Southern Miss will go with sophomore left-hander Kirk McCarty as the starting pitcher for Friday's game against South Alabama in the opener of the NCAA Regional in Tallahassee, Fla.
The decision by head coach Scott Berry comes as no surprise, but it will mark the first time that McCarty has started the first weekend game for USM this season.
USM and South Alabama will play at 11 a.m. on Friday at Dick Howser Stadium.
McCarty is 7-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 16 appearances this season, including 15 starts. He made First-Team All-Conference USA and has been USM's best starting option through the second half of the season.
Senior right-hander Cord Cockrell was the starting pitcher in the opener of the Conference USA Tournament, but he was removed in the second inning after giving up five runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings. USM won the game over Old Dominion, 17-5.
Cockrell (7-1, 3.97) missed time late in the season with a sore right shoulder.
“He'll be out there at some point,” Berry said of Cockrell. “I don't know what we're going to get out of him.”