Southern Miss drops first Sun Belt baseball series vs. Texas State

Published 4:54 pm Sunday, March 19, 2023

SAN MARCOS, Texas — Southern Miss’ first foray into the world of Sun Belt Conference baseball started well, but didn’t have the finish they were hoping for.

Texas State scored twice in the bottom of the fifth inning to take the lead for good, and then held off a couple of comeback attempts by Southern Miss to win 8-5 in the series finale on Sunday.

After losing the opener on Friday, Texas State (13-6, 2-1 Sun Belt) won the last two games of the weekend series that was the first for Southern Miss (12-7, 1-2) as a member of the Sun Belt.

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Chase Mora went 3-for-4 with a home run, double and four RBIs for the Bobcats, and Jose Gonzalez doubled and drove in two runs.

Danny Lynch hit a two-run home run in the second inning, and Carson Paetow added a solo shot in the fourth and an RBI single in the fifth as Southern Miss overcame an early 4-0 deficit to tie the game.

Texas State, however, regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Mora led off with a walk and scored on a fielder’s choice, and two batters later Ben McClain’s RBI single put the Bobcats in front 6-4. Mora added an RBI double in the sixth inning.

Southern Miss got a run back in the top of the seventh on a solo home run by Slade Wilks, and had the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth. Matthew Etzel launched a deep fly ball to center field, but McClain backpedaled, spun and caught it while crashing into the wall to end the threat.

Southern Miss also had two runners on base with two outs in the ninth, but Rhett McCaffety struck out Matthew Russo looking for the final out of the game.

Southern Miss will finish a five-game road swing and try to its two-game losing streak Tuesday at New Orleans, at 6:30 p.m. After that it returns home to Pete Taylor Park for another three-game Sun Belt series vs. Georgia Southern beginning Friday at 6 p.m.