Southern Miss baseball travels to Pearl to face Ole Miss

Published 12:27 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2022

HATTIESBURG – After winning a big Conference USA series over the weekend, the Southern Miss baseball team returns to action Tuesday night when they travel to Pearl to face in-state foe Ole Miss at Trustmark Park. Game time is set for 6 p.m., and the Golden Eagles are the designated visiting team.

On the strength of that series win over Louisiana Tech, the Golden Eagles (19-8 overall, 7-2 Conference USA) jumped into the national rankings in all the major polls. While staying at No. 27 for Collegiate Baseball for the second-straight week, Southern Miss debuted at No. 18 in the poll, while also appearing in the Perfect Game poll at No. 20 and Baseball America at No. 22 for the first time in 2022.

The Ole Miss contest starts a stretch of eight of the next nine games away from Pete Taylor Park, as this will be the first of two regular-season meetings between the squads. The other will take place May 11 in Hattiesburg.

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The two teams’ previous meetings came in last June’s NCAA Oxford Regional in which the two teams split a pair of games. The Golden Eagles won the first meeting 10-7, but the Rebels captured the deciding game 12-9 to send them to the Super Regionals.

A total of six Southern Miss players made that NCAA All-Regional team, with five returning to the roster this season including catcher Blake Johnson, first baseball Christopher Sargent, second baseman Will McGillis and third baseman Danny Lynch and outfielder Gabe Montenegro. Montenegro, though, will not be available in the contest this week against the Rebels after taking a pitch to the face in the middle game of the Louisiana Tech series.

Southern Miss enters this game having won nine of its last 11 games. Over that stretch, the team is hitting .318 with 23 homers and 79 RBI, with a team slugging percentage of .570 and an on-base percentage of .404. The Golden Eagle pitching staff has allowed a 3.43 earned run average but has fanned 133 batters and walked just 27 over that span, which also includes two shutouts.

Sophomore Dustin Dickerson, despite having a nine-game hitting streak snapped in the LA Tech finale, has boasted a .435 batting average over the last 11 contests, while Slade Wilks is at .405, Will McGillis at .375 and Christopher Sargent at .360 over that same stretch.

Sophomore Tyler Stuart is set to make his second start of the year as he is 2-0 with a 1.99 ERA heading into the game. He will face Ole Miss right-hander Derek Diamond (3-2, 6.11 ERA).

Following the Ole Miss contest, the Golden Eagles travel to face Charlotte this weekend in a Conference USA series.