun Belt Conference
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 11:16 PM CDT
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Southern Miss Sports Information

SAN MARCOS, Texas (WDAM) - Blake Johnson collected two hits and drove in a pair of runs, while Southern Miss got stellar pitching from both Tanner Hall and Kros Sivley to defeat Texas State, 4-2, Friday night in the school’s first-ever Sun Belt Conference game.

The Golden Eagles (12-5, 1-0 Sun Belt) won their fourth-straight contest, while the Bobcats (11-6, 0-1) had a four-game winning streak snapped. Game two of the series takes place Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Southern Miss got on the board first in the second inning. Reece Ewing opened things by being hit by a pitch with one out. He went to second on a perfectly executed hit-and-run single by Christopher Sargent, before Johnson drove in his first run with a single to left.

The visitors increased the lead to 3-0 in the third. After having the first two batters retired, Slade Wilks and Tate Parker were both hit by pitches, before Ewing drove in the frame’s first run with a single. Parker later scored on a Texas State starter Cameron Bush wild pitch.

Johnson then completed the Golden Eagles’ scoring with a solo home run to left center to open the seventh. It was his second round-tripper of the year which was hit into a stiff wind blowing in the entire game.

USM starter Tanner Hall (3-2) kept the Bobcats hitless over the first four innings despite hitting a couple of batters and walking one through the first four innings.

Texas State opened the fifth with a walk and a single, but Hall worked out of the jam with a player getting caught off second for the first out, before getting a flyout to left and a groundout to third.

The Bobcats did get to Hall in the sixth, down 3-0. After an out, Davis Powell reached on a fielding error by Danny Lynch. After another hit by pitch, the runners moved up to second and third on a groundout to first base. With two outs, August Ramirez hit one back to Hall. Hall, who explained after the game that he saw only one out displayed on the scoreboard, tried to get the runner at third base instead of throwing the runner out at first to end the inning. Hall’s throw was dropped and allowed the runner to score from third.

Texas State’s final run scored after the next batter, Chase Mora, singled to left and driving in that tally.

That ended Hall’s day, and the Golden Eagles went to freshman Sivley who entered the game and got a strikeout to end the threat.

Hall finished with two unearned runs on two hits with two walks and four strikeouts to earn the victory, while Sivley threw the final 3 1/3 giving up two hits and fanning three to earn his second save.

Sivley fanned the first three batters he faced in his outing and only gave up a pair of singles down the stretch.

Bush got tagged with the loss for the Bobcats as he gave up three runs on four hits and a strikeout over three innings to fall to 0-1.

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