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USM advances to the Sun Belt Conference Title Game after defeating Appalachian State



USM baseball
Photo from USM Athletics

Story from USM Athletics:
Will Armisteadhurled a complete game and eight different Golden Eagles combined to register 15 hits as No. 16 Southern Miss defeated App State 11-1 in 7 innings Saturday afternoon to reach the Guardian Credit Union Sun Belt Conference Championship title game.

The Golden Eagles improved to 40-17 and reached the 40-win total for the seventh-straight season, tops in Division I baseball. Southern Miss will play the winner of the Coastal Carolina-Louisiana game that was played later Saturday evening for the championship, Sunday, in a 1 p.m., contest. The game can be seen on ESPN+ and heard on an affiliate of the Southern Miss Sports Network.

Armistead limited the Mountaineers (30-25) to an unearned run on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts to improve to 2-0 on the season. It marked the third complete by a Golden Eagle this season and second in this tournament.

The sophomore from Mooreville, Miss., worked out of a jam in the second with two runners on and then again in the fifth. In that fifth inning, two were on with no outs when CJ Boyd lined into a double play to Danny Lynch at third that effectively ended that Mountaineer rally.

The only run the Mountaineers scored was on a sacrifice fly by Xavier Moronta in the third. Boyd singled with one out and then went to third on a failed picked off attempt that resulted in an error on first baseman Christopher Sargent.

Sargent, though, had already put the Golden Eagles up for good in the first with a two-run double as the squad scored in five different innings.

Matthew Etzel, who along with Reece Ewinghad three hits, singled in a run in the second. Southern Miss then opened the game up with a four-run third. After Ewing started things with a single,

Lynch doubled Ewing home. Another double, this time by Nick Monistere, scored Lynch. Monistere then scored on a double by Etzel before Dustin Dickerson drove in Etzel on a single.

Up 7-1, Carson Paetow extended the lead when he doubled home a pair of Golden Eagles in the sixth. Southern Miss finished its scoring with a moonshot homer – his team-high 19th – that hit high off the light standard in right-center field before Lynch ended the game on a sacrifice fly in run-rule fashion.

App State starter Xander Hamilton (8-4) gave up three runs on three hits with two walks and one strikeout over an 1 1/3 to suffer the loss.

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