Feb. 14, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The first step in getting back to postseason play begins for the Southern Miss baseball team with the start of the 2013 season this weekend against Missouri in a three-game series at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
Game times are set for 4 p.m., on Friday, 2 p.m., on Saturday, and a 1 p.m., finale on Sunday with all three games available on the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network with flagship station 94.3, WKZW-FM, in Hattiesburg/Laurel.
The Golden Eagles, which finished 32-24 a season ago, missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time last spring in 10 seasons and it is the team's goal to start a new streak this year under fourth-year coach Scott Berry, who has posted a 107-67 mark as the program's head coach.
Southern Miss returns seven position player starters as well as it starting rotation from a year ago in the form of senior righthander Andrew Pierce, sophomore lefthander Jake Drehoff and sophomore lefthander Mason Robbins. In all, 10 pitchers also return for USM this spring.
That pitching trio will again get the call this weekend as Pierce (7-4, 1.99 ERA in 2012) will counter Mizzou junior lefthander Rob Zastryzny (5-5, 3.80 ERA), while Drehoff (6-2, 3.51 ERA) is pitted against sophomore righty Brett Graves (4-5, 6.32) and Robbins (1-0, 4.01 ERA) will matchup with junior college transfer and junior Tiger right-handed hurler Jace James in the finale.
The Tigers, which will play their first season in the Southeastern Conference, come off a 33-28 season in which they made the NCAA Tucson Regional last season in their final year in the Big XII under Tim Jamieson, who opens his 19th season with the school.
The two teams have met eight times in baseball with the Golden Eagles holding a 5-3 advantage in the series. This will be the first meeting between the schools since a 9-5 Southern Miss win over Mizzou, Feb. 25, 1999, in Hattiesburg.
Following the series opener, the Golden Eagles continue their stretch of playing SEC foes when they travel to Tuscaloosa, Tuesday, Feb. 19, to face Alabama in a 6:05 p.m. contest.
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