May 1, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -
After finishing its non-conference schedule with a 7-6 victory at Ole Miss Wednesday night, the Southern Miss baseball team returns to the road this weekend to face long-time Conference USA foe Tulane for the final time as a league member.
The Golden Eagles (27-19 overall, 14-7 C-USA) will play the Green Wave at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium in a three-game set that has start times of 6:30 p.m., Friday, at 2 p.m., Saturday, and at 1 p.m., Sunday. All three games can be heard on the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network.
Southern Miss has recorded 16 victories in its last 23 games, including finishing the month of April with a 12-6 mark. The Golden Eagles currently reside in second place in the C-USA standings, trailing the Rice Owls by 2 ½ games.
The team can strengthen its hold on second place with a good showing against the Green Wave (18-24, 6-13) in a long series that dates back to the 1949 season. The two teams have met 151 times on the diamond in their respective histories with the Green Wave holding a 95-55-1 record. The Golden Eagles, though won three of four games last year - including two of three games in Hattiesburg and a 10-7 triumph in the opening game of the C-USA Championship played at Reckling Park in Houston - and have captured nine of the last 14 contests over the Wave.
Heading into the weekend, junior designated hitter Matt Durst (Whitehouse, Texas) leads the Golden Eagles in its top three offensive categories including batting average (.294), home runs (five) and runs batted in (33). Sophomore infielder Tim Lynch (Jupiter, Fla.) is next at .290 with a homer and 27 RBI.
The Golden Eagles will utilize the same rotation for the weekend that they have for the last two weekends, using a trio of right-handed hurlers. Senior Conor Fisk (Brown Deer, Wis.) gets the nod in the opener Friday night having posting a 4-2 record with a 2.63 earned run average. Southern Miss then looks to junior Christian Talley (Diamondhead, Miss.) in the middle game as he has collected a 3-3 mark with a 2.20 ERA.
Sophomore Cody Carroll (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) will take the mound in the series finale on Sunday. Carroll is 3-0 with a 3.41 ERA this season.
Golden Eagle junior closer Bradley Roney (Wetumpka, Ala.) made his first appearance since Apr. 2, Wednesday night against Ole Miss. Roney, who threw the final two innings, captured the victory to improve 1-0 on the year to go along with his team-high 10 saves. This season, in 17 1/3 innings, Roney has allowed just one run on five hits and eight walks with 25 strikeouts while opponents are hitting .088 against him.
The Green Wave is set to counter with their own trio of right-handers on the mound in the series, including Corey Merrill (0-3, 3.65 ERA), Randy LeBlanc (3-4, 2.44 ERA) and Tyler Mapes (4-4, 2.91 ERA) in that order for the series.
Following the Tulane series, the Golden Eagles return home for their final regular-season home series against East Carolina next weekend.