Walker Powell threw seven shutout innings, Reed Trimble had three hits and drove in four runs as Southern Miss blanked Jacksonville State 6-0 Saturday afternoon at Jim Case Stadium to give Golden Eagle coach Scott Berry his 400th victory at the school.
Berry joins Hill Denson (468 wins/1984-97) and Corky Palmer (458 wins/1998-2009) as the only other two coaches at the school to reach this win plateau.
Powell gave the Golden Eagles the start they needed by holding the Gamecocks (5-5) to five hits and three walks with eight strikeouts to earn the victory and improve to 1-1 in the year. Aubrey Gillentine threw the final two frames, getting out of trouble in the ninth, as he allowed one hit and two walks to help preserve the shutout.
Both Trimble and Andrew Stanley led the 10-hit Golden Eagle attack with three hits each.
Southern Miss scored three runs in both the fifth and seventh innings, giving the Golden Eagles all the runs they needed in the contest.
The Golden Eagles quickly got things going in the fifth as Will McGillis led off the frame with a triple down the right field line. After an out, Stanley drove in a run with a single down just inside the line in right.
USM (5-5) added three more singles in a row as Gabe Montenegro and Trimble each drove in a run with their base hits.
Stanley got the visitors going again in the seventh with a one-out double. Dustin Dickerson then walked. After a Montenegro ground out, Trimble blasted the first pitch he saw off of reliever Camden Lovrich to give the freshman his team-leading third homer of the year.
Jax State starter Dylan Hathcock (1-1) gave up three runs on eight hits with a walk and two strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. He left the game after Trimble hit a comebacker that hit off his glove and appeared to strike him in the face. Trimble reached base with a single.
The two teams play the deciding game of the series with at 1 p.m. Sunday. Coach Berry spoke with the Voice of the Golden Eagles John Cox postgame to talk about the win, #400.