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Monarchs clinch series over #7 Southern Miss 4-3

Matt Coutney drove in two runs with a double to highlight a three-run fifth and Jacob Gomez threw 4.1 innings of one-hit ball for the win.
Credit: ODU Athletics

HATTIESBURG, Miss — Matt Coutney drove in two runs with a double to highlight a three-run fifth and Jacob Gomez threw 4.1 innings of one-hit ball for the win as Old Dominion clinched the series against seventh-ranked Southern Mississippi with a 4-3 win at Pete Taylor Park on Saturday afternoon.

The defense came through with the highlight in the bottom of the ninth as Gomez gave up his first hit with a leadoff double to pinch-hitting Blake Johnson. Johnson then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Rodrigo Montenegro. Gabe Montenegro walked and Gomez then induced a groundball to Matt Coutney by Dustin Dickerson who threw to Tommy Bell for the force out. Bell returned it to Coutney for the game-ending double play.

Southern Mississippi (35-12, 17-6 C-USA) opened the scoring in the first with three walks to start the inning, Christopher Sargent grounded into a double play allowing Gabe Montenegro to score.

The Monarchs answered with a run in the top of the second as Andy Garriola started with a double and went to third on a Brock Gagliardi single. Carter Trice then forced out Gagliardi but Garriola scored to tie the game at one.

Will McGillis started the fourth for the Golden Eagles with a single and advanced on a ground out by Danny Lynch. Slade Wilks followed with a two-run home run to left center to put the hosts ahead 3-1.

ODU regained momentum in the fifth inning as with two outs, Thomas Wheeler singled through the right side and went to third on a single by Kenny Levari. Coutney followed with his double to left field to tie the game. A wild pitch moved Coutney up to third and he scored as Garriola beat out a single up the middle for the 4-3 lead.

Gomez came in with two outs in the bottom of the fifth with two on and got the first of his six strikeouts retiring Lynch to end the threat.

Coutney was 2-for-4 with a run scored and drove in two, while Garriola was 2-for-4 with a run scored and one driven in. ODU out-hit USM 8-5.

The series concludes Sunday with a noon start in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.