March 25, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss baseball team returns home Tuesday to face nationally ranked South Alabama in a 6 p.m., contest at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
The game against USA completes a stretch of 10-of-12 contests played at home for the Golden Eagles (9-14), while the Jaguars enter the game with a 21-4 record and a No. 24 ranking by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. Earlier this month, USA defeated the Golden Eagles 6-5 in Mobile, to push their current win streak to three games over Southern Miss.
Southern Miss looks to rebound from dropping the final two game of its C-USA opening series last weekend against Rice, despite stellar play from seniors Chase Fowler and Isaac Rodriguez in the series.
Fowler, who leads the team in hitting with a .364 batting average, holds a share of the current top hitting streak on the squad at five games. He extended his streak in collecting his first career home run in the final game of the Rice series on Sunday. Fowler drove in three runs in the series opener with a two-run double and by reaching via an Owl fielding error. Fowler, who also started behind the plate in every game last week, successfully handled 31 of 32 fielding chances as well as threw out all three potential base stealers in four games.
Rodriguez, who is hitting .322 on the year, enjoyed a solid weekend as well. He also has posted a current five-game hitting streak. He opened the Rice series with a three-RBI night in the opener, and then finished with three hits in the finale, including a pair of doubles. Rodriguez now has a team-high nine doubles on the year.
In the contest on Tuesday, reshirt-freshman lefthander Luke Lowery (0-0, 10.80 ERA) gets the call for the Golden Eagles. It will be Lowery's first career start for Southern Miss and fourth appearance overall. The Jaguars plan to counter with right-handed hurler Matt Bell (4-0, 2.05 ERA) in the midweek contest.
Following the USA game, the Golden Eagles take to the road for C-USA action as they travel to Orlando for the final time in a three-game set with UCF. The series is slated for Thursday-Saturday. The game times are 5:30 p.m., CT on both Thursday and Friday and 11:30 a.m., CT on Saturday.
The games can be heard on the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network with the flagship station WKZW-FM, 94.3, in the Hattiesburg/Laurel area.
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