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Birmingham Southern Downs Southern Miss, 8-4, in Series Opener

Feb. 24, 2006

Final Stats

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A steady rain, along with a steady Birmingham Southern offense led by Billy Froehlich's one home run and three RBI performance, and six strong innings pitched by Brandon Hynick, led the Panthers to an 8-4 victory over Southern Miss on Friday night at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.

Birmingham Southern (2-1) scored eight runs on 12 hits and committed two errors, while Southern Miss (4-2) scored four runs on four hits.

Hynick (1-0) earned the win, pitching six innings, giving up three unearned runs on three hits, striking out seven and walking four. Paul Jones (1) collected the save off of two innings of work, striking out two and only walking one.

In his second start of the season, Cliff Russum (1-1) dropped the decision, giving up two runs on five hits in three innings of work, striking out one and walking five. Cole Basinger took over for Russum in the fourth inning, pitching 2.2 innings, giving up four runs off of five hits, striking out two and walking one. Ben Wade finished the game, pitching the final three innings, giving up one run off of two hits, striking out two and walking one

Jody Blount led the Golden Eagle offense with two hits and finished with an RBI. Kevin Coker added a hit, one RBI, two walks and one run scored.

Scott Billak led Birmingham Southern with a game-high three hits, including a double, one RBI and two runs scored. Froehlich added two hits, including a two-run homer to left field and one run scored. Blake Burton had a double, two RBIs and one run scored.

"We had a poor game tonight, and we have to get a lot better," Head Coach Corky Palmer said. "We walked too many batters; our batters struck out a lot; and left the bases full too many times with men on. We had a chance to get back into the game with our best hitters in the lineup with the bases loaded, but we kept striking out. We got beat by a good team tonight we played poorly."

Southern Miss had chances to get back in the game, loading the bases in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, but didn't take advantage of its opportunities, scoring only four runs.

Birmingham Southern scored two runs in the third inning to take the early 2-0 lead. Mark Goforth got on base on a one-out infield single to the left side, moved to second when Billak reached on a bunt single down the first base line and scored on Froelich's double to right center. Billak moved to third on the play and scored on Blake Burton's sacrifice fly to center.

The Panthers added another run in the fourth inning, extending their lead to 3-0. Brett Ashley walked to start off the inning, before advancing to second base off Matt Barber's ground out to the pitcher and scored on Billak's double to left field.

Birmingham Southern increased its lead to 4-0 when Ryan Woods blasted a solo shot to left field.

The Panthers scored three more runs to extend their lead to 7-0 in the sixth inning. Barber started the inning with a single and scored on a Goforth's double to left field, giving the Panthers a 5-0 lead. Billak would reach base on a fielder's choice, setting up Billy Froehlich's two-run homer to left field, increasing the lead to 7-0.

Southern Miss scored three runs in the sixth inning to cut the Panther lead to four, 7-3. Toddric Johnson walked, advanced to second when Maddox reached on a fielding error by third baseman Allen Aubin and moved to third when Ewing was walked to load the bases. Coker collected the RBI when he was hit by a pitch, allowing Johnson to score the first run. Blount then hit a two-run single to left field to score Ewing and Maddox, cutting the Panthers lead to 7-3.

Three-straight walks were issued to Brian Dozier, Johnson and Bo Davis to fill the bases in the seventh inning, before Trey Sutton, Marc Maddox and pinch hitter Drew Carson all struck out to end the inning.

Southern Miss added one run in the eighth inning. Coker was walked to lead off the inning, advanced to second on a single by Blount, on to third when pinch hitter Trey Cuevas was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Dozier grounded into a double play, scoring Coker to cut the lead to three runs, 7-4.

Birmingham Southern would score one final run in the top of the ninth inning to provide the final outcome, 8-4. Hynick doubled down the left field line and scored on Aubin's single to center field.

Southern Miss and Birmingham Southern play the second game of the three-game weekend series on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. Game three will be played on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 1 p.m.

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