HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - After three straight NCAA regional appearances – including 94 wins in two years – Southern Miss baseball enters the 2019 campaign with high expectations.
The Golden Eagles open the season against Purdue on Friday at 4 p.m.
USM ranks as high as No. 21 in Baseball America’s preseason poll after a 44-18 season that ended at the Fayetteville Regional. Falling to the eventual national runners-up Arkansas was humbling and motivating for the Golden Eagles.
"Honestly, facing Arkansas is the first time since I've been here that I felt like we really got beat,” said USM junior outfielder Matt Wallner. “They out-hit us, out-pitched us and just outplayed us. I think as a team we are a little bit more mature and experienced. Having seen that is motivation going forward for sure."
"Nothing's just given to you,” said USM junior infielder Matt Guidry, an Oak Grove graduate. “It definitely takes a lot of hard work to even just play in a regional. We definitely got our sights set on getting past [the regional] this year."
“With hosting a regional my first year here and then going to Fayetteville and stopping at the regional, it’s definitely fueled that hunger to go further,” said USM senior catcher Cole Donaldson. “Coach [Chad] Caillet and coach [Christian] Ostrander and coach [Scott] Berry, they really want to get back to Omaha and so do we.”