Central Arkansas Takes Game 1 from USM 3-1

By: SouthernMiss.com/sports
By: SouthernMiss.com/sports

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Caleb McClanahan threw a complete game and Ethan Harris collected a two-run double to lead No. 30 Central Arkansas to a 3-1 victory over Southern Miss here Friday night at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.

McClanahan outdueled Southern Miss ace Andrew Pierce as he held the Golden Eagles to a season-low four hits, while limiting the home squad to one run to go along with four strikeouts and no walks in improving to 4-1 on the season.

Pierce limited the Bears (16-2) to a pair of runs on four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts over seven innings to suffer his first loss of the year and fall to 4-1.

The game remained scoreless for the first four innings, but that did not keep the Bears from trying to get on the board in the fourth. After Jonathan Davis delivered a one-out double, Scott Zimmerle singled to left with two outs and Davis tried to score on the play but was thrown out at the plate on a strong throw by Breck Kline to end the threat.

The Bears, though, started the fifth with a leadoff single from Garrett Brown. A walk to Kraig Kelley followed and Justin Treece then moved each runner up a base with a sacrifice. Harris put the Bears up for good by taking a Pierce 0-2 pitch to right for a double to give UCA the 2-0 advantage.

Southern Miss (7-10) had tried to get things going for themselves in the third. Freshman Nick Dawson, making his first collegiate start, singled to second base. A wild throw by Blake Marchal allowed Dawson to end up at second. USM, though, then had a strikeout, followed by a pop out and ground out to end their chance of scoring.

UCA added to its lead in the eighth. With the bases loaded, Davis hit a ground ball to centerfield. Harris, who started the frame with a walk, scored, but Forrestt Allday was thrown out at third on the play that resulted in a fielder's choice.

Golden Eagle sophomore Austin Roussel gave Southern Miss its only run in the bottom of the inning on his first career home run to right.

Southern Miss had a chance to tie the game in the ninth. With two outs, Tim Lynch singled and then Blake Brown hit a McClanahan pitch deep to left that Harris caught at the top of the wall to end the game. Brown ended the night 0-for-4 and had a 10-game hitting streak snapped.

The series continues with a 1 p.m., single game on Saturday and then concludes with a 1 p.m., tilt on Sunday


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