USM baseball tops top-seeded Auburn 7-2 to stay alive at NCAA Regional

USM stays alive at Auburn Regional by slaying top-seeded Tigers, 7-2, Saturday
Published: Jun. 3, 2023 at 3:54 PM CDT
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AUBURN, Ala. (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi rode four home runs, including two from shortstop Dustin Dickerson, to top top-seeded Auburn University, 7-2, Saturday in an elimination game at the Auburn Regional at Plainsman Park.

Second-seeded USM (42-18) will meet third-seeded Samford University in a rematch at 2 p.m. Sunday.

The Bulldogs topped USM 4-2 in 10 innings Friday to open the regional, but then fell Saturday night, 5-4, to the fourth-seeded University of Pennsylvania,

The USM-Samford winner will turn around and meet the Quakers at 8 p.m. Sunday in the regional championship round.

Auburn (34-23-1), regional host and 13th national seed, saw its season come to an end after losses to Penn and the Golden Eagles.

USM wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, taking a 3-0 lead in the first inning.

After center fielder Matt Etzel reached on an error and designated hitter Slade Wilks walked, first baseman Christopher Sargent hit his 13th home run of the season to right field.

Dickerson led off the third inning with his seventh home run, then swatted his eighth in the fifth inning.

A sacrifice fly by catcher Rodrigo Montenegro in the top of the sixth inning put USM up 6-0.

Top-seeded Auburn (34-22-1) broke through in the bottom of the sixth inning on run-scoring singles by Chris Stanfield and Cooper McMurray, but USM got a run back in the top of the eighth inning when third baseman Danny Lynch cranked his 12th homer of the season.

USM starting pitcher Billy Oldham (7-3) allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out one.

USM reliever Will Armistead finished the game for the Golden Eagles. He kept Auburn scoreless over the final 3 1/3 innings, scattering five hits while walking two and striking out three.

Auburn starter Tommy Vail (5-2) took the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits. He walked two and struck out four.

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