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13 hits lift USM over UTSA in 8-3 Saturday win

Southern Miss baseball
Southern Miss baseball
Published: May. 14, 2022 at 6:57 PM CDT
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Southern Miss Sports Information

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Carson Paetow and Blake Johnson each drove in a pair of runs to lead No. 14 Southern Miss to an 8-3 Conference USA victory over UTSA Saturday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field to even the weekend series.

The deciding game of the set will take place at 11 a.m. Sunday, as the game was moved up two hours from its original start time due to the Roadrunners’ travel constraints.

Five Golden Eagles enjoyed multiple hits Saturday in USM’s 13-hit attack.

Senior Gabe Montenegro, who played in his Southern Miss best 245th career game, led the way with three singles to tie Brian Dozier for second on the school career charts with 229 one-base hits.

Paetow, Johnson, Slade Wilks and Danny Lynch finished with two hits each.

The Golden Eagles (37-14, 19-7 C-USA), who had lost six of their last nine games, jumped out to an early advantage with two runs in the second inning on Johnson’s two-run single and 3-0 lead in the fourth inning on Montenegro’s single.

USM starting pitcher Hunter Riggins (6-4) was sailing along before surrendering back-to-back walks to open the sixth inning. UTSA’s Ryan Flores followed with his ninth home run of the year to tie the game.

Riggins allowed three runs on four hits with a pair of walks and six strikeouts over six innings.

USM reliever Dalton Rogers gave up a walk and a batter reached via a fielding error in the ninth as he added a pair of strikeouts over the final three innings to earn his fifth save.

The Golden Eagles took the lead for good on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth inning from Dustin Dickerson and then completed their scoring with four more runs in the seventh inning.

Will McGillis drove the first run in with a fielder’s choice before Paetow belted his second homer of the weekend, a two-run dinger to right center field for his 11th of the year.

USM scored its final run on a UTSA throwing error following a Dickerson double.

UTSA (33-17, 17-9) used six pitchers in the contest with reliever Ulises Quiroga (1-3) taking the loss. Quiroga gave up a run on four hits with a walk and a strikeout over two innings of work.

With the win, the Golden Eagles pushed their lead back to two games in the league standings with four C-USA contests left to play.

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