Catching up with Southern Miss alum Hayden Roberts

Aside from going to the 2009 College World Series, perhaps the most iconic moment in the history of Southern Miss baseball came out of the 2016 Conference USA Tournament championship game at Pete Taylor Park where the Golden Eagles beat Rice on a walk-off double play.

The guy who started that game, Hayden Roberts, is now an assistant at Pascagoula High School.

Between then and now, Roberts finished up his USM career the following year before getting drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 34th round of the 2017 MLB First Year Player Draft.

He went on to pitch three years in their organization before his eventual release in 2019 and that’s when coaching became an option.

He got hired as the Panthers pitching coach in September and is also the middle school head coach.

News 25 will have his full feature story in the coming days, but until then, Roberts reflects on his favorite moment as a professional ball player involving a five-time All Star and eight-time Gold Glover on the eve of Major League Opening Day. “Faced Arenado once. Funny story if you remember, he got into a brawl. This is my second year. We were in extended spring training, which is not a place you want to be. But we were there. And he got into that fight, so he has to come down to extended spring training with us. I don’t even know he’s here. So, I run out from the bullpen, and this guy flips me a ball. And I’m like who is this? And it’s Nolan Arenado, flips me a ball. He’s playing third base behind me. That was pretty special for me. That’s awesome. Yeah. One of those moments where I did a double take, and I’m like, my God, that’s Nolan Arenado”

Roberts says if he remembers correctly, he got Arenado to fly out to end the at-bat.

Arenado got traded to the St. Louis Cardinals this off-season.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports

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