Conference USA Tournament in review
Despite falling short of their second straight C-USA Tournament Championship, the Golden Eagles showed a lot of heart to make it back to the title game after being stunned by UTSA on day one.
They got things rolling with a 5-2 win over Louisiana Tech on Thursday, thanks in large part to a three run homer from Matthew Guidry.
Next up for USM was a rematch with the Roadrunners on Friday and Taylor Braley did not disappoint going eight innings strong without allowing a single run.
On Saturday, the one they call Meat was the hero again, this time walking it off against Charlotte in the bottom of the ninth with a two run homer onto Caillavet Street. Later in the day, Southern Miss took down the 49ers again, seizing the lead courtesy of Bryant Bowen’s two run double in the top of the eighth.
Finally, the Eagles gave the Rice Owls all they could handle in the ship, but at the end of the day, they simply ran out of pitching and ran out of gas.
No shame in being C-USA Tournament runner-ups after winning four games in a span of less than 72 hours to even get there. USM Head Coach Scott Berry said, “We really had nothing to play for other than that tournament title, which is big, and that’s what I like about this team. They knew this was big, it didn’t matter. We had a game to play and we had an opportunity to win.”
USM First baseman Dylan Burdeaux said, “You know, I guess you can say Rice kind of owed us one after last year, so it’s definitely not the ending we wanted, but it showed the way this team competes, losing one game and winning four straight to get to a championship.”
USM Pitcher J.C. Keys said, “The main point of this weekend was not give up from that first game. A lot of people thought that we were just going to settle, like lay down from that first loss, but it showed that we had heart to be able to fight back.”
C-USA Tournament MVP Daniel Keating said, “I mean, I think we can just take a look back at the whole tournament and we battled, we battled our butts off the first couple games and came back. And I think this whole tournament has just been like a testament to how much of a team effort, like every single person stepped up.”
USM Second baseman Matthew Guidry said, “I wouldn’t say I learned anything about this team because it’s already known by just about everybody that’s watched us and followed us all year. I mean you kind of just re-instated the fact that we don’t quit.”
“We play as a team, and that’s why I think we’re going to do well the rest of this postseason because when you want to play for each other you’re usually going to be successful,” said Burdeaux.
Southern Miss has won 18 out of its last 20 games.