Southern Miss’ late-inning rally gives head coach Scott Berry win No. 499

Southern Miss’ late-inning rally gives head coach Scott Berry win No. 499
Southern Miss’ late-inning rally gives head coach Scott Berry win No. 499(WLBT)
Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 10:55 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WLBT) - Coming off the back of their second-straight Sun Belt series win, the Southern Miss baseball team hosted a midweek contest at Pete Taylor Park against Southeastern Louisiana Tuesday night.

After exploding for seven runs in the ninth inning just two days ago, the Southern Miss bats left it late again to come back and beat the Lions 10-6 after scoring six runs in the eighth inning to give head coach Scott Berry his 499th win as the leader of the Golden Eagles’ storied program.

“I’m proud of our guys for staying the course,” Coach Berry said. “Steady wins the race. We came out early and scored three runs. We had to battle back from behind two different times... but I’m really proud of the guys and how we competed.

“I knew at the beginning of the season that because of last season’s [success], something was coming,” Coach Berry said. “I don’t keep track of that stuff. I just show up and watch our guys play and enjoy watching good baseball. Any win is not something that anybody does by himself, it’s shared with a whole lot of people.”

Southern Miss got out to an early 3-0 lead after Carson Paetow hit a solo home run on his former Vancleave High School teammate and Southeastern Lousiana pitcher, Hayden Robb, along with an RBI single from freshman Creek Robertson that scored two more Golden Eagles.

After giving up three-straight two-run innings, the slumping Golden Eagle batters needed to respond to adversity yet again to avoid a midweek upset loss on their home field.

In the top of the eighth inning, pinch hitter Rodrigo Montenegro answered the call for Southern Miss with his first at-bat of the contest.

With the bases loaded, Montenegro hit an RBI single to score two Southern Miss batters and tie the game 6-6. The home crowed erupted and Montenegro received a standing ovation for his late-game contribution.

“It is hard [to come into the game], but all you have to do is trust yourself,” Montenegro said. “It’s all about the fans, so I’m really glad they were able to experience something cool like that. I know they always want to see us win and when moments like that come, I want to make them happy, and it was awesome seeing them clapping [for me].”

Southern Miss would go on to score three more runs off a walk and back-to-back wild pitches from the Lions’ relief pitcher to increase their lead to 9-6.

Designated hitter and the season MVP thus far Slade Wilks then hit an RBI single to right field to record his third hit of the game, give Southern Miss a 10-6 lead, and increase his hitting streak to seven-straight games to ultimately seal the victory for the Golden Eagles.

Freshman pitcher Kros Sivley earned his second win of the season on the mound after coming into the game in relief.

The Southern Miss efficiency at the plate, scoring runs, and timely hitting has drastically improved over the past two games after a slow, frustrating start to the season in the batter’s box.

WLBT asked Coach Berry if the Southern Miss batters are finally seeing the ball and gaining momentum at the plate during the latter part of the season. Here is what he had to say:

Southern Miss swept Southeastern Louisiana on the season after earning their second win against the Lions Tuesday night.

The Golden Eagles will hope to keep the momentum going in the right direction as they will travel to Norfolk, Virginia Thursday to take on the current Sun Belt Conference leaders Old Dominion in a crucial league series.

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