Feb. 21, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss baseball team returns home to play host to its own tournament this weekend at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field beginning Friday at 5 p.m.
The Southern Miss Invitational will feature Eastern Illinois (1-3), Missouri State (2-1) and Alcorn State (0-6) as all three schools are no strangers to Pete Taylor Park. The Golden Eagles (3-1) last met Alcorn State here last season in a three-game set and both EIU and Missouri State each came to The Pete during the 2011 campaign for weekend series.
The tournament begins at 1 p.m., Friday with ASU and Missouri State taking the field in the opener, while the Golden Eagles are set to follow at 6 p.m., against EIU.
Southern Miss holds a combined overall 36-8 record against their three opponents this weekend. The Eagles hold a 9-2 mark over Eastern Illinois, a 13-5 record against Missouri State and are 14-1 versus Alcorn State.
The program has opened the 2013 season by winning three of its first four games against schools from the Southeastern Conference. The Golden Eagles won three times last weekend against SEC newcomer Missouri at home, before dropping a 10-8 mid-week affair at Alabama on Tuesday.
During the early going, the Golden Eagles have been productive with their offense in the later stages of the game, scoring 18 of their 24 season runs in the seventh inning or later.
The offense has been led by senior catcher Chase Fowler, who has posted a .571 batting average with five runs driven in. Senior second baseman Isaac Rodriguez is next for the Eagles with a .400 batting average to go along with a team-best two doubles and three RBI.
As for the pitching staff, Southern Miss has fanned 36 batters over 35 innings and allowed just 26 hits and 12 walks over the first four games.
Southern Miss expects to utilize its same rotation as a week ago with senior right-handed hurler Andrew Pierce (1-0, 1.29 ERA) taking the mound against sophomore Matt Borens of EIU (0-0, 1.69 ERA) on Friday. Sophomore southpaw Jake Drehoff (0-0, 1.69 ERA) will face righty Nick Petree for Missouri State (0-0, 0.00 ERA) in Saturday's tilt, while sophomore left-hander Mason Robbins (0-0, 1.50 ERA) is expected to take the mound in the finale against Alcorn State.
The weekend schedule is as follows:
Southern Miss Invitational
Friday, Feb. 22
1 p.m. - Missouri State vs. Alcorn State
5 p.m. - Eastern Illinois vs. Southern Miss
Saturday, Feb. 23
12 noon - Alcorn State vs. Eastern Illinois
4 p.m. - Missouri State vs. Southern Miss
Sunday, Feb. 24
11 a.m. - Eastern Illinois vs. Missouri State
3 p.m. - Alcorn State vs. Southern Miss
Tickets for all Southern Miss home games can be purchased by going online at SouthernMissTickets.com, or by calling 1-800-844-TICK, as well as in person at the Pat Ferlise Center weekdays from 8 a.m., until 5 p.m.
Please also check the Southern Miss weather hotline at 601-266-7411 during the weekend as expected inclement weather could alter the tournament schedule.