Cajuns drop slugfest to Golden Eagles, set to face Texas State at SBC tourney
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Southern Miss’ Danny Lynch hit a pair of grand slam home runs while Christopher Sargent and Reece Ewing hit back-to-back RBI singles in the eighth inning as the No. 23-ranked Golden Eagles claimed an 11-9 win over Louisiana in the regular-season finale for both teams on Saturday at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
Louisiana (36-20, 18-12 SBC), which will be the No. 4 seed in next week’s Guardian Credit Union Sun Belt Conference Baseball Championship presented by Troy University, will play its first game at 7:30 on Wednesday against fifth-seeded Texas State at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, Ala.
The Ragin’ Cajuns belted three home runs in the first inning off USM starter Matt Adams as Max Marusak and Kyle DeBarge belted solo homers in the first four pitches of the game. Heath Hood added a two-run shot later in the inning to give Louisiana a 4-0 lead.
Lynch tied the game in the bottom of the first inning with a grand slam to right field before Dustin Dickerson’s solo blast in the third for a 5-4 advantage.
Louisiana came back to tie the game at 5-5 in the fourth on DeBarge’s RBI grounder to plate CJ Willis before the Ragin’ Cajuns scored three times in the fifth to take an 8-5 lead as Conor Higgs belted a solo home run, Julian Brock scored on an error and Will Veillon drove in Hood from third with a sacrifice bunt.
Southern Miss would load the bases in the bottom of the fifth and Lynch would homer for the second time with his grand slam giving the Golden Eagles a 9-8 lead.
The Ragin’ Cajuns would battle back in the following inning when DeBarge singled, stole second and scored on Higgs’ triple into the right-center field gap.
Cooper Rawls (10-1) came relieved Landrey Wilkerson in the seventh inning after Lynch drew a walk to load the bases. Rawls got the Ragin’ Cajuns out of the inning after getting a pair of strikeouts and getting a pop-up to thwart the threat.
The Golden Eagles would break the deadlock in the eighth after Dickerson reached on a one-out error and Rodrigo Montenegro was hit by a pitch. Sargent would follow with a single through the right side to score Dickerson before Ewing followed with an RBI single to score pinch-runner Brady Faust to give USM the lead.
Justin Storm (3-1) pitched the final 2.1 innings to earn the win for the Golden Eagles. Sargent went 4-for-5 at the plate for USM with Dickerson and Ewing getting two hits each.
Marusak went 3-for-5 at the plate to lead Louisiana, which recorded 13 hits and left nine men on base. DeBarge, Higgs and Hood drove in two runs each for Louisiana.
SBC Championship Schedule
TUESDAY, MAY 23
G1: Riverwalk Stadium • 3:00 p.m. CT
No. 10 Seed Old Dominion vs. No. 7 Seed James Madison – Single Elimination
G2: Riverwalk Stadium • 6:30 p.m. CT
No. 9 Seed Georgia Southern vs. No. 8 Seed Georgia State – Single Elimination
WEDNESDAY, MAY 24
G3: Riverwalk Stadium • 9:00 a.m. CT
No. 6 Seed App State vs. No. 3 Seed Troy
G4: Riverwalk Stadium • 12:30 p.m. CT
TBD vs. No. 2 Seed Southern Miss
G5: Riverwalk Stadium • 4:00 p.m. CT
TBD vs. No. 1 Seed Coastal Carolina
G6: Riverwalk Stadium • 7:30 p.m. CT
No. 5 Seed Texas State vs. No. 4 Seed Louisiana
THURSDAY, MAY 25
G7: Riverwalk Stadium • 9:00 a.m. CT
Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
G8: Riverwalk Stadium • 12:30 p.m. CT
Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6
G9: Riverwalk Stadium • 4:00 p.m. CT
Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4
G10: Riverwalk Stadium • 7:30 p.m. CT
Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6
FRIDAY, MAY 26
G11: Riverwalk Stadium • 3:00 p.m. CT
Loser Game 9 vs. Winner Game 7
G12: Riverwalk Stadium • 6:30 p.m. CT
Loser Game 10 vs. Winner Game 8
SATURDAY, MAY 27
G13: Riverwalk Stadium • 9:00 a.m. CT
Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 11
G14: Riverwalk Stadium • 12:30 p.m. CT
Winner Game 10 vs. Winner Game 12
IF NECESSARY: Riverwalk Stadium • 4:00 pm. CT
IF NECESSARY: Riverwalk Stadium • 7:30 p.m. CT
SUNDAY, MAY 28
Championship Game: Riverwalk Stadium • 1:00 p.m. CT
TBD vs. TBD
- < PREV No. 11 LSU advances to Regional Final with 4-0 win over UL-Lafayette
- NEXT > Delgado sweeps pair of games Saturday, one win away from JUCO World Series