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Baseball Sweeps Nicholls State on Sunday

Jake Drehoff

Feb. 19, 2012

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - For Southern Miss baseball to be successful in 2012, they are going to have to count on younger players to contribute.

On Sunday, that is exactly what happened as Southern Miss collected a 5-1 and 5-2 doubleheader sweep of Nicholls State in front of 3,439 at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.

Redshirt freshman Jake Drehoff, the first Golden Eagle freshman to make a pitching start in his debut since Todd McInnis in 2007, threw six strong innings in the opener and fellow redshirt freshman Michael Sterling drove in a pair of big runs in the nightcap in the sweep.

Drehoff (1-0) limited the visiting Colonels to just a first-inning run over six frames of work as he walked four and struck out three in earning the victory.

Chase Fowler put the Golden Eagles (2-1) up for good with a two-run single in the first. Kameron Brunty and Jared Bales added RBI singles in the seventh and freshman Connor Barron knocked home a run with a single in the eighth to complete the scoring.

After serving a one-game suspension in Friday's opener, Brunty led the nine-hit Southern Miss attack with three and Fowler added a pair.

James McMahon fanned one and did not allow a run or hit over the final three inning to register his first save.

In the nightcap, the Golden Eagles trailed 2-1, before Ashley Graeter tied the game at 2-2 with a sacrifice fly in the fifth. Southern Miss then exploded for three runs in the sixth to pull away in the seven-inning second game.

With one out, Dillon Day, who paced the Golden Eagles with three hits including a triple, singled up the middle to start the rally. Freshman pinch hitter Mason Robbins then singled. After another flyout, Sterling doubled to leftfield to plate the go-ahead runs. Barron then doubled home Sterling to add insurance for the Golden Eagles.

Redshirt sophomore Cameron Giannini did not allow a run or hit, but fanned one and walked one over the final three innings to earn his first victory of the campaign in relief of Boomer Scarborough who lasted four innings.

The Colonels (1-2) collected just four hits in the nightcap.

After opening the season at home, Southern Miss now must travel to Louisiana-Monroe for its lone road game in the month of February when they take on the Warhawks in a 6 p.m., contest.

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