April 18, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss (22-17, 11-5 C-USA) scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh and used a complete game shutout by Conor Fisk to defeat Louisiana Tech, 2-0, in the series opener Friday night at Pete Taylor Park.
Fisk allowed just three hits in 9.0 innings on the mound, while walking just one and striking out six to lead the Golden Eagles to victory. Although LA Tech (10-25, 4-15 C-USA) pitchers kept it a scoreless game for six and a half innings, a two-out double down the left field line in the bottom of the seventh gave Southern Miss two game-winning runs. Tonight marks the second time this season the Bulldogs have been shut out in a game.
"Runs are hard to come by these days for us and that was the case tonight," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "We really are playing good baseball right now and our guys are competing, but we have to continue to stand tall through this."
Fisk (4-1) earned the win on the mound for Southern Miss, throwing his second complete game of the season, in an outstanding performance for the Golden Eagles in the series opener. Fisk kept the Bulldogs off balance all night, as he retired the side in order for seven of the nine innings he was on the mound for Southern Miss.
Phil Maton (2-6) was charged with the loss for the Bulldogs, despite coming on in relief in the third inning and holding off Southern Miss hitters for the better part of 5.2 innings. Maton relieved Greer with one out in the third inning. Greer started and allowed just two hits and struck out two in 2.1 innings on the mound. With three strikeouts in the game, Maton has now moved up to 10th place all-time for career strikeouts in LA Tech history with a total of 220 strikeouts in his Bulldog career.
In the bottom of the seventh, Bradley Roney popped up right to the pitcher's mound, but confusion by the Bulldogs led to a lead-off infield single by the Southern Miss first baseman. Austin Roussel's single up the middle set up Nick Dawson's two-out two-run double down the left field line to score both Roney and Roussel and put the Golden Eagles up 2-0 over LA Tech.
The Bulldogs had their best chance to score in the fifth inning when Tyler Qualls led off the frame with a walk, followed by a single up the middle by Bre'shon Kimbell. Both runners advanced to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by Thomas Simoneaux, but a line drive hit right to the Southern Miss second baseman by Taylor Nichols and a strikeout by Taylor Burch kept it a scoreless ball game through five innings.
Kimbell led the Bulldogs at the plate, totaled two of the three hits the team had on the night with a 2-for-3 effort in the series opener. Simoneaux had the third hit of the game for Tech with a single through the left side to lead off the third inning. He was 1-for-2 with a sacrifice bunt.
The series resumes at 4 p.m. Saturday at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg. The Bulldogs are scheduled to start right-hander Richie Navari to the mound, while Southern Miss will counter with right-hander Christian Talley.
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