April 10, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss baseball team faces its toughest Conference USA task to date this season when they travel to Birmingham to face league leader UAB for a three-game weekend set at Young Memorial Field on the Blazer campus.
Game times for the series are 6:30 p.m., Friday, 2 p.m., Saturday, and 1 p.m., Sunday. All three games can be heard on the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network.
The Golden Eagles (19-15, 8-4 C-USA) look to rebound from a 4-3, 11-inning setback in Pearl Tuesday night to nationally ranked Mississippi State. Southern Miss continues to play well having won four of its last six games and 12 of its last 17.
Southern Miss also has enjoyed success against the Blazers in a series that dates back to the 1980 season. The Golden Eagles lead UAB 58-31 overall and have won the last five games and nine of the last 10 in the series.
The Blazers, though, bring in a 23-10 overall record this weekend and are 9-3 in league play. UAB won its only midweek matchup at Alabama 2-1 on Wednesday night.
UAB also brings in a solid pitching staff that boasts a 2.65 team earned run average and has helped propel the Blazers to the top of the league standings. The Golden Eagles, along with Rice, UTSA and East Carolina, sit in second place in terms of percentage points.
Runs may be at a premium this weekend as the series shapes up to be somewhat of a pitchers' duel. The Golden Eagles are set to send junior right-hander Christian Talley (2-2, 2.43 ERA) against senior righty Chase Mallard (6-0, 0.91 ERA) in the opener. Southern Miss then looks to send senior right-hander Conor Fisk (3-1, 2.21 ERA) against Blazer junior right-handed pitcher Alex Luna (5-0, 0.97 ERA) in the middle contest.
On Sunday, the starting pitcher is still undecided at this time for the Golden Eagles, while UAB is expected to go with junior right-hander Johnny Lieske (3-0, 2.00 ERA).
Offensively, junior Matt Durst continues to lead the Golden Eagles with a .308 batting average having hit safely in 18 of his last 21 games. Sophomore Tim Lynch is next with a .280 mark to go along with a team-best 21 walks. Lynch also has a string of reaching base safely in 16-straight games.
Following the UAB series, the Golden Eagles travel to Metairie, La., Tuesday, to face nationally-ranked LSU in the Wally Ponitff, Jr., Classic. Game time is 7 p.m., from Zephyr Field, the Triple-A home of the Miami Marlins.