March 27, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss baseball team makes its final Conference USA trip to Orlando this weekend when they face UCF at Jay Bergman Field for a three-game series.
The series will be played Thursday-Saturday due to this being Easter Weekend. Game times are 5:30 p.m., CT on both Thursday and Friday with the finale set for Saturday at 11:30 a.m., CT. All three games can be heard on the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network and can be heard in the Hattiesburg/Laurel area on its flagship station WKZW-FM .
In a series that dates back to 1988, Southern Miss holds a 17-8 record over the Knights including an 8-1 mark in games played in Orlando. Southern Miss swept its last three-game set there in 2011.
Heading into the weekend, sophomore Mason Robbins continues to heat up offensively as he tallied his second four-hit performance of the year Tuesday night against South Alabama. The Leakesville, Miss., native holds a .311 batting average and has posted four doubles, two triples and one home run with 13 runs batted in on the year.
Robbins is one of four Southern Miss players which currently sports a .300 or better batting average. Senior Chase Fowler of Cumming, Ga., ranks first at .357, followed by sophomore Austin Roussel at .346 and senior Isaac Rodriguez of Weston, Fla., at .322. Roussel, from Hester, La., has been out though with an injured wrist and is not expected to play this weekend.
Jake Drehoff, who threw seven scoreless innings versus Auburn in Mobile on March 20, looks to get the start on the mound in the series opener on Thursday. The sophomore lefthander from Alpharetta, Ga., has posted an 0-3 record with a 5.13 earned run average and will be opposed by UCF righty Ben Lively, who holds a 5-1 record and a 0.41 ERA.
In Friday's tilt, Andrew Pierce takes the hill for the Golden Eagles. The senior from Stringer, Miss., has posted a 5-1 record with a 1.81 ERA. He has fanned 47 batters, while walked just five over 44 2/3 innings while opponents hit just .214 off him. Southpaw Chris Matulis is the slated starter for the Knights that evening as he has compiled a 2-0 ledger with a 3.71 ERA.
In the series finale, junior righty Conor Fisk (1-1, 2.40 ERA) of Brown Deer, Wis., is expected to take the mound for the Golden Eagles. UCF has yet to determine its starter for the final game of the series.
Following the UCF series, the Golden Eagles complete a four-game road swing next Wednesday, Apr. 3, against LSU at Zephyr Field in Metairie, La., for the Wally Pontiff, Jr., Classic. It will be the fourth consecutive year the Golden Eagles have played in the event. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
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