HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - For the first time in his six-year career, Southern Miss alum Brian Dozier is headed the MLB playoffs with the Minnesota Twins.
After finishing with the worst record in baseball last season (59-103), Minnesota faces the New York Yankees in the American League wild-card game on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The winner advances to the AL Division Series against the Cleveland Indians.
After trade rumors circled around Dozier all offseason, the former Golden Eagle shut out the noise and performed - a .269 batting average, 34 home runs and 93 runs-batted-in this season.
USM head baseball coach Scott Berry - who coached Dozier as an assistant from 2006-09 - knows what this postseason berth means to his former player.
"I know last year we working out together when all [the trade rumors] were going on," Berry said. "He wanted to go to a contender to have an opportunity to get in the playoffs. He didn't want to leave the Twins where they had not gone to a playoff on his clock. I know that was very important to him. He had a lot of unfinished business that he wanted to get done."