Southern Miss

Southern Miss baseball gets 3 home games back originally lost via ‘Religious Freedom’ law

Southern Miss catcher Cole Donaldson had a big night at the plate as the Golden Eagles beat Dallas Baptist in the Fayetteville Regional in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Friday night.
Southern Miss catcher Cole Donaldson had a big night at the plate as the Golden Eagles beat Dallas Baptist in the Fayetteville Regional in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Friday night. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com file

The Southern Miss baseball team got back three home games it thought were lost for good.

USM (3-1) will play host to Tennessee-Martin in a three-game series in Hattiesburg over the next two days. The two teams will play the first game at 2 p.m. on Friday and then a doubleheader at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

A couple of months ago, Stony Brook backed out of a three-game series set for this weekend in Hattiesburg over Mississippi’s “Religious Freedom” law, sending USM school officials on a search to fill that weekend on the schedule.

Stony Brook, a public university based on Long Island in New York, decided not to travel to Hattiesburg when it realized that the state had banned all travel to the state of Mississippi follow a 2016 executive order by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The executive order was created in response to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signing House Bill 1523, which makes it legal for businesses to refuse service to anyone based on religious beliefs.

USM landed a spot in a tournament at Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, Texas, but the Eagles had to back out Wednesday when wet weather threatened that event.

After the SFA tournament fell through, USM announced Wednesday that it was looking for an opponent and that it was open to playing games in the Atlanta area.

UT-Martin (0-4) was originally scheduled to play at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, but it was announced Thursday that the series had been canceled.

USM season ticket holders with an email on file will have tickets emailed to them this evening. For those season ticket holders that do not receive an email, they can report to the Pete Taylor Park box office beginning two hours prior to first pitch each day. Single-game tickets for the series will be $5 per person.

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @Patrick_Magee

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