ROLLA, Mo. – Missouri S&T junior pitchers Dalton Erger (Imperial, MO/Seckman) and Luke Marcheschi (Bloomington, IL/Central Catholic) held Missouri Southern to just two hits in a combined shutout Wednesday afternoon, as the Miners recorded their first victory of the 2018 season with a 2-0 triumph at the S&T Ballpark.
Erger blanked the Lions (3-2) over the first seven innings, striking out seven along the way, while Marcheschi picked up a two-inning save to complete the combined shutout.
The Miners (1-2) got the only run they would need in the first inning, as catcher Justus Nelson(Plymouth, MN/Robbinsdale Armstrong) walked with one out and went on to third following back-to-back hits by Matt Knickerbocker (Bayfield, CO/Bayfield) and Lucas Swindle (Weldon Spring, MO/Lutheran-St. Charles). Nelson scored on a ground out off the bat of Matt Gruse (Neenah, WI/Neenah) to give the Miners the early lead.
Erger was control throughout the afternoon, as the Lions had no more than one runner reach base in any inning with the exception of the fourth. Southern's first two hitters reached in that inning and were bunted over to third, but Erger struck out Cory Canterbury and got Jon Leighton on a grounder to third to end that threat.
The Lions didn't have another baserunner until the seventh when Canterbury drew a one-out walk, but with two outs, Nelson picked him off first to close out that frame.
S&T had opportunities to add to its lead throughout the day, leaving two on in the second and two more in the seventh, but did get another across in the eighth when Knickerbocker led off with a walk and scored later in the inning on a passed ball.
Marcheschi proceeded to retire the heart of the Southern order in the ninth on a line out and two ground balls to pick up the save.
The Miners had six hits in the contest, two of them off the bat of Kaleb Reid (Smithville, MO/Smithville).
Missouri S&T returns to action on Tuesday when it hosts Central Missouri in a 1 p.m. single game at the S&T Ballpark.