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:
- Florida Atlantic (10)
- Old Dominion (1)
- FIU (1)
- Southern Miss (10)
- Louisiana Tech (2)
- Middle Tennessee
Player of the Year: Parker Bates, Louisiana Tech (OF)
Pitcher of the Year: Walker Powell, Southern Miss (RHP)
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