Former Delta State pitchers Christian Ostrander, Jeremy McClain team up in Hattiesburg

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 12:09 AM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Christian Ostrander was looking for a place to play college baseball.

In the fall of 1991, he made a stop by Meridian Community College to throw a bullpen for Corky Palmer and Scott Berry.

“I think I messed up [Berry’s] deer hunting plans that day by throwing that pen on a Saturday,” Ostrander said.

“He claims that’s why I didn’t keep him is because I was mad I had to come in off a hunting trip,” Berry said. “I don’t remember that.”

“I wasn’t in great shape so my bullpen was probably pretty average and stuff,” Ostrander said. “Didn’t show enough for them to want me.”

“Didn’t work out,” Berry said. “As he loves to say, well I wasn’t good enough to play for you but thank goodness I’m good enough to coach for you.”

Ostrander did land on his feet, eventually playing for Delta State alongside another future boss of his – Southern Miss Director of Athletics Jeremy McClain.

“What you see in our pitching staff is who he was,” McClain said. “He was an absolutely attack the zone, bulldog mentality, ton of confidence. That’s who he was. So that translates to what I think you see in our pitching staff. It was fun to be a teammate with him, especially when you’re a starting pitcher and he’s coming in out of the bullpen. He probably cleaned up quite a few messes for me.”

There really wasn’t much to clean up when McClain was on the mound.

His 45 wins at Delta State ranks second all-time in Division II. He was named the DII Player of the Year in 1999 after going 15-0.

“Just steady,” Ostrander said. “Just a guy, you knew what you were gonna get. And that dude put together one of the best years ever at a Division II level. 15-0 and Division II National Pitcher of the Year. He’s a dude in more ways than one, he could throw that ball.”

McClain’s background gives him even more of an appreciation for what the USM pitching staff is accomplishing under his former teammate and coach.

The Golden Eagles rank top five nationally in six different pitching categories entering Super Regional weekend:

  • No. 1 in strikeout-to-walk ratio – 4.24
  • No. 2 in ERA – 3.17
  • No. 2 in WHIP – 1.14
  • No. 3 in strikeouts per 9 innings – 11.2
  • No. 3 in walks per 9 innings – 2.64
  • No. 4 in shutouts – 8

“When you listen and watch you can tell he does a great job of really getting guys to a good place where they can maximize their potential and understand who they are and get their minds right when they get ready to compete,” McClain said.

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