|Jack Duggan, Assistant Athletic Director/Media Relations
Hattiesburg, Miss. - For Southern Miss first baseman Tim Lynch, the third time was indeed the charm Tuesday night at Pete Taylor Park.
Twice before, Lynch had stepped to the plate against Louisiana-Lafayette right-hander Evan Guillory with outfielders Dylan Burdeaux and Jake Sandlin at first base and second base, and twice, Lynch failed to deliver.
But in the fifth inning, Lynch snapped a 0-for-10 hitless streak with a home run that scored both Burdeaux and Sandlin ahead of him, giving the Golden Eagles the lead for good on the way to a 7-2 victory over the Ragin’ Cajuns.
“It was nice to hit a home run there and kind of get us going,” said Lynch, whose seventh homer of the season was his first since March 18. “I guess it’d been a while.”
By defeating UL-Lafayette (27-14) for the first time in six meetings, No. 14 Southern Miss (30-12) pocketed a midweek win over a nationally-ranked opponent for the second time in three weeks.
The Ragin’ Cajuns lost in the midweek for the first time since March 22.
“We hadn’t beaten these guys the last five times we played them, back to my freshman year,” Lynch said. “So, it was definitely good. We got a lead on those guys, and our pitching took us home from there.”
Left fielder Chase Scott also homered in the fifth, a two-run shot, as the Golden Eagles put up five runs against UL-Lafayette starter Evan Guillory (4-4) to erase a 2-1 deficit.
“We’d put some pretty good swings on the ball early, took some balls, so it was just a matter of time before we got things rolling,” said Scott, whose seventh homer of the year scored designated hitter Hunter Slater.
Five Golden Eagles limited UL to five hits, but seven walks, two hit batsmen and two errors kept Cajuns continually on the basepaths.
Southern Miss starter Stevie Powers gave up three hits - including a two-run, bloop double to center fielder Kyle Clement in the second - issued four walks and hit a batter.
But after Slater’s run-scoring single in the third inning, the Golden Eagles trailed only 2-1 after Powers’ four innings.
Jake Winston (5-0), Luke Lowery, Hayden Roberts and Walker Powell combine to shut out the Cajuns on two hits over the next five innings.
“A big part of that’s momentum, and we preach on that all the time,” Winston said.
“Especially after that big inning we had, those five runs, we really needed that zero and keep that momentum in our dugout and try to continue that throughout the game.”
Second baseman Storme Cooper capped the scoring with a run-scoring single in the eighth inning.
Burdeaux logged his ninth, three-hit game of the season, as Southern Miss collected 10 hits. Slater hit a double and single, while Sandlin reached base four times on a single, error and two walks.
“That was really big, what Timmy Lynch did, but it all started with Burdeaux and Sandlin being able to get on base,” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said.
The Golden Eagles commence a four-game road swing at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday with a visit to the University of New Orleans.