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Baseball Takes Super Regional Opener, 9-7 Over Florida

June 6, 2009

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Southern Miss baseball team continued their magical post season run with a 9-7 victory over No. 8 national seed and home-standing Florida to open the NCAA Gainesville Super Regional.

In a back and fourth game, it was fifth year senior Jonathon Johnston that proved to be the difference out of the Golden Eagle bullpen, working 3.2 scoreless innings, allowing 1 hit and striking out two while picking up his first win of the season.

"For the last couple of weeks we have had that never say die attitude," head coach Corky Palmer said. "Jonathan Johnston really shut it down when we got in some trouble tonight. Florida is a great hitting team and he gave us a chance to get our momentum back with the bats. He was a big part of this game."

Playing in the school's first NCAA Super Regional the Golden Eagle offense continued to strive with 12 hits tonight, led by James Ewing's three hit game and Corey Stevens three RBI night.

The 12 hits in tonight's game is the fourth time in five games during the NCAA post season that Southern Miss has recorded at least 10 hits and the 31st time this season.

Southern Miss struck for the games first run in the top of the second as freshman BA Vollmuth continued his hot streak this post season with a solo home run over the left field wall, his seventh of the season and fourth of the post season.

The Golden Eagles added to their lead in the top of the third as Corey Stevens delivered a bases loaded sacrifice fly to score Taylor Walker, who singled to start the inning.

Florida came right back to tie the game in the bottom of the third after a rain delay that lasted nearly an hour. Daniel Pigott led of the inning with a hard hit ground ball that Vollmuth misplayed and Teddy Foster collected the Gators first hit of the game, a two-run home run into the scoreboard in right-center field.

Still in the bottom of the third the Gators took the lead on a soft ground out RBI by Preston Tucker and a RBI double by Josh Adams to cap the four run frame, with three of the runs unearned.

Bo Davis led off the top of the fifth with a double to right-center field and scored on James Ewing's RBI double just inside the left field line. Corey Stevens hit a frozen rope at the Florida shortstop that took funny hop into centerfield allowing Ewing to score and Brunty, who singled earlier in the inning, to advance to third.

A Patrick Keating wild pitch allowed Brunty to score and put Southern Miss back on top 5-4.

Florida came right back in the bottom of the fifth and retook the lead as Brandon McArthor was hit by a Jonathon Johnston pitch with the bases loaded and Tyler Thompson was credited with a sacrifice fly on a outstanding sliding catch by Kameron Brunty in four territory to make the score 6-5.

Southern Miss answered right back in the top of the six as Taylor Walker roped a solid single up the middle and came around to score on James Ewing's third hit of the day, a RBI single to right field to tie the game at six.

Kameron Brunty delivered a shallow sacrifice fly to centerfield that Bo Davis beat at home by a head first dive to put Southern Miss back on top. The rally continued as Corey Stevens doubled to left-center field allowing James Ewing to score from first. Stevens came around to score the fourth run of the inning on Joey Archer's soft single to right field to cap the four run inning.

Florida added a single run in the ninth off closer Collin Cargill.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. CST with Southern Miss needing only one win to advance to the College World Series. Todd McInnis will get the start on the bump for Southern Miss. The game will be shown live on ESPN2.

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