HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) _ Of late, the University of Southern Mississippi has been playing some its best baseball of 2021 season.
People have noticed.
After entering the collegiate baseball rankings last week for the first time this season, the Golden Eagles were ranked Monday in four of the five national Top 25 polls, moving up into the top 20 in two.
USM (29-14) went 13-5 in April, then won its first two games in May. That’s a .750 winning percentage over its last 20 games.
Last week, the Golden Eagles entered the USA Today Coaches’ Top 25 at No. 22 and Division I Baseball slotted USM at No. 23 in its rankings.
Monday, USM moved up to No. 19 in the USAT poll and No. 20 by Division I Baseball.
The Golden Eagles made their season debut in two more national polls Monday, slotted No. 22 by Baseball America and slipping in at No. 25 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America poll.
The fifth major poll, Collegiate Baseball, had the Golden Eagles outside their Top 30.
The Golden Eagles are showing up and showing out in another major measuring stick when it comes to postseason consideration: Ratings Percentage Index.
Warrennolan.com had four Conference USA members among the top 20 RPIs in the country, including:
- No. 11: University of North Carolina-Charlotte (31-14)
- No. 14: Old Dominion University (31-11)
- No. 18: Louisiana Tech University (32-11)
- No. 19: USM.
Sixteen schools will host four-team regionals to start NCAA postseason play the first week of June. While selecting sites is not based on RPI alone, the stronger a program’s rating, the better its chances hosting.
USM has nine regular-season games left, a final midweek non-conference clash with Southeastern Louisiana University Wednesday night and then two, four-game Conference USA series.
The Golden Eagles, who sit a game-and-half behind Louisiana Tech in C-USA’s West Division, play their final regular-season home series this weekend when Middle Tennessee State University comes to Hattiesburg.
USM will wrap up the regular season by visiting Florida Atlantic University on May 14-16.
The C-USA Tournament will be held May 26-30 in Ruston, La., with eight teams playing for the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA postseason.
The field will be comprised of the top three teams from each of the East and West divisions and the next two teams sporting the highest winning percentages in conference play.