HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) _ The University of Southern Mississippi will embark on its longest homestand of the baseball season Tuesday by welcoming one of the Golden Eagles more familiar foes to Pete Taylor Park.
The 23rd-ranked Golden Eagles (4-2) will host the University of New Orleans (5-1) at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
USM, which swept Purdue University to open the season, is coming off its first road trip of the season, where it dropped the final two games of a three-game series with No. 9 Mississippi State University at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville.
The Privateers (5-1), who took two-of-three games from Michigan State University to open the season, swept Chicago State, Rutgers University and Butler University last weekend to win the 2019 All-State Sugar Bowl Baseball Classic.
UNO is hitting .294 as a team and averaging 6.7 runs per game. Former Jones College outfielder Luther Woullard is one of the Privateers’ top hitters at .333 with three doubles and six RBIs.
“They are putting up runs, so we’ve got to be prepared for that contest on Tuesday,” USM coach Scott Berry said. “They’re going to come in swinging, so we’ve got to regroup and get ourselves ready to go.”
The Privateers swung the bats on their last visit to Hattiesburg, snapping a five-game losing streak against the Golden Eagles by hammering out a 14-9 victory last April.
USM is expected to start senior right-hander Jarod Wright (0-0, 16.20 ERA), who lasted just one inning against Purdue in his first start of the season, failing to get an out in the second inning before being pulled.
UNO senior right-hander Brayson Smith (0-0, 2.25 ERA) is expected to start for the Privateers.
USM junior right-hander Walker Powell was named Conference USA Pitcher of the Week for his efforts Friday night against the ninth-ranked Bulldogs.
Powell scattered five singles over 7 2/3 career innings, allowing no runs, no walks, while striking out two. The Golden Eagles eventually went on to their lone win in the three-game set, taking a 1-0 decision in 10 innings.
It was the first C-USA weekly honor for a Golden Eagle this season and Powell’s first weekly conference recognition.