Tennessee baseball is headed back on the road. The Vols are looking for their third road super regionals win in program history as they head to Hattiesburg to face Southern Miss.
Southern Miss coach Scott Berry is retiring at the end of the season making the Golden Eagles one of the best stories in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
Let’s take a look at how the Golden Eagles got here and the players on the mound and at the plate to know.
How Southern Miss Got Here
Southern Miss enters the Hattiesburg Super Regional 45-18 (22-8 Sun Belt). The Golden Eagles finished second in the Sun Belt in the regular season before winning the Sun Belt Tournament and earning a two-seed in the Auburn Regional.
Southern Miss did it the hard way at Auburn, dropping its regional opener against Samford before reeling off wins against Auburn, Samford and Penn twice to advance to the super regionals for the second straight season.
The Golden Eagles are 1-3 against SEC teams this season, dropping midweek games against Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Alabama before beating the Tigers last week. Southern Miss’ only other power five opponent was Illinois. The Fighting Illini took two out of three over Southern Miss in February.
Southern Miss Pitchers To Know
RHP Tanner Hall is Southern Miss ace and he’s a darn good one. Hall boasts a 12-3 record, 2.08 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in his junior season. While Hall has been Southern Miss’ game one starter all season, the Golden Eagles are in a bit of a conundrum this week.
Hall threw 123 pitches Friday night against Samford before turning around and throwing 30 pitches on Monday. The Southern Miss ace will have five days of rest but it is unclear whether he’ll be ready by Saturday’s super regional opener.
RHP Billy Oldham has been Southern Miss’ game two starter for the home stretch of the season. The junior enters the weekend with a 8-3 record, 4.33 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 17 appearances and 12 starts this season.
Oldham allowed just four hits and to earned runs in 5.2 innings against Auburn last weekend.
Both RHP Niko Mazza and RHP Matthew Adams have earned an abundance of starts in the midweek and in series finales this season. Mazza boasts a 5-1 record, 4.13 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP this season. Adams boasts a 3-2 record, 4.95 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP this season.
Both Mazza and Adams earned starts while Southern Miss crawled its way out of the loser’s bracket last week.
RHP Will Armstead (1.69 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 42.2 IP), LHP Justin Storm (2.61 ERA, .94 WHIP, 41.1 IP) and LHP Kros Sivley (4.02 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 53.2 IP) are Southern Miss’ top bullpen arms.
Southern Miss ranks 32nd nationally in team-ERA.
Southern Miss’ Offense By The Numbers
Batting average: .285 (123rd nationally)
Home runs: 84 (60th nationally)
Doubles: 128 (30th nationally)
Runs: 438 (58th nationally)
Stolen bases: 60 (147th nationally)
Southern Miss Bats To Know
Dusin Dickerson — .328 BA, .421 OBP, .968 OPS, 10 HR, 33 XBH, 50 RBIs, 13-16 SB
Matthew Etzel —.317 BA, .384 OBP, .856 OPS, 7 HR, 26 XBH, 51 RBIs, 23-28 SB
Slade Wilks — .291 BA, .383 OBP, .995 OPS, 20 HR, 34 XBH, 58 RBIs
Danny Lynch — .257 BA, .409 OBP, .919 OPS, 13 HR, 27 XBH, 53 RBIs
Christopher Sargent — .256 BA, .327 OBP, .798 OPS, 13 HR, 25 XBH, 43 RBIs