Southern Miss keeping the “positive vibes” heading into semi-finals
In each of the past two Conference USA Baseball Tournaments, one team has emerged from the loser’s bracket to play on championship Sunday, but in each of those two title games the more rested team won.
In 2017, it was Rice over Southern Miss. In 2018, it was Southern Miss over Florida Atlantic. Going forward, the Golden Eagles are the more rested team once again, having dispatched Marshall 10-5 last night.
This afternoon, they spent part of their off-day practicing at Gulfport High School where the team’s leader in batting average says it’s all about finding a way to maintain a sense of urgency. Southern Miss DH Bryant Bowen said, “At this point, the hottest teams make it the rest of the way and we kind of had a downward fall or almost a plateau really to end the year and if you let us get hot at the right time I think we really have a chance to do something special. When you play off strictly emotion yeah, it’s draining when you get to bed at night but it really does get you going the next day and it just gives those positive, I guess vibes as Guidry would say, in your mind to be successful and play the best you can the next day and it’s addicting. Really, truly is. Guidry, this one is for you, baby. Positive vibes!”
USM’s next game is going to come bright and early at 9 a.m. tomorrow from MGM Park.
Who are the Golden Eagles going to play? In a win or go home spot for both six seed Marshall and seven-seed Rice, both previous victims of two-seed USM.
Owls win 6-3 which means it’s a Southern Miss rematch tomorrow morning.
Now, let’s recap how the Golden Eagles got to this point, starting with some magic at the Pete at MGM Park, courtesy of Matt Wallner’s two run walk-off home run in the bottom of the tenth the last time these two teams got together.
That led us to USM getting the best of Marshall yesterday in a game that never really seemed to be in doubt.
Ever since that slow start against Rice, Southern Miss has proceeded to score in nine out of its last 13 innings.
Even with two chances to win one on Saturday, it is business as usual for Southern Miss. Southern Miss Pitcher Hunter Stanley said, “We’ve been playing loose and that just gives us all that more reason to play loose cause we don’t want to act like we’ve still got a game to spare. We want to play like it is elimination, win or go home. So it’s definitely big for us being 2-0 and kind of seeing what everybody else has got, so it’s big.”
Southern Miss Head Baseball Coach Scott Berry said, “Let the others use everything that they have in the pitching and try to deplete and it is tough whenever you have to do that. It’s not that it can’t be done, I’ve seen it before. But certainly we’ve played good the last two days and have earned this day off and we’ll take care of business when we get back out here on Saturday.”
If the Golden Eagles were to lose the early game tomorrow, they would take on Rice for a third time this week at 4 p.m.