Southern Miss shuts out Louisiana in 4-0 win

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 11:51 PM CDT
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Southern Miss Sports Information

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Matthew Etzel provided the offense and Tanner Hall threw eight scoreless innings as nationally-ranked Southern Miss shut out Louisiana 4-0 in a Sun Belt Conference series opener Thursday night at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.

The Golden Eagles (36-15 overall, 21-7 Sun Belt) extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 14 games and took a half-game lead in the league standings by virtue of the Coastal Carolina-Marshall game getting rained out in Conway, S.C.

Game Two of the USM-Louisiana series will take place at 6 p.m. Friday on Scott Berry Night.

Berry, who announced earlier this week his intention of retiring from coaching at the end of his 14th season with the program, will be recognized along with his family on the field prior to the game.

Fans are encouraged to get to their seats early for the contest as the ceremony will take place at approximately 5:40 p.m.

The Golden Eagles, who had been averaging 9.6 runs a contest over the first 13 games of this current streak, managed to score in just one inning against the Cajuns (35-19, 17-11).

Reece Ewing opened the fifth with a single up the middle. After an infield hit by Nick Monistere and a fielder’s choice by Carson Paetow for the first out of the frame, Rodrigo Montenegro walked to load the bases.

Etzel, who also doubled in his first at bat of the contest, hammered the first ball he saw from Louisana starter Jackson Hezuh over the right-field wall for the only runs the Golden Eagles needed. It was Etzel’s sixth homer of the year and first grand slam.

That was all Hall needed as he mowed down the Cajun hitters all evening, which included 12 strikeouts and just one walk.

Hall had nine strikeouts over the first four innings – which included fanning the side in the fourth inning. After giving up a leadoff double to start the second inning, Hall retired 16 batters in a row before giving up a walk in the seventh.

He also allowed back-to-back singles in the eighth with one out, but got a ground out and his final strikeout on his career-high 114th pitch to end his outing.

Hall (11-3) then finished his night’s activities by taking a curtain call from the Golden Eagle faithful after that final out in the eighth. His season win total ranks tied for second on the school career charts, while moving into sixth place in career strikeouts with 278, leaping over Walker Powell (275), Nick Sandlin (268), Frankie McLendon (267) and Ray Guy (266).

Justin Storm finished the game by retiring all three batters he faced on 11 pitches, finishing off the first shutout of the Ragin’ Cajuns this season and the first since losing to the Golden Eagles 5-0 last season in Lafayette, La.

Nezuh (8-5) allowed four runs on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings to suffer the loss.

USM’s Christopher Sargent extended his team-best hitting streak to 16 games with a fourth-inning double.

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