HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Missouri right-hander Brett Graves limited Southern Miss to just a run and five hits over eight-plus innings as the Tigers defeated the visiting Golden Eagles, 4-1, in baseball action here Friday night at Simmons Field/Taylor Stadium.
The Golden Eagles (6-8) dropped the opening game of this three-game set and lost for the second consecutive time, while the Tigers won for the second straight game and improved to 5-6.
Mizzou took the early advantage by scoring a pair runs in the bottom of the first. After a strikeout to start the inning, the Tigers registered three straight singles with the third one coming from Dylan Kelly, driving in the game's first run. The home squad added another run on a bases loaded liner that shortstop Michael Sterling dropped. The Golden Eagles ended up getting two outs on the play, but Keeton was able to score during the action to make it 2-0.
Southern Miss responded with their only run in the second on an Austin Roussel RBI single, and the game then turned into a pitcher's duel until the seventh.
After a tough first, Southern Miss starter Conor Fisk (0-1) retired 17 of 18 batters in a row - including 10 in a row at one point - down the stretch and fanned eight in the contest, while walking just two and hitting a batter. He also surrendered five hits and gave up a total of four runs as the Tigers collected back-to-back RBI doubles in the seventh from Eric Anderson and Josh Lester, the second given up by reliever Luke Lowery, to finish the game's scoring and taking the loss.
Graves (2-1) allowed a run on five hits with eight strikeouts and only one walk and a hit batter to garner the victory. The starter opened the ninth by hitting freshman Dylan Burdeaux and the Tigers went to Keeton Steele, who prompted fanned the first two batters he faced.
Then, the Eagles got a infield single by Bradley Roney and a walk to Roussel before Nick Dawson struckout to end the game.
Game two of the series is set for 2 p.m., Saturday and will feature Golden Eagle left-hander A.J. Glasshof (1-0, 3.86 ERA) against Tiger righty John Miles (1-0, 7.43 ERA).