Gazebo Gazette

Ozzie Pratt collected five of the Golden Eagles’ 15 hits as Southern Miss completed a three-game Sun Belt series sweep of Arkansas State Sunday afternoon with a 14-6 win at Tomlinson Stadium-Kell Field.

The Golden Eagles (34-17 overall, 18-9 Sun Belt) won a season-best seventh consecutive time as they completed the series with 38 runs on 46 hits. It also was the third league sweep for Southern Miss in 2024.

Following Pratt in the Golden Eagle hit parade, Dalton McIntyre, Slade Wilks, Nick Monistere and Matthew Russo added two hits apiece.

After jumping out to an early lead, the visitors found themselves behind 6-5 after four innings. Southern Miss, though, exploded for five runs in the fifth to take the lead for good.

Monistere opened the frame with a single to left. Matthew Russo then walked before Jacob Keys moved both runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt. After another walk to load the bases, McIntyre hit into a fielder’s choice to score the first run. Pratt, who was a home run shy of the cycle in the contest, tripled down the first base line to score two runs before Slade Wilks homered to right for a two-run blast for his 13th home run and 45th of his career. Wilks is now tied with Fred Cooley for sixth on the school’s all-time home run chart.

The visitors added four more insurance runs in the ninth. After a throwing error to let Gabe Broadus reach base and a groundout, Pratt singled in Broadus from second. Carson Paetow followed with a two-run double before Monistere singled in the final run of the frame.

The Golden Eagles had jumped out quickly by scoring three runs in the first. McIntyre and Pratt started the game with back-to-back singles before Slade Wilks doubled to center to drive in the first run. Davis Gillespie followed with a two-run single up the middle for an early 3-0.

Wilks extended his hitting streak to 24 games, tying him for sixth longest in school history with Trey Sutton and B.A. Vollmuth.

After A-State got a solo shot in the second by Jared Toler, his first of the year, Southern Miss extended its lead with two more runs in the third. After back-to-back walks to open the inning, Russo drove in one with a single and Keys plated the other with a sacrifice fly.

A-State (21-29-1, 7-19-1) rallied with three runs in their half of the third, two coming on a two-run homer from Brandon Hager. It was his first of the year. They then took their only lead a frame later, tying the game on a RBI double from Cason Campbell and a groundout by Will French.

Reliever Kros Sivley went two innings and allowed two runs on five hits and two strikeouts to get the victory and improve to 3-5. Chandler Best recorded his first save by throwing the final three innings and giving up just one hit while fanning three.

A-State reliever Hunter Draper (2-3) suffered the loss by allowing two runs on a hit, with a walk and a strikeout.

The Golden Eagles return to action when they play host to Ole Miss in a 6 p.m., contest Tuesday.