HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - University of Southern Mississippi Sports Information
One of the best baseball seasons in University of Southern Mississippi history appears to have paid off at the box office.
Of course, opening the season with Mississippi State University in the "Farm Bureau Classic" certainly didn't hurt the momentum.
USM athletic officials reported that the Golden Eagles had sold more than 1,700 season tickets before the gates opened on the season at Pete Taylor Park. The mark surpassed the previous high of 1,482 tickets sold during 2013.
"It's a testament to our fans and our team," said Stephen Pugh, USM senior associate athletic director for external operations. "Our fans have really gotten behind our team and committed their support to the program.
"Coach Scott Berry has built the program into one of the top ones in the country and you can feel the excitement around the team."
Opening 2018 with the Bulldogs in town certainly didn't hurt. Crowds at Pete Taylor Park averaged 4,969 as the series drew 14,906 over the weekend, setting a record for a three-game series in Hattiesburg.
The Golden Eagles came into the 2018 season ranked No. 21 after posting a 50-16 mark last season, winning a Conference USA regular-season championship and hosting a NCAA Regional. It was the first 50-win season in the program's history.
The Bulldogs, which ended the Golden Eagles' 2017 season in only the second NCAA Regional ever played at Pete Taylor Park, came into the opening weekend ranked No. 23.
USM clinched the series with an 11-0 win Friday and 7-4 victory Saturday.