The long ball was not entirely kind to Southern Miss on Sunday. Behind five home runs, Dallas Baptist outslugged the Golden Eagles and sent them packing in the Fayetteville Regional with a 9-4 drubbing.
Southern Miss finishes its season with a record of 44-18, while Dallas Baptist moves to 42-20 and advances to face top-seeded Arkansas for a chance at the region title.
“Today was a tough day. Certainly we didn’t want to end it like we did,” Golden Eagle head coach Scott Berry said. “It’s always tough whenever that last one ends your season. We just didn’t come out and do the things we needed to do this time of the year to play, especially in a do-or-die game.
“Hats off to Dallas Baptist, who was faced with the same situation. They responded to it pretty well.”
With a pair of solo shots through two innings of play, Dallas Baptist started fast with a 2-0 lead. Southern Miss answered in the third with a two-run homer from Matthew Guidry, which tied the game at two apiece.
The Patriots proceeded to score seven straight runs, including a four spot in the fifth inning. Garrett Wolforth highlighted the outburst with a three-run homer.
“I think the biggest thing is, we talk all the time about momentum. It’s a game of momentum,” said Berry. “Certainly DBU got the momentum, and they kept it. We didn’t do anything to take it back.”
Southern Miss’ starting pitcher, Walker Powell, lasted just four innings. The Fayetteville native allowed four earned runs on five hits.
“Today probably wasn’t his [Powell’s] best outing,” said Berry. “It seemed like he couldn’t get the ball down in the zone. Dallas Baptist made him pay for it with some good swings on it.”
Out of the Golden Eagle bullpen, Trent Driver allowed four more in less than an inning of work, including Wolforth’s blast.
Offensively, Southern Miss added two late runs in the ninth inning off a two-run home run from Hunter Slater.
Slater, Daniel Keating and Matt Wallner each finished with a hit apiece, while Guidry, a former Oak Grove standout, led Southern Miss with two hits.
As a team, Dallas Baptist outhit Southern Miss, 11-5, en route to the win.