Southern Miss will be without one of its top young pitchers in 2017.
USM baseball head coach Scott Berry said Friday that sophomore right-hander Walker Powell has undergone Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and will miss the upcoming season.
It marks the second time that the 6-foot-7 Powell has had to have the surgery. He did not pitch his senior year at Fayetteville (Ark.) High School after going through the procedure.
Powell was an important piece of the USM pitching staff in 2016, first as a reliever and then as a weekend starter late in the year. He finished with a 4-3 record and a 3.46 ERA in 18 games, four appearances. He struck out 32 and walked nine in 39 innings.
“For him to do what he did and become that Sunday guy for us as a true freshman, he certainly has the potential to give you that weekend presence,” Berry said. “Nobody is more disappointed than he is, having to go through that rehab again. We all go through things for a reason. Hopefully, he'll come out better and stronger.”
USM junior designated hitter/outfielder Daniel Keating, a Gulfport product, also suffered a broken foot this summer, but that shouldn't be much of a hindrance for his 2017 season.
Berry said Friday that he was encouraged by the progress that junior third baseman Taylor Braley has made after missing half the 2016 season with a knee injury.