Feb. 16, 2007
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Ryan Belanger threw seven strong innings, spreading out four hits, one walk and struck out seven to earn the victory and lead the Golden Eagles to a 9-0 win over Southern Illinois, on opening day today, at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field in the first day of the Coca-Cola Southern Miss Baseball Classic in front of 3,019 in attendance.
The shutout was the first since May 19, when the Golden Eagles shutout UCF, 9-0, and the first opening day shutout since 1999, when Southern Miss defeated Jackson State, 6-0 on Feb. 13.
Belanger (1-0) only allowed two runners to reach third base in the game and didn't allow a runner to advance past second until the fifth inning. Of his seven strikeouts, he fanned four of them looking. Jonathan Johnston pitched the final two innings, giving up one walk and striking out one.
Trey Sutton led Southern Miss with two hits, including a two-RBI triple and collected three RBIs. Brian Dozier, Bailey Hartel and Bo Davis each finished with two hits and James Ewing didn't have a hit but collected two RBIs on sacrifice flies.
Southern Miss (1-0) collected nine runs on 10 hits and committed two errors, while Southern Illinois (1-4) finished with four hits and committed four errors. The Golden Eagles scored three runs in the third inning, one in the fourth and two more in the fifth to take a 6-0 lead and then added three insurance runs in the eighth inning.
In the third inning, Dozier singled to center to drive in Davis from second, Sutton singled to right to plate Dozier and James Ewing flew out to right to score Sutton.
In the fourth inning, Hartel doubled in the left center field gap and scored on Davis' single to right center.
In the fifth inning, James Ewing reached on a fielding error by second baseman Scott Elmendorf, moved to second when his brother Michael walked and both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch. Carson singled up the middle to score James Ewing and Luke Adkins reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Michael Ewing.
In the eighth inning, Sutton hit a two-run triple to score Davis and Dozier, and James Ewing flew out to center to score Sutton for the third run of the inning.
Southern Miss faces Louisville, who defeated Northwestern State, 4-0, today, in the earlier game, on Saturday at 4 p.m. Northwestern State and Southern Illinois play the first game starting at noon.
Louisville's Chris Dominguez finished with two hits and two RBIs, including a two-run homer in ninth inning, and Isaiah Howes finished with two hits. Pitcher Zack Pitts (1-0) earned his first win of the season, giving up three hits, four walks and struck out three to earn the win. Trystan Magnuson threw three innings of relief, giving up one hit, one walk and striking out two, and Colby Wack finished the final inning, striking out one.
The Demons were limited to four hits, two by both Dylan Libadisos and Chase Lyles. Jimmy Heard took the loss, pitching seven innings, giving up one run on five hits, walking one and striking out three.