March 3, 2006
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Six strikeouts in six innings by Ian Berger quieted the Southern Miss offense as Illinois State recorded its first win of the season, 4-2, over the Golden Eagles in front of a crowd of 3,232 Friday night at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
Illinois State (1-5) scored four runs on eight hits and committed one error, while Southern Miss (7-3) scored two runs on five hits and committed two errors.
"They won the game, and I think they deserved to win," said Head Coach Corky Palmer. "I thought their guys pitched well. The first guy (Berger) threw a great breaking ball and the next guy (Kitt Kopach) was throwing hard in the mid-90's."
Berger (1-1) earned the win for the Redbirds, giving up two runs on four hits in 6.1 innings, striking out six and not walking any. Kopach (1) collected the save, pitching in the final 2.2 innings, not allowing a run but giving up only one hit, while striking out two and walking one.
Cliff Russum (1-2) took the loss for the Golden Eagles, giving up three runs on five hits, while striking out five and walking three.
Kyle O'Brien led the Redbirds offensively with two hits, including a three-run home run. Gabe DeMarco and Jesse Griswold each added two hits, with DeMarco also recording a double and an RBI.
The Golden Eagle offense was led by Marc Maddox, who had one home run and two RBIs. Luke Adkins added two hits and one double.
Southern Miss scored two runs in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Trey Sutton was hit by a pitch and scored when Maddox hit a two-run homer to right field to take the early 2-0 lead.
Illinois State responded with a home run of its own in the second inning, taking a 3-2 lead as O'Brien slammed a three-run shot to right field. DeMarco reached base on a single to center field, and Kevin Dubler walked, before O'Brien plated both runners with his home run.
The Redbirds took a 4-2 lead on an RBI double by DeMarco. Matt Bolt singled to start the inning and scored on DeMarco's double to right center.
Southern Miss plays Illinois State in the second game of the series on Saturday with first pitch at 1 p.m. at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.