Pierce helps Southern Miss snap skid

Published 10:49 pm Friday, May 11, 2012

Southern Miss won the opener of a critical Conference USA series with East Carolina, 1-0, behind a tour-de-force performance by Andrew Pierce.

The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Golden Eagles (26-22, 10-9 C-USA). Game 2 in the three-game set is today at 10 a.m.

The former Stringer pitcher threw nine innings, allowing just three hits and striking out 11.

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Only one runner reached second base for the Pirates (32-17-1, 13-8-1) as the Golden Eagles turned two double players and threw out a potential base stealer in the contest.

Kevin Brandt was equally as strong on the mound for ECU. Brandt threw eight strong innings, allowing three hits and striking out six.

“Andrew was lights out, and so was (Kevin) Brandt,” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. “That was a great college baseball game, and really, you’re going to see more games like tonight’s contest that are dictated by pitching and defense at this level from now on.”

The Pirate southpaw retired eight in a row before Ashley Graeter reached base on an error that allowed him to slide into second. Brandt followed a strikeout before Isaac Rodriguez singled up the middle and Graeter was safe, sliding just in front of the tag at home on a strong throw by ECU centerfielder Ben Fultz.

Ole Miss 4, Tennessee 2

Preston Overbay had a RBI single and Tanner Mathis had a two-RBI single in a three-run second inning to propel Ole Miss to a win in the opener of a three-game series at Tennessee.

Mathis, Auston Bousfield and Will Allen had two hits apiece for Ole Miss.

Bobby Dahl went seven innings for Ole Miss, allowing two earned runs and five hits while striking out six. R.J. Hively earned the save for the Rebels, throwing two innings and striking out four of the six batters he faced.

Florida 4, Miss. State 1

Chris Stratton pitched well enough for the Bulldogs (30-18, 12-12 SEC) to win, but the offense let him down with a six-hit effort as Mississippi State dropped the opener of a three-game series at Florida.

Hunter Renfroe had three of those hits. Matthew Britton drove in the lone Bulldog run in the fifth inning.

Stratton took the loss, pitching seven innings and giving up six hits and two earned runs. He struck out six.

Daniel Pigott had a two-run home for Florida (36-13, 14-10).