HATTIESBURG, Miss. (4/29/23) – Brandon Hager reached base three times in four plate appearances, but the Arkansas State baseball team could not overcome an early three-run deficit in a 4-1 loss to Southern Miss Saturday at Pete Taylor Park.
Hager extended his career-best on-base streak to 30 games with a 2-for-3 performance, the longest such streak since Zach George’s 55-game run to end the 2015 season. Both of his hits went for extra bases, as the junior doubled and homered.
A-State (15-24, 5-13 SBC) collected five hits, while the Golden Eagles (27-15, 13-7) recorded six. In addition to Hager’s two hits, Blake Burris, Cross Jumper and Nathan VerMaas also registered in the hit column.
Kyler Carmack (4-2) allowed four runs on five hits in six innings, marking his seventh straight outing of five innings or more. The redshirt freshman right-hander fanned five and walked four. Brian Veniard recorded an out in the seventh before Jacob Conover worked the final 1 2/3 innings as the duo combined for two shutout innings of relief.
USM starter Billy Oldham (4-2) struck out seven in seven innings, allowing one run on four hits and a pair of walks before Justin Storm pitched the final two innings for his sixth save of the season.
Dustin Dickerson reached base in all four of his plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with two runs and two walks, while Christopher Sargent went 2-for-4 with three runs batted in.
Southern Miss surged out to an early three-run lead with a two-run single by Sargent in the first and a solo homer to left by Dickerson in the third.
Hager answered Dickerson’s long ball with his ninth round tripper of the season in the fourth – a 427-foot blast to dead center field to make it 3-1. It was the A-State first baseman’s 19th career homer, moving him into a tie for 13th all-time at A-State.
The Golden Eagles got a run back in the sixth on a leadoff home run to center by Sargent.
After Veniard entered to open the seventh, he was lifted with two on and one out, but Conover worked out of the jam en route to his scoreless outing. The Delawarean hurler stranded two in scoring position in the seventh, as well as a runner at second in the eighth.
The Red Wolves look to salvage the final game of the three-game set on Sunday, taking the field against the Golden Eagles at 1 p.m. The contest will be broadcasted on ESPN+, while the radio broadcast can be heard on The Ticket Radio Network stations 95.3, 96.9 and 970 AM in Jonesboro, as well as online at 953theticket.com.
For the latest on A-State Baseball, follow the team by liking Arkansas State Baseball on Facebook, as well as following the team on Twitter (@AStateBaseball) and Instagram (astatebaseball).
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Hager Extends On-Base Streak to 30 Games, A-State Drops 4-1 Saturday Contest. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council