Southern Miss completes sweep with 6-5 Sunday victory over Murray State

Southern Miss completes sweep with 6-5 Sunday victory over Murray State

This is a news release from Southern Miss athletics

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – James McMahon threw 5 1/3 strong innings in his first career start and Southern Miss held off a late Murray State charge to capture a 6-5 victory and complete the three-game baseball sweep here Sunday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.

The Golden Eagles (3-0) collected their first season-opening sweep since beating Missouri three games to begin the 2013 campaign.

For Southern Miss coach Scott Berry, the sweep should help its team's confidence as the team continues to move forward into its season.

"I hope it does a lot, I know (the sweep) does for mine," said Berry of his team's confidence. "I felt like we earned every one of those wins. We played hard and did some things very well."

After using big innings to blow open contests in each of the first two games, the Golden Eagles built an early lead on Sunday and had to hold off the visitors with late strong pitching to get the victory.

McMahon, who had appeared in 37 games as a reliever, put together a solid first start, allowing just two runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts to earn the victory. It was the longest outing of McMahon's career.

"James threw a lot of strikes," said Berry. "I felt like he controlled the game, fielded his position very well and limited any kind of damage. I am real proud of him. We needed him to step up and he did that today."

With Southern Miss leading 6-2 heading into the eighth, the Racers scored three times on five hits in the eighth to make the game close. Dalton West started the scoring with an RBI double, before pinch hitter Reed Thompson knocked in a run with a single and pinch hitter Matthew Johnson added a one-out, run-scoring double.

Southern Miss then went to junior lefty Luke Lowery, who appeared in all three games in the series. Lowery registered two outs on only two pitches to end the threat and Ryan Milton came on in the ninth to get a pair of strikeouts and a flyout to end the game, earning his second save in the process.

The Golden Eagles initially jumped out to a 3-0 advantage after three frames. Connor Barron knocked in the game's first run with a single in the second, before Chase Scott collected an RBI double and Michael Sterling added a safety squeeze bunt in the third.

Murray State (0-3) got on the board for the first time in the fourth on a bases loaded walk to Kipp Moore, before the Racers added another tally on a fielder's choice. The Golden Eagles then got those two runs back in the bottom of the frame on a wild pitch and an RBI triple to right from Ryan Ellis.

Tim Lynch then added his only RBI of the day with a run-scoring single through the right side in the sixth to complete the home team's scoring.

Sophomore Dylan Burdeaux had a team-best three hits in the contest for Southern Miss.

MSU starter Andrew Bramley (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on four hits with four walks and two strikeouts over 2 1/3 innings.

The Golden Eagles finish their four-game season-opening series, Wednesday, when they entertain New Orleans in a 4 p.m., game. The game time has been moved up two hours from its original starting time due to potential inclement weather moving in during the evening hours.