Two Golden Eagle Pitchers Combine to Shut Out Florida Atlantic 5-0 to Advance in C-USA Championship
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (USM Athletics) - Hunter Riggins tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings and the Golden Eagle offense erupted for five runs over their final two at-bats as 14th ranked Southern Miss advanced to the semifinals of the 2022 Conference USA Baseball Championship with a 5-0 shutout of fourth-seeded Florida Atlantic Thursday night at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
Owls pitcher Jacob Josey kept Southern Miss off balance at the plate for much of his 6 2/3 inning start as he issued just one hit and two walks over his first five innings on the hill. In the seventh, however, the Golden Eagles got an RBI-single by catcher Rodrigo Montenegro to plate third baseman Danny Lynch from second for the only run they would need.
Shortstop Dustin Dickerson drew a bases-loaded walk later in the frame to bring home second baseman Will McGillis, and Southern Miss added three more in the bottom of the eighth on doubles by Lynch and right fielder Carson Paetow. Dalton Rogers, who came on with one on and one out and the eighth, allowed just one baserunner over the final 1.2 innings to earn his sixth save of the year.
With the win, Southern Miss improved to 43-15 overall and advances to take on UTSA on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The Golden Eagles dropped a 7-6 contest to the Roadrunners earlier in the day and will have to defeat UTSA twice in order to advance to the title game. FAU, meanwhile, wraps up the 2022 campaign at 35-23.
While the Owls failed to scratch across a run, Florida Atlantic had its best scoring chance in the third when Riggins issued three consecutive two-out walks. FAU left fielder Dylan Goldstein then drove the second pitch he saw during the ensuing at-bat deep toward his counterpart, Reece Ewing, but the Southern Miss outfielder timed his jump perfectly to snare the ball and thwart the rally.
Florida Atlantic had another scoring opportunity in the fifth when catcher Caleb Pendleton and shortstop Armando Albert hit back-to-back, one-out singles. Riggins, however, responded with a strikeout and a ground ball to second to keep the shutout intact. He would finish the day with seven strikeouts and three walks while scattering five hits to improve to 8-4.
Josey (4-5) took the loss for FAU, allowing two runs on five hits while walking four and striking out a pair. Lynch finished 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and an RBI for Southern Miss and was joined by Wilks and Lynch in the multiple-hit club.
Want more WLOX news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Copyright 2022 WLOX. All rights reserved.