Southern Miss zooms past Air Force in opening weekend finale

Published 10:42 pm Monday, February 19, 2024

HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss finished a rare long weekend on the baseball diamond with a smile.

Carson Paetow hit a two-run homer and Southern Miss scored five runs in the middle innings to defeat Air Force 7-5 Monday at Pete Taylor Park.

Ozzie Pratt went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and Lawson Odom was 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored for the Golden Eagles (3-1). They won two out of three games in their opening-weekend series vs. Marist before adding another win against Air Force (1-3).

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Air Force made a short trip to Hattiesburg after losing two out of three games over the weekend against Mississippi State in Starkville.

The Falcons led Southern Miss 3-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning before the Golden Eagles surged ahead. Braden Luke tied it with an RBI single, then Gabe Broadus walked and Odom was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to give USM a 5-3 lead.

Paetow’s two-run home run in the seventh inning made it 7-3.

Jake Greiving and Chris Stallings each hit an RBI double in the eighth inning to pull Air Force back to within 7-5, but it couldn’t get closer.

Southern Miss reliever Landen Payne worked around a two-out hit in the ninth inning to earn his first save of the season.

Payne pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Reliever Colby Allen worked one inning to earn the win, while starter Will Amristead got a no-decision despite a good outing.

Armistead allowed one run, two hits and one walk while striking out nine batters in five innings.
Southern Miss returns to action Wednesday as it goes on the road to face New Orleans. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.