Southern Miss Baseball draws two seed in Oxford Regional
When Southern Miss had two chances to win one game against Louisiana Tech on Saturday the Golden Eagles were playing for the right to go to the Conference USA Tournament Championship game. They were also playing for the right to host a regional, but giving up an 8 run lead in the first game and a 5-2 ninth inning lead in the second game wasn’t enough to get the job done on both fronts.
Instead, Selection Monday has the Golden Eagles heading to Oxford as the two seed in a regional that also features 12th ranked overall seed Ole Miss as the one seed, Florida State as the three seed, and Southeastern Missouri State as the four seed.
That pits USM against the Seminoles in the first game in a rematch from the 2016 Tallahassee Regional in which the Black and Gold lost 7-2.
It also fills the void of a canceled weekend series that was scheduled between the two programs for this year, but ACC COVID-19 protocols prevented that from happening.
It’s the third time Southern Miss has traveled to Oxford for post-season play circa the 2005 and 2007 seasons. USM Head Coach Scott Berry said, “Pretty tough. I would probably say it’s one of the tougher ones that the NCAA put together, so it looks like any of those clubs that are in there that could come out of there.”
USM Pitcher Hunter Stanley said, “Yeah, everyone is excited. We’re not scared. We don’t care who we’re playing. Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Florida State, LSU, whoever it is. I mean when we’re playing good ball, we can beat anyone. We know that. So, everyone is excited, we’re hungry to go play and we’re just glad we can continue our season so we’re looking to go win that thing.”
Southern Miss and Florida State will lead off the Oxford Regional at 2 p.m. Friday from Swayze Field. The Seminoles have the longest active streak of 43 straight regional appearances, one shy of tying the all-time record.
The Rebels play their first game against the Redhawks at 7 p.m. Friday.
Mississippi State also hosting a regional of its own and the Bulldogs are getting one of the easiest draws in the field.
They lead off their post-season run against another Bulldogs team in four seed Samford on the other side of a bracket that also features three seed Campbell, the Fighting Camels, and two seed VCU.
MSU and Samford take the diamond at 2 p.m. Friday.