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Southern Miss Downs Mississippi State, 6-3, To Sweep Intrastate Series

Ryan Belanger started his first game of the season against Mississippi State to win his sixth game of the year.

Ryan Belanger started his first game of the season against Mississippi State to win his sixth game of the year.

April 26, 2006

Final Stats |  Photo Gallery

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Ryan Belanger pitched 7.1 innings and collected a career-high 10 strikeouts to earn his sixth win of the season as Southern Miss downed intrastate rival Mississippi State, 6-3, in front of a crowd of 5,177 at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.

With the win, Southern Miss sweeps Mississippi State for the first time since 1995 in Hattiesburg. Tonight's attendance marked the second-highest attendance at Pete Taylor Park Last night's attendance of 4,770 marked the second-highest attendance before tonight's game.

Southern Miss (29-15, 5-7 C-USA) scored six runs on 14 hits and committed three errors, while Mississippi State (29-15, 8-9 C-USA) scored three runs on 11 hits and committed four errors.

Belanger (6-0) earned the win for the Golden Eagles, pitching 7.1 innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on 11 hits while striking out 10. Josh Johnson (4-3) took the loss for the Bulldogs, pitching three innings, giving up three runs on four hits, striking out one and walking one.

"It was a good win against a team who came out determined, and it's a win we have to build on because we have a tough weekend ahead," Head Coach Corky Palmer said. "Ryan Belanger came out and pitched well. He gave up a couple of hits, but got some key strikeouts when it counted, and he didn't walk anyone. It was a great win, but we must continue to build from this as we're a long way from where we need to be right now."

Brian Dozier and Toddric Johnson each had three hits to lead the Golden Eagle offense, with Johnson also adding a double, while Trey Sutton added two hits, including a home run and three RBIs.

Joseph Hunter, Joseph McCaskill and Jeffrey Rea each added three hits to lead the Bulldog offense.

Mississippi State got on the board first with a pair of consecutive RBI singles by Brad Jones and Jeff Butts to give Mississippi State a 2-0 lead.

The Golden Eagles tied the game at 2-2 when Sutton connected on a two-run blast over the right field wall, and Southern Miss took the lead when Michael Ewing hit an RBI double down the left field line that scored Johnson.

The Golden Eagles increased their lead by four runs in the fourth inning to increase their lead to 6-2. Jody Blount started the scoring run with a leadoff solo home run to right field. An RBI sacrifice fly by Sutton that scored Dozier, and an RBI single by Marc Maddox that scored Bo Davis, formed the next two runs.

The Bulldogs notched one run in the eighth inning when Mitch Moreland scored on a fielding error by Sutton to trim the Golden Eagle lead to 6-3.

Southern Miss next travels to Charleston, West Virginia this weekend, April 28-30, for a C-USA series against Marshall.

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