Southern Miss splits two with Texas State

Published 8:25 pm Friday, May 17, 2024

HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss had one winning streak end and another begin on Friday.

After losing 7-5 in the completion of a suspended game, Southern Miss rallied in its regularly-scheduled game against Texas State to win 6-3 as the teams split a pair of contests Friday at Pete Taylor Park.

The Golden Eagles (36-18, 19-10 Sun Belt Conference) had their season-best eight-game winning streak snapped with the loss in the first game, but with the win clinched the No. 2 seed in next week’s Sun Belt Conference Championship. The league tournament begins Tuesday in Montgomery, Alabama.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Southern Miss and Texas State (27-28, 13-16) finish the regular season Saturday at 1 p.m.

In the scheduled Friday game, Matthew Russo hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning and Slade Wilks drove in four runs for the home squad.

With the game tied 3-3 in the eighth, Russo led off by taking a 3-2 pitch the other way and it banged off the Coca-Cola sign in left-center field to break the deadlock.

After a walk and a couple of outs, Ozzie Pratt singled. Wilks then followed with a two-run double to center to make it 6-3.

Wilks already had extended his hitting streak to 27 games after homering in his first at bat — a two-run shot just inside the foul pole in left. His 14th home run of the season tied him for fifth on Southern Miss’ career home run list, with 46.

Niko Mazza pitched 6 1/3 innings for Southern Miss. Reliever Chander Best came on in the seventh and retired five of eight batters — he allowed an intentional walk and two hits — to register the win and improve to 3-0.

Colby Allen retired all three men he faced in the ninth, with two strikeouts, to earn his fifth save.

In the suspended game, the Golden Eagles were down 7-5 when play resumed in the bottom of the eighth. The Golden Eagles got runners on in both the eighth and ninth innings but could not score.

Texas State had jumped out to a 7-1 advantage on Thursday night, before the Golden Eagles rallied for three runs in the sixth inning. Russo hit an RBI single and Dalton McIntyre doubled to drive in two more runs.

Davis Gillespie registered a run-scoring single an inning later, but that was as close as the home team could get.