Sept. 6, 2012
Follow Golden Eagle senior Chase Fowler of Cumming, Ga., as he and his baseball teammates go through individual workouts and then fall practice as they work on their quest to get back to the NCAA Tournament. Chase will write share his thoughts on Southern Miss baseball and other happenings each Thursday during the fall semester.
There always seems to be a special feeling floating around inside me every time I make my way back to Hattiesburg to start a new school year. A new year means a new team. A new team means new beginnings and a chance to do something special.
For the first time in 10 years last spring, the 2012 Southern Miss Baseball team did not see their name during the NCAA Regional Selection show. For the new guys, they had no idea what it felt like to see their team called on to compete in the postseason. For us older guys, it felt like the air got knocked out of us. Guys like Kameron Brunty, Travis Creel, Paxton King, and Matt Warren have seen USM's name called three times prior to the 2012 season. Brunty even had the opportunity to play in Omaha!
Creel and King return, along with Isaac Rodriguez, Dillon Day, and myself; all seniors who have played a part in at least two NCAA Regionals since our freshmen seasons. We have come together and created some team goals. We plan on starting a new postseason streak this year as well as work hard toward winning a C-USA championship and earning a trip to Omaha, Nebraska.
This summer I had the opportunity to play in the Northwoods League in Minnesota and all summer long I had to tell teammates and opposing players "No, we didn't make a Regional. It was the first time in 10 years."
That wasn't something I enjoyed, but it was my motivation to become a better player. I know my teammates felt the same way I did and the day we got back to Hattiesburg you could feel it. It was a different vibe, a different look in everyone's eyes. Focus. Determination.
We have all come together with one thing in mind: Get to Omaha!!!
One Team. One Mission.