Southern Miss got mowed down by a young man from South Mississippi on Tuesday.
Ole Miss pitcher and former St. Stanislaus ace Greer Holston limited the Golden Eagles to two hits and no runs in the six innings he pitched in leading the Rebels to a 6-2 victory at Pete Taylor Park.
“I competed my butt off,” said the 6-foot-4, 210-pound pitcher who picked up his first collegiate victory Tuesday. “It’s easy when you have such a great defense behind you. I had a lot of good plays. It started with (third baseman) Grae (Kessinger) when he caught that ball in the hole. If he doesn’t make that play, I give up a run. And (right fielder Will) Golsan down the line, he made an awesome play (to catch a foul ball in the third inning).
“I didn’t have my best stuff, but it’s easy when you have guys like that behind you.”
Southern Miss (26-8), which has now lost two in a row, did not score until there were two outs in the ninth inning.
Holston hit 94 miles per hour on his fastball, but Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said his breaking pitches were effective, too.
“We didn’t hit because Holston did a great job commanding his breaking ball,” Berry said. “He had enough on his fastball to get in there on us. We did not have that sense of urgency early in the game to pressure them. We put pressure on them late to score the two runs but we didn’t do anything early in the game.”
Ole Miss (21-12) finished with eight hits off USM pitchers Taylor Braley, Colt Smith, Alex Nelms (of Gulfport) and Trent Driver but four of them were doubles that either set up runs or drove in runs and one was a two-run home run by Golson in the ninth inning that topped off the scoring for the Rebels.
Braley finished with a career-high 12 strikeouts but left the mound after 6 2/3 innings with a 2-0 deficit.
USM pitchers struck out 16 Rebels.
Holston (1-2) struck out four and walked three. Brady Feigl pitched the final three innings, giving up three hits and striking out five.
The game was played before the third-largest crown in Pete Taylor Park history, 5,458 fans, but they didn’t see much offense from the Golden Eagles, who came into the game with a .307 batting average.
The Eagles had five hits. Dylan Burdeaux had two singles to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Matt Wallner did not have any, snapping his 11-game hitting streak.
The Rebels had eight hits, led by Ryan Olenek and Nick Fortes with two each.
“You’ve got to play two of the three phases of the game to have a chance to win,” Berry said. “Pitching, hitting and defense. We didn’t play the defensive side well and we didn’t hit well. I thought we pitched well enough, but the other two parts of the game that played so big in this game showed up.”
Southern Miss, ranked as high as 16th in this week’s college baseball polls, will play a Conference USA series at Rice this weekend, Friday through Sunday.
Ole Miss will play at LSU in an SEC series Thursday, Friday and Saturday.