HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Tyler Ray and Nate Hill combined for a six-hit shutout as Troy defeated No. 28 Southern Miss 3-0 Friday night at Pete Taylor Park in non-conference action. Ray (2-0) struck out three and didn't allow a walk over seven innings of six-hit baseball.
The win was the 29th of his career and his 14th straight without a loss – both best among active players in the NCAA. Hill did not allow a hit and struck out two over his two innings of work out of the bullpen to pick up his first save of the season.
"We got what we get from Tyler Ray, another good performance," Troy head coach Bobby Pierce said. "He got a little tired around the 80-85 pitch count which is normal for this time of year. Both he and Nate (Hill) pitched great. You don't get a shutout very often in college baseball. Offensively, I thought we had a few great chances to bust the game open, but just couldn't get that hit. Any time you can come into Hattiesburg and get a Friday night win against Southern Miss it's a great night."
The Trojans (3-1) got all the offense they would need in the opening frame. Tyson Workman, who was making his first offensive appearance of the season, lined a single into left field to open the game. Following a strikeout, Danny Collins singled to left and Boone Shear followed with another single to left to plate Workman.
Collins was the lone Trojan with multiple hits in the game as he finished 2-for-5. Troy out-hit Southern Miss 7-6 in a game that did not feature an extra-base hit. Mason Robbins led the Golden Eagles (2-3) with a 2-for-3 night at the dish. Tyler Hannah drove in a pair of runs, including a key insurance run in the top of the ninth.
After falling behind in the count 0-2 in the second inning, Hannah punched a single back up the middle to score Brandon Brown. Hannah then drew a two-out, bases loaded walk in the ninth to stretch the Troy lead out to the final 3-0 margin. Southern Miss had chances but Ray kept on coming up with a big pitch each time. Cleanup hitter Jared Bales had runners on the corners with two outs in the third and Ray forced a fly ball to center field.
In the sixth, Southern Miss had runners at second and third with just one out and Ray induced a weak pop up and a soft fly ball to end the threat.
The teams continue their three-game series Saturday at 2 p.m. Sophomore southpaw Jimmy Hodgskin (0-0, 10.38) will get the start on the mound for the Trojans while the Golden Eagles will counter with freshman lefty Jake Drehoff (1-0, 1.50).
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