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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Troy baseball falls to Southern Miss on 9th-inning single at Sun Belt tournament, 7-6

A day after beating Appalachian State in walk-off fashion at the Sun Belt tournament, Troy found itself on the wrong on end of a game-winning hit Thursday.

Southern Miss’ Danny Lynch delivered an RBI single with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, handing the Golden Eagles a 7-6 victory at Riverwalk Stadium. The loss drops the third-seeded Trojans (39-19) into an elimination game at 3 p.m. Friday vs. the same Mountaineers team it beat 10-9 in 10 innings Wednesday.

Second-seeded Southern Miss (39-16) gets Friday off before playing again at 9 a.m. Saturday against the Troy-App State winner. A win Saturday would put the Golden Eagles in the tournament championship game.

Troy led 1-0 early on Thursday, before Southern Miss appeared to take control at 6-3 with a three-run sixth. The Trojans got off the deck, however, scoring three in the top of the eighth to tie it when Tremayne Cobb delivered a two-run single and Donovan Whibbs beat out a potential inning-ending double-play grounder to bring in another run.

Southern Miss reliever Justin Storm got Troy 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth, setting up the game-winning rally in the bottom. Slade Wilks singled to start the inning, sending Trojans reliever Ben Thompson to the dugout in favor of closer Noah Manning.

Wilks took second on a passed ball, then Manning walked Christopher Sargent before striking out Reece Ewing. That brought up Lynch, who lined the first pitch from Manning up the alley in right-center to score the decisive run.

Tremayne Cobb

Troy shortstop Tremayne Cobb drove in two runs vs. Southern Miss on Thursday. (Photo by AJ Henderson / Sun Belt Conference)AJ Henderson / Sun Belt Conferen

William Sullivan led Troy at the plate with three hits and three runs scored, while Cobb and Whibbs drove in two each and Caleb Bartolero also knocked in a run. Sun Belt Player of the Year Shane Lewis went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, however, making him 0-for-9 in the tournament.

Leadoff man Matthew Etzel had three hits and two RBIs for Southern Miss, while Blake Johnson and Dustin Dickerson both drove in a pair. Lynch’s game-winning single was his only hit in five trips to the plate Thursday.

Storm (4-1) got the win, allowing an unearned run in 1 2/3 innings. Southern Miss starter Billy Oldham surrendered three runs on seven hits in five innings with six strikeouts, while Niko Mazza gave up two runs in 2 1/3.

Thompson (5-3) got the loss for Troy, allowing just a run in 2 2/3 with six strikeouts. Starter Logan Ross gave up six runs on nine hits in 5 1/3.

Troy coach Skylar Meade was ejected in the sixth inning after disputing a play at home plate — Etzel’s RBI single that scored Johnson and put Southern Miss up 6-3. Replay review upheld the umpire’s safe call, and Meade was tossed after continuing to argue.

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