Southern Miss is bringing South Mississippi to the nation’s living rooms.
The Golden Eagles landed an NCAA Regional Baseball Tournament right after finishing a record-setting Conference USA Tournament at MGM Park in Biloxi. They drew the biggest crowd to see a C-USA Tournament game — 5,216 watched USM come up short against Rice in the C-USA title game. Mississippi will have two teams in the Hattiesburg regional hosted by USM, so expect more big crowds.
Starting Friday, USM will play host to Illinois-Chicago, Mississippi State and South Alabama, the first time since 2003 that USM has landed a regional.
All the games will be broadcast on ESPN-3.
“I’m excited, very excited,” USM Coach Scott Berry told the Sun Herald. “Proud for our program, our players, coaches and fan base. It’s been 14 years since we’ve had one. It was a great time in ’03 and the program has come a long way since then. That was kind of when everything kind of started, honestly, back then. Very grateful to have this opportunity to have it back in Hattiesburg. We certainly don’t take it lightly.”
Should USM take the double-elimination tournament, it will face the winner of the Baton Rouge regional, and possibly a rematch with Rice for a shot at a College World Series berth.
This is some great exposure for Hattiesburg and Pete Taylor Park.
USM has players from all over the state, and Daniel Keating, one of its stars, is from Gulfport. This event is one hot ticket and, in fact, tickets to the regional sold out on Tuesday, though some single session tickets may still be released.
USM will play Illinois-Chicago at 1 p.m. Friday. It should be a packed house and a great way to show off the region to the ESPN-3 crowd.
The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.
Game 1 – No. 1 Southern Miss (48-14) vs. No. 4 UIC (39-15), TBD (ESPN 3)
Game 2 – No. 2 Mississippi State (36-24) vs. No. 3 South Alabama, TBD (ESPN 3)
Game 3 – Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, TBD (ESPN 3)
Game 4 – Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, TBD (ESPN 3)
Game 5 – Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, TBD (ESPN 3)
Game 6 – Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, TBD (ESPN 3)
Game 7 – If necessary, TBD (ESPN 3)
For ticket information, visit SouthernMiss.com or call 1-800-844-TICK.