By David Rogers. MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Southern Mississippi rapped out 15 hits in the Sun Belt Conference semifinal elimination game on May 27, six of them doubles, as the Golden Eagles advanced into the May 28 conference tournament championship game with a dominating, 11-1, run-rule win over Appalachian State.
After being dumped into the loser’s bracket earlier in the tournament by top-seeded Coastal Carolina, No. 4 Louisiana rallied back in the double elimination tournament to reach the semifnals where they exacted a measure of revenge by winning both May 27 games against the previously unbeaten Chanticleers, 7-3 and 4-1.
The Ragin’ Cajuns’ upset wins setup a May 28 matchup vs. No. 2 seeded Southern Miss at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time in the Guardian Credit Union Sun Belt Conference Baseball Championship at Riverwalk Stadium.
Like Louisiana, the Mountaineers lost a first round game (to Troy) and had to battle back with wins over both Troy and James Madison to gain the semifinals vs. Southern Miss. They did it with hot offensive production that included a 10-run sixth inning on May 26 to topple Troy, 14-10.
Led by C J Boyd’s 19-game hitting streak and Xavier Moronta’s 20-game hitting streak, the Mountaineers produced 31 runs on 45 hits in the first three games of the SBC tournament. A masterful pitching performance by four Mountaineer pitchers in a 4-2 morning win over Southern Miss in the May 27, semifinal morning game, not only required the second, afternoon semifinal game to decide who would advance into the championship final on Sunday, but represented the 30th win of the season for the Mountaineers. That matched the last 30-win season recorded by the Mountaineers in 2013. The program record is 41 wins in 2012.
Among the most important of the record-breaking statistics for App State baseball in 2023 was record home attendance: more than 13,000 this spring, including a single-game home attendance record of 1,376 when Wake Forest came to town on April 11.