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Baseball Rides Two Big Innings in 14-2 Win over Alabama

Ashley Graeter and the Golden Eagles played errorless for the first time this season.

Feb. 29, 2012

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss rode two big scoring innings to season highs for runs and hits in a 14-2 baseball victory over Alabama in front of 3,988 at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field here Wednesday afternoon.

The Golden Eagles (6-3) exploded for seven runs in the fourth and six more in the fifth inning en route to a season-best 16 hits.

"We hit really well in those two innings," said Southern Miss coach Scott Berry. "Even outside those two innings, I thought we had some really good at-bats. What we've been challenging them to is to have good at-bats. Even though it may not result in a hit, there's something that can come out of that at-bat."

Junior righthander Andrew Pierce (1-1) limited the Crimson Tide to a run on six hits with a season-high seven strikeouts to notch the victory.

"I thought (Pierce) had outstanding stuff," said Berry. "He's a strike thrower. He's a real competitor. He's not the biggest kid out there but he's a true competitor and I feel like when he takes the mound, our team has a chance to win and they feel it."

Five different Golden Eagles drove in a pair of runs including Connor Barron, Mason Robbins, Blake Brown, Dillon Day and Chase Fowler.

Barron, who missed the last three games with an ankle injury, returned to the lineup with three hits, while Ashley Graeter, Robbins, Brown, Fowler and Travis Creel each added two hits apiece. Robbins tripled home a run in the fourth to extend his team-best hitting streak to six games.

The Golden Eagles, which had 30 runs heading in the game over the first eight games, registered a season-high scoring total for the contest.

"That's the strange thing about baseball, you never know what happens," said Berry. "Once again, I want to compliment our pitching staff on an outstanding job. I want to compliment our defense for playing error-free baseball. Those things right there never gave Alabama a chance to get momentum back."

Crimson Tide starter Case Nixon (0-1) gave up three runs on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts to suffer the loss as he was the first of seven Alabama pitchers for the contest. Taylor Dugas paced the seven-hit Crimson Tide attack with two singles, while Kenny Robbers and Cameron Carlisle drove in the team's lone runs.

Alabama fell to 4-4.

The Golden Eagles travel to Auburn, Ala., this weekend to play three different opponents including Charleston Southern on Friday (2 p.m.), Purdue on Saturday (12 noon) and the host Auburn Tigers on Sunday (3 p.m.).

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