Hunter Riggins a welcome addition to USM pitching staff

Published: May. 22, 2022 at 6:45 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - After three-and-a-half years and 27 wins at Delta State, Hunter Riggins decided to give Division I baseball a shot.

The right-handed pitcher quickly became a hot commodity in the transfer portal.

Southern Miss held an inside edge over other teams thanks to pitching coach Christian Ostrander’s relationship with former teammate and Delta State head coach Rodney Batts.

“Coach Batts didn’t want to lose [Riggins] but there were several colleges that were coming after him and Rodney wanted him to go somewhere that his friends were,” said USM head coach Scott Berry. “And that’s where he made the call to us that hey, this kid’s really good.”

Of course, for Riggins it wasn’t the easiest decision to leave a place he earned a business degree and a lifetime of memories.

“It was tough just because I put so much trust into that program and I really enjoyed being there,” Riggins said. “Coming out of high school I didn’t really care about the big lights and everything of Division I baseball. I thought of it as a stepping stone. If I didn’t give it a shot I would regret so I figured for one year I just want to go ahead and do it and kinda start over again. I didn’t want to be complacent at Delta State.”

Riggins has provided the exact shot in the arm USM ordered – holding a 7-4 record and 3.00 ERA as the team’s Saturday starter.

After losing two weekend starters to the pros (Walker Powell and Hunter Stanley), the Golden Eagles were fortunate to have an experienced pitcher join the rotation.

“He had that experience that we needed to fill that void,” Berry said. “And Hunter Riggins was the guy that we wanted and he filled it nicely.”

“It’s awesome, I’m older than all these guys,” Riggins said. “Only me and Gabe are the old ones so we don’t really go out and do crazy stuff anymore. Obviously the fans are insane. You got the roost and all that and the throw it in the dirt guy, that’s kinda funny. There’s a lot of good stuff about this program.”

And obviously the winning tradition is important to Riggins.

Leaving a Delta State program with 12 regional titles and one national title, he’d like to help Southern Miss win its first.

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