Southern Miss walks off Troy, into Sun Belt semifinals

Published 8:50 pm Thursday, May 25, 2023

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Southern Miss walked off Troy, and walked right into the Sun Belt Conference tournament semifinals.

Danny Lynch delivered an RBI single with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Southern Miss a 7-6 victory over Troy in a winners’ bracket game on Thursday.

Southern Miss (39-16) won for the 17th time in 18 games and was rewarded with a day off. It’ll play Saturday at 9 a.m. in the semifinals against the winner of Friday afternoon’s elimination game between Troy (39-19) and Appalachian State (28-24).

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Troy and Appalachian State will play Friday at 3 p.m. They also faced each other in the final series of the regular season and the first round of the conference tournament, making this their fifth meeting in a week. Troy won three of the first four.

Dustin Dickerson was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBis for Southern Miss on Thursday. Blake Johnson also hit a two-run double and scored on a single by Matthew Etzel, sliding in just ahead of a tag at home plate, to put the Golden Eagles ahead 6-3 in the sixth inning.

Troy rallied to tie it in the eighth, however. Tremayne Cobb Jr. hit a two-run single and another run scored on a fielder’s choice to make it 6-6.

In the bottom of the ninth, Slade Wilks hit the first pitch of the inning for a single and Christopher Sargent worked a walk. After a strikeout, Lynch lashed the first pitch he saw to the gap in right center field for the game-winning single.

It was Lynch’s only hit in five at-bats.

Nick Monistere had two hits and scored twice for the Golden Eagles, while Etzel was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.

William Sullivan was 3-for-4 with a triple and three runs scored for Troy, while Cobb had two hits and two RBIs.

Former Warren Central star Shane Lewis, the Sun Belt Player of the Year, continued to struggle in the tournament. He went 0-for-4 and is now 0-for-9 with six strikeouts in the Trojans’ first two games.