Hall tosses 9-inning gem as USM wins SBC tourney opener
USM offense ends with 14 hits in a 7-1 win Wednesday afternoon over James Madison
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WDAM) - A few days after being named Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of Year, University of Southern Mississippi ace Tanner Hall lived up to the billing.
Hall twirled a complete-game three-hitter Wednesday afternoon at Riverwalk Stadium as the Golden Eagles bopped James Madison University, 7-1, in the opening round of the 2023 SBC Baseball Championship.
“I thought Tanner Hall did an incredible job (Wednesday), one of the best I’ve seen in my time as a baseball coach,” James Madison coach Marlin Ikenberry said.
In the regular-season meeting with JMU, Hall was roughed up for 12 hits and five runs (three earned) in 5 1/3 innings.
Wednesday, Hall (12-3) allowed only an unearned run in the fourth inning. He struck out nine and walked none, covering the distance in 102 pitches.
“That was definitely in my head,” Hall said of his first meeting with the Dukes. “Once I found out that was who I was going to be going against, I I definitely wanted to go out and do better than I did that last time.”
Hall capped his outing with a caught-looking strikeout of JMU second baseman Mike Mancini.
Ikenberry said Hall crossed up JMU.
“He pitched us backwards,” Ikenberry said. “He threw his off-speed pitches early in the count and then located his fastball when he needed to.”
Hall’s performance not only kept the Dukes at bay, it required the Golden Eagles to use just one pitcher.
‘An incredible performance,” USM coach Scott Berry said. “Now, everybody′s rested and everybody’s available going forward.”
After JMU (32-24) nicked Hall for a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning USM freshman second baseman Nick Monistere gave The Golden Eagles the lead for good with a two-run home run in the bottom of the inning.
USM senior outfielder Reece Ewing drove in three runs, including a two-run single in USM’s three-run sixth inning.
The Golden Eagles (38-16) collected 14 hits, with each players in the starting batting order picking up at least one hit.
Second-seeded USM will face Troy University (39-18) at 4 p.m. Thursday in a winner’s bracket game. The third-seeded Trojans advanced with a 10-9, walk-off victory in extra innings over Appalachian State University (27-24).
“They’re a good ballclub, and they’ve shown that all year,” Berry said. “They’re trying to build that (postseason) resume’.”
USM won the regular-season, best-of-three series with the Trojans in Troy, Ala.
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