By John L. Pitts/NEMS Daily Journal
HATTIESBURG – Southern Miss got a strong starting pitching performance for the second straight day and beat Eastern Illinois 9-1 on Saturday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
After allowing three straight hits in the opening frame, including an RBI double, Geoffrey Thomas (1-0) retired the last two batters he faced in the opening frame and went on to retire 18 in a row.
“Of the three hits, two were not hard-hit, but that’s baseball,” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. “The biggest thing was we took the momentum back after he stranded runners at second and third with one out.”
After escaping the jam, Thomas watched as his teammates put up four runs in the bottom of the first to take control. Shortstop B.A. Vollmuth extended his personal hitting streak to 22 games with a two-run homer.
The Golden Eagles will go after the sweep today at 1 p.m.
Thomas pitched seven innings, giving up just those three first-inning hits and one walk in the seventh while striking out three. Chase Horn pitched two innings of one-hit relief.
First baseman Adam Doleac, a senior from Hattiesburg, went 3 for 4 to lead a 12-hit assault for the home team.
Southern Miss opened the season on Friday with a 6-2 victory as ace Todd McInnis pitched eight shutout innings, giving up five hits.