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Tanner Hall fans 13 in USM’s 1-0 win over Rice

Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 11:57 PM CDT
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Southern Miss Sports Information

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Tanner Hall tied a career-high with 13 strikeouts and Christopher Sargent drove in the game’s only run with a sacrifice fly as No. 6 Southern Miss defeated Rice 1-0 to win the first game of a Conference USA series Friday night at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.

The Golden Eagles (30-8 overall, 14-2 C-USA) won for the 12th time in a row and 20th contest over the last 22. The current streak is tied for the third longest under coach Scott Berry. Rice fell to 11-27, 4-12.

Hall equaled his career-high strikeout total with his Mississippi State outing earlier this year by starting the game with seven consecutive strikeouts. He ended up retiring the first eight batters, before hitting the No. 9 hole hitter Hal Hughes in the third.

“He was really good,” said Southern Miss baseball coach Scott Berry. “He strikes out the side in the first two innings and ends up with 13 on the night with only one walk. He showed his athleticism with getting off the mound on a couple plays to first. He picks a guy off at second in the seventh inning with one out. That’s a pretty special night for him.”

The Owls got the first of three hits in the contest with a two-out double by Nathan Becker in the fourth. Aaron Smigelski followed with a single to right, but Carson Paetow gunned down Becker at the plate for the final out of the frame to end the only offensive threat by the Owls in the game.

Hall only allowed two more runners – a two-out walk in the fifth and a lead single in the seventh – as he tied a career high with eight innings of work in posting the victory to improve to 7-0.

Landon Harper fanned the first two batters he saw in the ninth and got a groundout in the three batters he faced in the ninth to earn his eighth save.

The Golden Eagle offense registered a hit in each of the first three innings off Rice starter Cooper Chandler, but the Owl pitcher kept the Golden Eagles off balance over seven strong innings. Chandler fell to 1-7 on the season, but limited Southern Miss to a run on five hits with four strikeouts and no walks.

Southern Miss managed its only run in the sixth. After a leadoff double by Dustin Dickerson, he went to third on a a groundout before scoring on Sargent’s sacrifice fly. Dickerson collected two of the five Golden Eagle hits with a pair of doubles to take the team lead for the season with 16.

With the 15 strikeouts by Golden Eagle pitching, the team now has registered 28 games of 10 or more strikeouts, while also doing it in 18 of the last 20 contests.

The two teams continue the series with a 2 p.m., Saturday contest.

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