Montenegro Two-Run Double Lifts Southern Miss over No. 23 Alabama

Published 3:00 pm Thursday, March 25, 2021

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Gabe Montenegro had a season-high three hits, including a two-run go-ahead double in the seventh, to lead Southern Miss to a 5-4 non-conference baseball victory over No. 23 Alabama Tuesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

The Golden Eagles (13-6) won its fourth straight and nine of their last 10 contests. Alabama fell to 15-6.

Down 4-3 in the seventh, Danny Lynch led off with a walk. After a bunt single by Will McGillis, the Golden Eagles made two-straight outs before Montenegro lined a Grayson Hitt pitch down into the rightfield corner to plate the two runs. He tried to stretch it into a triple but was thrown out on the play.

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That was the second comeback for Southern Miss as they fell behind 2-0 early. The Golden Eagles initially rallied for three runs in the sixth.

Dustin Dickerson led the surge with a one-out single. After a bunt single by Montenegro, Reed Trimble drove in a run with a single through the right side. Charlie Fischer then followed with an RBI groundout before Trimble helped Southern Miss take the lead on a wild pitch.

The Crimson Tide got on the board with a run in the second inning. Reliever Gabe Shepard walked three straight batters to open the inning. After going to the bullpen to get Chandler Best, Owen Diodati singled in a run.

Best, though, then got two strikeouts and a lineout to left to limit the inning’s damage.

UA added to its lead with another solo run in the fifth. Peyton Wilson collected a one-out double that kicked off of right fielder Slade Wilks’ glove and he scored one batter later on a suicide squeeze bunt by Jim Jarvis.

Alabama retook the lead 4-3 in the sixth on a two-run, pinch-hit double by Will Potota.

Blake Wehunt, the seventh of 10 Southern Miss pitchers allowed two runs on three hits with a strikeout to earn the victory and improve to 1-0. Garrett Ramsey pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his seventh save. The Golden Eagle pitching staff combined to fan 13 Crimson Tide hitters.

Hitt, who allowed two runs on two hits with a walk and a strikeout over 1 2/3 innings suffered the loss and fell to 1-1.

The Golden Eagles return to action this weekend when they open their 26th Conference USA season at home against Louisiana Tech. The series will include a 6 p.m., Friday contest, a 2 p.m., Saturday doubleheader with the finale set for 1 p.m., Sunday at Pete Taylor Park.