Southern Miss completes sweep of Rice with 12-2, run-rule victory Sunday

Southern Miss Golden Eagles
Southern Miss Golden Eagles(Southern Miss)
Published: Apr. 24, 2022 at 9:18 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (USM Athletics) - Carson Paetow (Vancleave) belted a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh to seal a 12-2, run-rule victory for No. 6 Southern Miss over Rice Sunday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.

The Golden Eagles (32-8 overall, 16-2 C-USA) tied a school record with their 14th victory in a row and have now won 22 of their last 24 games. The win, coupled with a Louisiana Tech loss, gives Southern Miss a four-game lead with 12 games left in the regular-season league race.

“We came out and are just trying to play consistent baseball,” said Southern Miss coach Scott Berry. “We are picking up where we left off yesterday. We just want to maintain the level of baseball that needs to be played to win baseball games.”

With the Golden Eagles leading 5-2 in the seventh, Southern Miss enjoyed its second run-rule game of the year with a season-high seven runs in the final frame.

Dustin Dickerson, Reece Ewing and Christopher Sargent started the inning with singles with the last one knocking in the frame’s first run. Gabe Montenegro then followed with a fielder’s choice with the throw from the Owl first baseman errant to second base on the force play which allowed the second run to score.

Danny Lynch later added a sacrifice fly to score Sargent. After a flyout by Will McGillis, Charlie Fischer and Blake Johnson (Gulfport) were hit by a pitch before Paetow blasted the 1-0 pitch over the center field wall to end the game. It was the ninth homer of the year by Paetow and the first grand slam for Southern Miss this season.

Golden Eagle starter Hurston Waldrep threw a complete-game, seven innings as he allowed two runs on five this with 12 strikeouts and three walks to earn the victory and improve to 4-1.

Southern Miss opened the scoring with a run-scoring double in the second by McGillis and then extended their lead to 2-0 in the third when Sargent grounded into a double play which plated a run.

Rice (11-29, 4-14) tied the game in the fourth with a two-run homer from Nathan Becker, his second, and the Owls tied the game at 2-2.

A three-run fifth, though, gave the home squad the lead for good. Paetow, who led the Eagles with three hits, doubled to start the frame. After a ground out, Ewing doubled in Paetow. After a wild pitch to send Ewing to third, Sargent hit a ball down to third. Sargent legged out the single, but the throw was wild and allowed Ewing to score on the error. Lynch then knocked in Sargent with a single to take a 5-2 advantage.

Roel Garcia gave up all three runs, two of which were earned, in the deciding inning to suffer the loss for Rice and fall to 1-2. Garcia allowed four hits and fanned one over 2 1/3 innings.

The series was the final regular season meeting between the two schools as the Golden Eagles are heading to the Sun Belt Conference next season. It was the first three-game sweep of the Owls for Southern Miss in the series. Rice notched its only sweep in the very first meeting in 2006.

The Golden Eagles return to action Tuesday when they travel to Hammond, to face Southeastern Louisiana. Game time is set for 6 p.m.

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