HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WLOX) - Two Southern Miss pitchers combined to allow one hit and the Golden Eagles scored all of their runs in the seventh inning for a 6-0 season-opening victory over Murray State in front of 3,707 at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
The Golden Eagles won their sixth-straight season opener, posting their first shutout on opening day since defeating Mississippi State 11-0 in 2018.
Gabe Shepard, who won his final three starts of 2019, limited the visiting Racers to just one hit and collected seven strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings to keep MSU’s bats in check.
MSU starter Trevor McMurray was just as good, giving up no runs on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts
The two teams stayed scoreless until the bottom of the seventh.
MSU reliever Braydon Cook walked the first two hitters to open the frame. After a sacrifice bunt and a strikeout, Cook walked three more hitters with Fisher Norris and Matt Guidry registering RBI free passes to start the scoring.
Sophomore Will McGillis then laced a two-run single to rightfield, before pinch runner Brant Blaylock scored on a double steal to complete the scoring.
“We stayed in the middle of the ring with them, exchanged punches and finally got a big blow there in the (seventh),” Southern Miss baseball coach Scott Berry said.
Ryan Och fanned four and walked two over the final 2 1/3 frames for the Golden Eagles to collect the victory.
The Golden Eagles got five hits in the contest, registering singles from Norris, Guidry, McGillis, Danny Lynch and Dustin Dickerson. With Guidry’s hit, he now has reached base safely in the last 56 games.
David Hudleson collected the Racers lone hit, a single to leadoff the third.