This is a news release from Southern Miss athletics.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Christian Talley allowed one run over six innings and Southern Miss exploded for six runs in the fifth to capture a 7-4 season-opening victory over Murray State here Friday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
After surrendering a solo home run in the first to Tyler Lawrence, Talley settled down by keeping the visitors off the board for the remainder of his six innings of work. Talley fanned 11 batters, including seven of the last eight he faced, and gave up five hits and just one walk, to collect the victory in his first season-opening start for the Golden Eagles.
“I think that shows his maturity,” said Southern Miss coach Scott Berry. “If you're going to give up a home run, you want to give it up early. He settled in and gave his team an opportunity to get back in the ball game. That's how Christian is.”
Southern Miss tied the score in the fourth on a Dylan Burdeaux solo shot that hit high off the billboard in leftfield. Burdeaux led the Golden Eagles with three of their 11 hits in the contest and drove in a pair of runs in the game.
Then the Golden Eagles torched the Ohio Valley Conference preseason Pitcher of the Year, Brock Downey, for six runs in the fifth.
After a four-pitch walk to Chase Scott to open the frame, Tim Lynch reached on a sacrifice bunt that was mishandled at first base. After a strikeout, Michael Sterling drove in a Scott with a single. Connor Barron then plated a pair of runs with a single to left-center. Burdeaux then collected his second RBI with a single to left before Matt Durst finished the scoring with a two-run single through the right side.
“ I thought we did some things really well,” said Berry. “We had to learn about making adjustments early against their starter. He had a great mix, kept us off balance. Those first three innings, he had us wondering what we were doing. But after that, we got deeper in counts.”
Downey ended his night by allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and one walk with five strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings.
Murray State cut into the lead with three unearned runs in the eighth on a couple of Golden Eagle errors.
Ryan Milton threw a scoreless ninth for Southern Miss with a strikeout to earn the save.
The two teams continue the three-game set with a 2 p.m., contest Saturday.