Yesterday, the Southern Miss baseball team finished what it started, ending its Conference USA Tournament run with a regional dog pile for the second time in the last three years.
After losing to Charlotte on a walk-off homerun Saturday night, the Golden Eagles sharpened their talons and got back to work. Mason Strickland pitched the game of his life Sunday morning and then the bats woke up for the title game as Southern Miss scored in five different innings of the 12-3 victory over Florida Atlantic, leaving no doubt as to which team would be dogpiling after the final out. USM Pitcher J.C. Keys said, “Oh, it’s awesome. It’s awesome, baby. Number one! Number one, baby!”
USM DH Daniel Keating said, “It’s freaking awesome, oh yeah. I wasn’t on the bottom of this dogpile.”
USM First baseman Hunter Slater said, “A great feeling man. We’ve got to carry this momentum into next week.”
USM Second baseman Matthew Guidry said, “Pretty good, pretty good. Got to get used to it. Got to go tell our families we love them, but we’ve got a lot more work to do. But all of the returns have got to get these feelings and keep them for a while. Positive vibes! Positive vibes!”
USM Pitcher Nick Sandlin said, “This is definitely one of the goals all year long, but it’s not the main goal. The main goal is to go to Omaha, so that’s what we’ll be looking forward to.”
With USM’s Conference USA Tournament title game victory on Sunday, this 2018 Southern Miss team moves into rare company, joining the 2003 squad as the only team in program history to win both the regular season crown and the league championship in the tournament.