Lynch gives USM walk-off win
Published 8:44 am Friday, March 25, 2016
HATTIESBURG — The last time Tim Lynch smacked a walk-off hit, he wasn’t wearing a Southern Miss uniform.
That changed Thursday night.
The senior first baseman lined a two-strike, two-run, walk-off single just inside the right-field foul line in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Golden Eagles to a 6-5 win over Texas-San Antonio.
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“I actually think I had a couple in high school and maybe a couple in travel ball,” said Lynch, not only drenched but dripping shaving cream after a postgame pie-to-the-face/Powerade shower fromhis teammates. “Definitely, to do it here at The Pete is awesome, and the fans are great, but to do it especially in a game like this. It’s cool to hit the walk-off, but at the end of the day, we won the game, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Southern Miss (17-6, 3-1 Conference USA) logged only its second one-run victory of the season but second in its last three games. The Roadrunners (10-11, 1-3) dropped their third consecutive game.
Southern Miss trailed 5-4 entering the ninth inning, but quickly loaded the bases.
Pinch-hitter Tracy Hadley was hit by a pitch by reliever Patrick Herbelin to open the inning. Herbelin was replaced by Karan Patel (1-3), who walked Nick Dawson on four pitches.
Dylan Burdeaux moved both runners over with a sacrifice bunt, and UTSA elected to load the bases by intentionally walking Jake Sandlin, who had shared C-USA’s Hitter of the Week honors and extended his team-best hitting streak to 10 games earlier in the game.
The move set up a potential game-ending double play opportunity, or at least a force play at any base, but also brought up Lynch, the Golden Eagles’ No. 3 hitter who came in hitting .352 with a team-high 22 RBIs
Lynch laced a 2-2 breaking pitch down the line, scoring Hadley and Dawson with the game-tying and game-winning runs, respectively.
“He’d been throwing a lot of breaking balls all night, so I had a feeling he was going to throw a breaking ball and I wanted to get the bat head out there,” Lynch said. “I didn’t want to let anything get in on me, and I think I’ve done a pretty good job this year of hitting with two strikes. I take a lot pride in not striking out, and I think it’s a part of the game where if you don’t strike out, the game rewards you.”