HATTIESBURG, Miss.- Riding the coat tails of a thirteen-game win streak (tying for the longest in team history), the Golden Eagles look to continue their success on into the postseason. A combination of stellar pitching as well as a bevy of support from the bats, the Southern Miss baseball team is looking as good as ever.
On April 25th, the team lost their second game in the series against UTSA, and their record stood at 22-16-1. They had just about had enough of losing, so they said to themselves “hey, we’re not going to do that anymore,” so they didn’t. And they haven’t since. Since that loss to UTSA, the Golden Eagles have won at Alabama, (wrapping up their four-game sweep of SEC foes), shut out four teams, enjoyed a walk-off win on Senior Day, and a 17th inning walk-off win in the longest game in school history.
Their record now stands at 35-16-1 going into Game 1 of the conference tournament against the UAB Blazers. The two teams met in a three-game series in the regular season, and USM took two out of three from the Blazers at Pete Taylor Park, the same location of tonight’s matchup. However, in the one game that UAB did win, guess who they had on the mound; red shirt Junior right-hander James Naile, who will be on the mound tonight for the Blazers, which makes for an interesting set-up.
The Golden Eagles have a lot on the line in this tournament. They are eyeing an NCAA regional bid. Many analysts believe the Eagles have already done enough to earn a spot in the big dance, but it’s no question that a couple wins in this conference tournament would help. Southern Miss head coach Scott Berry seems to like his chances.
“I certainly feel we have built a strong case for ourselves right now, but I don’t know if you’re really comfortable at any point,” Berry said on the JT Show Wednesday.
Southern Miss is tied for second in the Conference USA standings, but is the third seed in the tournament due to a head-to-head with Florida Atlantic. UAB is the sixth seed.
First pitch is set for 7:30. USM will send Cody Carroll to the mound to duel against Naile.