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NCAA: Southern Miss, Tennessee Split Pair, Will Play Rubber Game Monday

 Matt Tallarini  |    Jun 12th, 2023 3:34pm EDT

Game One – Southern Mississippi 5, Tennessee 3 – Hattiesburg, Miss.

The University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles finished the suspended game that was stopped in the top of the fourth inning on Saturday due to inclement weather, beating the University of Tennessee Volunteers 5-3 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series at the Hattiesburg, Mississippi Super Regional round.

In the top of the first inning, Southern Miss went up on the board first when left fielder Tate Parker drilled a two-run single to center field, scoring Dustin Dickerson and Christopher Sargent to go up 2-0 right out of the gate.

During the top of the third inning, Dickerson roped a solo home run over the left field fence for a 3-0 lead.

In the top of the fourth inning, Southern Mississippi second baseman Nick Monistere launched a solo home run over the left field wall to make it 4-0.

Tennessee finally got on the board during the bottom of the fifth when Hunter Hensley was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, forcing Christian Scott home to make it 4-1. The next batter, left fielder Jared Dickey, drove a two-run single to center field, scoring Cal Stark and Maui Ahuna to cut the lead to one run.

Southern Mississippi starting pitcher Billy Oldham threw 4.1 innings, allowing two hits, one earned run, no walks, and struck out five, using 58 pitches in the first game of the Super Regionals. Golden Eagles reliever Justin Storm kept the Volunteers’ bats quiet, as he pitched 4.1 innings and allowed just two hits, no earned runs, walked two, and struck out three with 86 total pitches.

Volunteers starting pitcher Andrew Lindsey threw four innings, allowing six hits, four earned runs, walked one batter, and struck out five through 78 pitches during the first game of the Super Regionals in the 5-3 loss.

Game Two – University of Tennessee 8, Southern Mississippi 4 – Hattiesburg, Miss.

The University of Tennessee Volunteers tied their best-of-three Super Regional series at 1-1, beating the Southern Mississippi University Golden Eagles on Saturday 8-4.

Volunteers starter Chase Dollander got the win in the second game with a dazzling performance, throwing eight innings and allowing seven hits, four earned runs, and striking out seven with 111 pitches.

Southern Mississippi starting pitcher Tanner Hall received the loss on Sunday throwing 4.1 innings allowing six hits, six earned runs, walking one batter, and striking out five with 86 pitches.

The Golden Eagles did not get on the board until the bottom of the third inning when Dustin Dickerson drove an RBI single to right field, scoring Matthew Etzel to make it 1-0. A few batters later, first baseman Chris Sargent launched a three-run home run over the left field fence scoring Dickerson and Slade Wilks to extend the lead to 4-0.

In the top of the fourth inning, the Volunteers put up six runs, starting with Griffin Merritt’s RBI single to right field, scoring Christian Moore to cut the lead to three runs at 4-1. The next batter, sophomore first baseman Blake Burke, drove a two-run home run over the right field wall scoring Merritt to make it 4-3. A few batters later, left fielder Jared Dickey roped a single to center field, and Southern Miss outfielder Matthew Etzel let the ball get past him, allowing Cal Stark, Maui Ahuna, and Austin Ensley to score to put the Volunteers up 6-4.

The Tennessee offense did not look back the rest of the way, piling up eight runs and 10 hits to force a deciding game three for Monday.

Southern Miss’s defense had four errors in the 8-4 loss.

The third and decisive game of the Hattiesburg Regional will be at 6 p.m. EDT on ESPN2/ESPN+ with a spot at the 2023 NCAA Division I College World Series on the line.