Keller gets offensive boost during first career start

Freshman right hander Kyle Keller gave up two earned runs in his starting debut Wednesday against the Jackson State Tigers (25-11), while the Lions (26-12) managed a 13-2 victory.

“He’s always been a good pitcher for you,” said junior second baseman Brock Hebert. “He started in the fall, and did a great job over the fall and did a really good job of getting guys out. He just hasn’t gotten a shot this year.”

Keller’s chances for his first collegiate win were improved by an offensive charge led by junior outfielder Harry Slade and Hebert, with each driving in three runs. 

Keller started by notching two scoreless innings before walking in the first run of the game in the third.

The Lions generated eight runs of their own in the fourth, sending 12 men to the plate and putting the score at 8-1. Tigers first baseman Ethan Bright homered off of Keller in the top of the fifth to bring the score to 8-2, but it would be the last run the Tigers would push across the plate.

Keller finished his first career start after six innings, giving up two runs on three hits, while striking out three and walking four.

“A lot of us guys have been wanting him to pitch, but he never really got the opportunity with all the good arms in the ‘pen’,” said Hebert. “Tonight he finally got an opportunity and I think he did a great job.  He’s got all the potential in the world, being as tall as he is. I think he’ll be a great pitcher for us in the future.”