One guy has a right-handed swing, the other left. One happened on a Saturday, the other on a Wednesday. One was against Charlotte, the other against Rice.
But these two moments were nearly identical down to the helmet flip as Taylor Braley in 2017 and Matt Wallner in 2019 jumped into a black and gold mosh pit at home plate.
In fact, Wallner was standing in the on-deck circle when Braley walked it off and it’s something he remembers quite well. “That was a lot of fun. I wasn’t going to throw my helmet or anything but I thought of Taylor Braley two years ago and I thought I’d do that one for him. Yeah, that was for Braley.”
Which brings us to day two of the Conference USA Tournament, Southern Miss taking on Marshall for the right to get a day off tomorrow.
Southern Miss takes this one by the final score of 10-5, needing just nine innings this time, but still running over the four hour mark. Here’s Head Coach Scott Berry on staying locked in. “This is a new season. No matter what we did in the regular season, finishing second in our conference, the frustration of not being able to come out on top again, that’s over. This is where we’re living right now in the present and it’s an all new season. Like I said, the hour glass has been tipped over and the sand is dropping on us right now so we’ll just keep it rolling.”
Southern Miss will return to action at 9 a.m. Saturday against either Rice or Marshall with two chances to win one game.
Rice facing Louisiana Tech in a loser’s bracket game. Would have been a good story for the Bulldogs in recovery mode from that tornado, but Rice hangs on for the 4-3 victory. Owls play again tomorrow.
And so do the UTSA Roadrunners, the eight-seed causing some real problems after pushing top-ranked FAU yesterday and now knocking out Old Dominion, 3-2 final in the second game of the day.