Eagles are Golden in opening win

Trey Sutton may be on the shelf for the season, but the top of the Golden Eagles' offense was definitely ready and capable.

Southern Miss mashed Troy pitching and cruised through the opening round of the Oxford Regional with a 14-1 win without its top hitter. The No. 2 seed will now await the winner of Ole Miss-Sam Houston State for a 5 p.m. start on Saturday. The Trojans put themselves in a hole all afternoon by committing five errors.

"We played a very complete game," USM coach Corky Palmer said. "It is the best we swung the bats in a while. We pitched well and had no errors."

A four-run first inning and five-run second inning off Trojan starter Clegg Snipes left little to doubt as the Golden Eagles banged out 16 hits behind a solid effort from Ryan Belanger.

The USM ace went seven strong innings where he scattered nine hits and allowed just one run and struck out four.

Southern Miss' one through three hitters (Bo Davis, Brian Dozier and Jody Blount) were the story of the game as the unit slugged three hits apiece as well as accounted for six RBI and eight runs scored.

The early lead was more than enough, but the Eagles put an exclamation mark on the opener with another four-run frame in the fifth.

Troy will face the Ole Miss-Sam Houston State loser at 1 p.m. Saturday.

"It is very difficult when you put yourself in that type of hole," Troy head coach Bobby Pierce said. "

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