May 8, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss baseball team concludes the home portion of its regular-season schedule this weekend when they entertain long-time Conference USA foe East Carolina for the final time as a league member.
The Golden Eagles (28-21 overall, 15-9 in C-USA) will play the Pirates at 6 p.m., on Friday, at 2 p.m., on Saturday and at 11 a.m., on Sunday. All three games can be heard on the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network (94.3 FM in Hattiesburg/Laurel, 620 AM in Jackson, 96.7 FM in Columbia, 96.7 FM in Gulfport).
With two series left in league play for the Golden Eagles, Southern Miss looks to better its placement in the C-USA standings as they currently sit in third place. Coach Scott Berry's squad trails UAB by one game for second place and league-leading Rice by three games.
The program looks to rebound from two series losses the last two weekends to Rice and Tulane, after winning the first six C-USA sets to start the season.
This weekend also marks the final home regular-season weekend for seven Golden Eagle seniors, including pitchers Sean Buchholz, Conor Fisk, Cameron Giannini, A.J. Glasshof, Jay Myrick and Daniel Wineski, along with catcher David Walley.
The recognition ceremony for the 2014 senior class takes place Saturday prior to the contest as the Southern Miss athletic department will also recognize the 1999 Golden Eagle baseball team, which finished 40-23 overall record, including a 27-3 home record which is the best in program history. That team also made the NCAA Tournament, appearing in the Tuscaloosa Regional.
Southern Miss leads the overall series with ECU, which dates back to the 2002 campaign - the Pirates' first season in C-USA for baseball. The Golden Eagles leads the overall series 23-19, but the teams have split the 12 league series that they have had over their time in the league. USM does hold a 4-2 record in series played in Hattiesburg and have swept ECU the last two times that they have come to Pete Taylor Park.
Junior designated hitter Matt Durst continues to lead the Golden Eagles in batting average, having posted a team-best .291 batting average this season with highs of five home runs and 34 runs batted in for the club in 2014. Sophomore Tim Lynch is next at .277, while freshman outfielder Dylan Burdeaux ranks third at .260.
Fisk, one of the seniors being recognized this weekend, gets the start on the mound in the opener against the Pirates (28-21, 13-11). The right-handed hurler leads the team in victories with a 5-2 mark to go along with a 2.57 earned run average. Fisk has also fanned a team-high 73 hitters in 70 innings of work.
Junior right-hander Christian Talley looks to get back on the winning side for the Golden Eagles on Saturday, after dropping his start last weekend at Tulane. Talley is 3-4 this season with a 2.64 ERA in 11 starts, compiling 59 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 64 2/3 innings.
Senior right-handed starter Cameron Giannini makes his sixth league start in the series finale on Sunday. Giannini is 3-2 this season with a 4.58 ERA and has gone at least 5 2/3 innings in six of his 11 starts this season.
The Pirates will counter with its trio of starters, including left-hander Reid Love (4-3, 2.73 ERA) in the opener, followed by right-hander pitchers Tyler Bolton (2-4, 2.35 ERA) and David Lucroy (2-5, 4.20 ERA) in the final two contests, respectively.
Following the ECU series, the Golden Eagles conclude the regular season next week at Charlotte in a Thursday-Saturday series, before playing host to the 2014 Conference USA Baseball Championship at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field, May 21-25.