“Rally paddle” brings wave of energy to Southern Miss dugout
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - When he’s not swinging a bat this weekend, you can find Southern Miss junior infielder Charlie Fischer waving an equally important piece of equipment - the rally paddle.
Born out of necessity - no, not for a kayak - to stir up Powerade mix.
The once innocuous paddle discovered great power on Sunday afternoon.
Down to their final three outs of the season, the Golden Eagles needed a spark.
“Aubrey Gillentine actually tried to pick it up and the ump looked at him and was like no, that’s not gonna fly,” Fischer said. “We’re not gonna let you use that. I looked at him like, ‘You know what, we’re here to have fun.’ We don’t know what the future holds.”
“I think we scored right after that happened and I remember looking at Charlie and I said, ‘Go get the paddle, bring it back out,’” said USM sophomore pitcher Justin Storm.
“I think he just grabbed it, that’s all it was,” said USM athletic trainer Sven Pearson. “I kind of just looked down at one moment, it was just up in the air.”
“We grabbed it, we started waving it around and the bats kind of came alive,” Fischer said.
It used to just be tossed to the nearest corner of the dugout, but now the rally paddle has its own mantle.
And Fischer is the safeguard.
“We actually ran up to go get it, I didn’t see it right away so I got kinda nervous,” Fischer said. “My mom sent me pictures of them selling the yellow ones at Walmart. But this is the true paddle right here. We want fans to embrace it but if we lose this paddle, I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
“I don’t know anything about the paddle,” said USM head coach Scott Berry.
Berry would argue Southern Miss got to host its first Super Regional on the strength of one of the nation’s top pitching staffs and an experienced lineup.
However, the rally paddle is in the holster should the Eagles face some rough water this weekend.
“Just picking it up at the right time and now it’s working,” Fischer said. “So, we’re going to keep using it.”
“That’s the origin story of the rally paddle, I guess,” Storm said.
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