Southern Miss wins fifth series opener in a row

Published 11:07 pm Friday, April 14, 2023

HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss started its weekend off right — again.

Christopher Sargent went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, Danny Lynch also drove in two runs, and the Golden Eagles beat James Madison 7-6 on Friday.

It was the fifth consecutive series-opening win for Southern Miss (20-12, 8-6 Sun Belt Conference), although it wasn’t easy.

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Sargent’s RBI single in the second inning put Southern Miss ahead 5-1, and then James Madison (20-13, 5-6) creeped back into the game. The Dukes pulled within a run three different times, including in the ninth inning when Wyatt Peifer’s RBI single cut it to 7-6 and put the tying run at third base.

Justin Storm came in from the bullpen for Southern Miss and struck out Coleman Calabrese to end the game.

Storm earned his fourth save of the season by retiring the only batter he faced. Tanner Hall (7-2) got the win despite a rare off night. The reigning Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week allowed 12 hits and five runs — both season highs — in 5 1/3 innings.

Southern Miss and James Madison will play game two of their three-game series Saturday at 11 a.m. The start was moved up three hours because of the threat of bad weather in the Pine Belt later in the afternoon. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.