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Southern Miss baseball enters rankings after second consecutive sweep

Photo courtesy of Southern Miss Athletics

The Southern Miss baseball team is getting hot at the right time.

After mounting back-to-back sweeps, first against Coastal Carolina and most recently against Arkansas State, the Golden Eagles (34-17, 18-9 Sun Belt) have found themselves back in the rankings at No. 25 in the latest Baseball America poll.

”Southern Miss returns to the rankings for the first time in two months following a road sweep of Arkansas State. The offense led the way in Jonesboro, exploding for 38 runs on 46 hits,” Teddy Cahill and Peter Flaherty said. “Shortstop Ozzie Pratt went 10-for-15 and DH Slade Wilks went 7-for-14 with three home runs in the series. The Golden Eagles are now in second place in the Sun Belt standings going into the final weekend of the regular season against Texas State.”

First-year head coach Christian Ostrander’s squad now sits in second place in the Sun Belt and is vying to be a high seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Southern Miss will square off against in-state foe Ole Miss before its weekend series against the Bobcats.

Meanwhile, for Mississippi State, a series loss at Arkansas dropped the Bulldogs (33-18, 15-12 SEC) a few spots, placing them at No. 15 in Baseball America’s rankings and No. 16 in D1Baseball’s latest poll. Chris Lemonis’ group is still in prime position to host a regional as long as the team takes care of business in its midweek outing versus North Alabama and weekend stint against Missouri at home.

Ole Miss, once seemingly dead in the water, has found new life as the Rebels (27-24, 11-16 SEC) took two of three from No. 3 Texas A&M over the weekend. Mike Bianco’s crew is currently seated in the field of SEC teams competing for a conference championship next week. With a top 25 RPI and 12 wins over nationally-ranked opponents, two wins in a crucial series at LSU paired with a victory or two in Hoover could land Ole Miss back in the NCAA Tournament.

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