April 3, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss baseball team returns home this weekend to play Conference USA newcomer Middle Tennessee in a three-game series at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
Game times are 6 p.m., Friday, at 2 p.m., Saturday, and 1:30 p.m., Sunday. The series finale on Sunday is scheduled to be televised by Fox Sports 1. All three games also can be heard on the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network.
The Golden Eagles (17-13 overall, 6-3 in C-USA) are fresh off a six-game, nine-day road swing in which they went 5-1 over that stretch and have now won 10 of their last 13 contests.
Southern Miss has won all three league series to start conference play this weekend, including taking two of three from Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton last weekend. This is the first time since 2004 that the Golden Eagles have won each of their first three league series. The 2004 squad won its first five series that year.
In the current standings of C-USA, the Golden Eagles are in a four-way tie for second place along with UTSA, UAB and East Carolina. MT (13-15, 7-5) heads into Hattiesburg tied for sixth place in the league standings after taking two of three from league-leader Rice last weekend in Murfreesboro.
The two clubs have played 15 times in their baseball histories in a series that dates back to 1990. This will be the first time the two schools have met since 2000 and the first time as league foes. Southern Miss leads the overall series 9-6 and are 8-1 over the Blue Raiders in Hattiesburg.
Junior Matt Durst (Whitehouse, Texas) continues to lead the Golden Eagles in hitting with a .304 batting average. He is followed by sophomore Tim Lynch (Jupiter, Fla.) at .271 and junior Michael Sterling (Meridian, Miss.) at .267.
The Golden Eagles are slated to send three right-handers to the mound this weekend. Junior Christian Talley (Diamondhead, Miss.) goes after his third consecutive win having posting a 2-1 record with a 1.72 earned run average in six start this season. Talley has fanned 36 and walked just seven in 36 2/3 innings of work this spring.
Senior Conor Fisk (Brown Deer, Wis.) gets the call Saturday for the Golden Eagles. Fisk looks to improve a 2-1 mark and a 2.76 ERA as he makes his sixth start of the year. Senior Cameron Giannini (Danville, Va.) is expected to start the final game of the series for the Golden Eagles as he has posted a 2-2 record with a 3.83 ERA.
The Blue Raiders will counter with senior left-hander Zac Curtis in the opener (3-1, 3.17 ERA), followed by senior right-hander Paul Mittura (1-1, 2.64 ERA) on Saturday and junior southpaw Jonathan Frebis (2-3, 4.29 ERA) on Sunday.
Following the weekend series, the Golden Eagles return to action Tuesday when they travel to Trustmark Park to play Mississippi State. Game time is slated for 6:30 p.m., and the Golden Eagles are the designated visiting team for that contest.