HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Third baseman Danny Lynch’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning Monday scored the go-ahead run for Southern Miss, and the Eagles held on to post an 8-7 win over LSU in the championship game of the NCAA Hattiesburg Regional at Pete Taylor Park.
Southern Miss (47-17) advances to meet Ole Miss in an NCAA Super Regional series this weekend. LSU completed its season with a 40-22 mark under first-year head coach Jay Johnson.
Southern Miss reliever Tyler Stuart (4-0) was credited with the win as he worked the final 1.1 innings, allowing no runs and no hits with one strikeout.
LSU reliever Eric Reyzelman (1-2) was charged with the loss as he gave up one run on three hits in two innings with no walk and one strikeout.
With the game tied 7-7 entering the ninth inning, USM first baseman Christopher Sargent and designated hitter Slade Wilks provided back-to-back singles before Lynch from Sargent home from third on a sacrifice fly.
Stuart retired the Tigers in order in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.
Southern Miss right fielder Carson Paetow led off the game with a home run, his 16th of the year.
The Tigers responded with three runs in the bottom of the first inning as first baseman Tre’ Morgan delivered a two-run single and shortstop Jordan Thompson reached base safely on a bunt, scoring second baseman Cade Doughty from third base.
USM reduced the deficit to 4-3 in the fourth as the Eagles scored on a passed ball and on an RBI groundout by centerfielder Gabe Montenegro.
The Eagles erupted for four runs in the top of the seventh, benefitting from two walks, a hit batter and an error. The inning was highlighted by Montenegro’s two-run single, an RBI single by Wilks, and a sacrifice fly by Sargent.
The Tigers narrowed the gap to 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh when Morgan and Thompson delivered back-to-back RBI singles.
LSU tied the game in the eighth on a solo homer by designated hitter Gavin Dugas, his fifth dinger of the year.
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