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Southern Miss Claims Game One Of Intrastate Rivalry Series Against Mississippi State, 13-6

April 25, 2006

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss baseball team downed intrastate rival Mississippi State, 13-6, led by a perfect 4-4 performance by catcher Kevin Coker in the first game of a two-game midweek series Tuesday night in front of 4,770, the second-largest crowd in Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field history.

Southern Miss (28-15, 5-7 C-USA) scored 13 runs on 17 hits and committed three errors, while Mississippi State (29-12, 8-9 SEC) scored six runs on 10 hits and committed two errors.

Bryan Adams (1-0) earned the win for the Golden Eagles, pitching four innings in relief, giving up one run on three hits, striking out six and walking five. Brooks Dunn (6-4) suffered the loss for the Bulldogs, pitching 1.2 innings, giving up seven runs, three earned, on six hits, striking out two and walking four.

Southern Miss was led offensively by Coker, who had a perfect 4-4 performance from the plate along with one double, one stolen base and four RBIs, while Trey Sutton added three hits, one double and two RBIs.

"Tonight really was an ugly game with a lot of walks," Head Coach Corky Palmer said. "However, Kevin Coker did it all tonight. He wanted this game really bad and truthfully, he is what college athletics is all about. Overall though, tonight was an ugly game though it's still a good win, and a win that we needed. To get where we want to go, every game is big game from here on out."

Edward Easley led Mississippi State's offense with three hits, one home run and three RBIs.

Mississippi State scored one run in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Jeffrey Rea led off with a single up the middle, moved to second when Easley walked and advanced to third when Thomas Berkery reached on a fielder's choice. With the bases loaded, Joseph Hunter walked to score Rea for the first run of the game.

Southern Miss responded with seven runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 7-1 lead. Sutton hit a leadoff double down the right field line, advanced to third on a single by Bo Davis and scored when Toddric Johnson reached base on a fielder's choice to tie the score at 1-1. With Johnson at first, Marc Maddox singled to move Johnson to second, before Coker hit an RBI single up the middle to score Johnson and advance Maddox to third to give the Golden Eagles a 2-1 lead. Jody Blount then hit an RBI single to third base to score Maddox and moved Coker to second, giving Southern Miss a 3-1 lead. Trey Cuevas was then walked to advance Coker to third and Blount to second to load the bases. Brian Dozier reached on a fielding error by right fielder Andy Rice that scored both Coker and Blount to increase the Golden Eagle lead to 5-1. Dozier then stole second before Sutton hit a two-run single up the middle that scored Cuevas and Dozier for a 7-1 lead.

The Bulldogs scored three runs in the second inning to cut the Golden Eagle lead to 7-4. Jeff Butts and Rea hit consecutive singles, before Ed Easley hit a three-run homer over the left center field wall to make the score 7-4.

Mississippi State scored two more runs in the top of the third inning to trim Southern Miss' lead to 7-6. Joseph McCaskill singled up the middle, before Joseph Hunter connected on a two-run homer to left field.

The Golden Eagles tacked on three runs in the bottom of the third inning to increase their lead to 10-6. Dozier singled through the right side, moved to second when Davis walked and scored on Johnson's RBI single through the right side that also moved Davis to third. Maddox then hit an RBI ground out that scored Davis for the second run of the inning for Southern Miss. Coker then hit an RBI double down the left field line that made the score 10-6.

Southern Miss scored a run in the fifth inning to increase its lead to 11-6. Johnson led off with a single up the middle, advanced to third on a single up the middle by Maddox and scored on RBI single hit by Coker to center field.

The Golden Eagles scored two more runs in the seventh inning to extend their lead to 13-6. Davis led off with a single to third base, advanced to third on a throwing error by Easley and scored on Coker's RBI single through the left side. Coker then stole second, and Blount walked before Luke Adkins hit an RBI single to left center that scored Coker for the second run of the inning for Southern Miss.

Southern Miss and Mississippi State return for the second game of the two-game midweek series on Wednesday for a 6:30 p.m. start at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.

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