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Southern Miss projected to win C-USA

Photo Courtesy of USM Baseball

On Thursday, the Conference USA released its preseason awards with Southern Miss as the favorite to win the league’s championship.

The Golden Eagles won the last C-USA tournament title in 2019 after finishing 40-21 on the season.

On top of their projection to win the 2021 conference championship, Southern Miss had a league-high four preseason individual honors.

Walker Powell was selected as the C-USA preseason Pitcher of the Year, while Gabe Shepard, Hunter Stanley, and Gabe Montenegro were also selected to the preseason all-conference team.

During the shortened 2020 season, in which the Golden Eagles finished at 12-4 before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Powell collected a 3-0 record with 22 strikeouts.

Coming out of the bullpen, Shepard (16 strikeouts in 11.1 innings) and Stanley (2-0, 1.42 ERA, 22 strikeouts, 3 saves) also put up respectable numbers. Montenegro proved to be one of the team’s better offensive players, posting a .290 batting avergae with 11 RBI and 5 stolen bases.

Sothern Miss is slated to begin their season on February 19 versus Northwestern State. Check out the full C-USA preseason baseball awards below:

EAST

  1. Florida Atlantic (10)
  2. Old Dominion (1)
  3. FIU (1)
  4. WKU
  5. Charlotte
  6. Marshall

WEST

  1. Southern Miss (10)
  2. Louisiana Tech (2)
  3. Rice
  4. Middle Tennessee
  5. UTSA
  6. UAB

Player of the Year: Parker Bates, Louisiana Tech (OF)

Pitcher of the Year: Walker Powell, Southern Miss (RHP)

ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

SP              Gabe Shepard                           So.           Southern Miss

SP              Hunter Gregory                           Jr.             Old Dominion

SP              Walker Powell                            Sr.            Southern Miss

RP              Hunter Stanley                          Sr.            Southern Miss

C                J Paul Fullerton                           Sr.            UAB

IF                Derek Cartaya                             r-Sr.          FIU

IF                Brett Coker                                  So.            Middle Tennessee

IF                Braden Comeaux                        Sr.            Rice

IF                Hunter Wells                                Sr.            Louisiana Tech

IF                Taylor Young                               Sr.            Louisiana Tech

OF              Parker Bates                               Sr.            Louisiana Tech

OF              Bobby Morgensen                       Sr.            Florida Atlantic

OF              Gabe Montenegro                     Jr.             Southern Miss

DH/UT       Mitchell Hartigan                         So.            Florida Atlantic

DH/UT       Davis Sims                                  Sr.            WKU

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