Arkansas Tech pitcher Josh Floriani continued his good early-season work on Wednesday afternoon by striking out nine Missouri Southern hitters in a 4-1 Wonder Boys' victory over the Lions at Tech Field in Russellville.
Floriani (2-0) worked six and two-thirds innings and came within one out of a shutout. The right-hander from Malvern allowed just one run on five hits.
Tech's Addison Rayford came on in relief to get the final out and earn his first save of the season.
Floriani (photographed) has a 2.91 earned run average in 21 and two-thirds innings of work this season. He has recorded 21 strike outs against only three walks in his first three starts of 2010.
Tech took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by Chad Wynn. His fly ball to center field drove in Matt Johnson, who had reached on a one-out triple to right.
The Wonder Boys added three insurance runs in the sixth inning. Colt Loehrs had an RBI double, while Josh Riley and Landon Sullins both drove in a run with sacrifice flies as Tech took a 4-0 lead.
That was more than enough for Floriani and Rayford. The Wonder Boys improved to 5-3 overall and 3-1 at home this season.
Tech is facing Missouri Southern in game two of a Wednesday doubleheader right now.