Southern Miss baseball moves into Top 25

Southern Miss baseball moves into Top 25

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - After a sweep of a five-game slate last week, The University of Southern Mississippi baseball earned some national recognition.

The Golden Eagles (16-4) moved into College Baseball's national poll Monday at No. 25 after they extended their winning streak to seven games.

Southern Miss took two midweek games from Columbia University and then swept a three-game series from then-No. 23 Louisiana Tech University to open Conference USA play.

Junior right-fielder Mason Irby became the first Golden Eagle honored by the conference this season, earning Conference USA Hitter of the Week accolades.

Irby, who had at least one hit in each of USM's five games, hit .429 (9 of 21) with two doubles and the first home run of his Golden Eagles' career. He finished the weekend with back-to-back, three-hit games, scoring five times and driving in three.

All told, Irby scored 10 runs, giving him a team-high 22 runs on the season.

Southern Miss will return to action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, when the Golden Eagles take on Mississippi State University (12-9) at Trustmark Park in Pearl. The Bulldogs have lost three straight after being swept at the University of Arkansas in their Southeastern Conference opening series.

Junior right-hander Taylor Braley (1-0, 3.38 ERA) will get the start against MSU.

Braley, who sat out Wednesday because of a banged-up finger, dominated in his last pitching outing, stifling the University of New Orleans on two hits over seven scoreless innings in a 6-0 USM victory on March 8. He walked three and struck out 11 while driving in three runs.

Braley's finger has not seemed to bother him at the plate. He hit .357 at Louisiana Tech, including a pair of the three-run home runs. He finished with six RBIs, scored three times and walked twice in the three-game set.

The Golden Eagles will continue C-USA play this weekend, hosting Marshall University in a three-game series, starting at 6 p.m. Friday at Taylor Park. The Thundering Herd (10-7, 2-1 C-USA) opened conference competition by taking two of three games from visiting University of Texas-San Antonio.

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