By NEMS Daily Journal
Ashley Graeter drove in a pair of runs and a trio of Southern Miss pitchers consistently escaped serious trouble in Friday night’s 3-1 win at East Carolina.
The Golden Eagles (31-10 overall, 10-3 C-USA) won their fifth straight league contest despite getting out-hit 10-8. They turned a pair of double plays, extending their nation-leading total to 58, and East Carolina (27-15, 8-8) stranded 10.
Game 2 is set for today at 2 p.m.
Graeter reached on a bunt in the third and later scored on a single by Tyler Koelling, who leads the team with 40 RBIs.
Graeter, who’s in the lineup for injured shortstop B.A. Vollmuth, drove in the tie-breaking run in the seventh and added an insurance run in the ninth.
USM closer Collin Cargill allowed a leadoff single in the ninth, but a double play ended the game and he claimed his eighth save.
Sophomore righty Geoffrey Thomas (9-2) got the start for Southern Miss and gave up seven hits and one run in 61⁄3 innings.