Keeping Score

USM in the hunt in C-USA

While the Southern Miss baseball season hasn't yet met the standards of head coach Scott Berry or the fans, the Golden Eagles are suddenly in the hunt in Conference USA.

The Golden Eagles have taken back-to-back two-of-three Conference USA series victories over Central Florida and Tulane to improve to 13-17 overall and 5-4 in league play.

That puts USM in a two-way tie with Memphis in second place while Houston and Rice are tied for first place with 6-3 records.

Southern Miss started the league slate with a 1-2 series against Rice, but Memphis and Houston remain on the schedule for USM.

The biggest reason for the Eagles' strong play in C-USA has been a weekend starting rotation that is quickly developing into one of the league's best.

Sunday starter Conor Fisk threw a two-hit shutout in a complete game, 2-0, victory over Tulane on Sunday. Berry sang his praises back in the fall, but a preseason injury prevented Fisk from seeing the mound early in the year.

Fisk was named the Conference USA Co-Pitcher of the Week on Monday for his performance.

Now that Fisk is healthy, he joins Andrew Pierce and Jake Drehoff to give USM a very good weekend rotation.

USM will travel to New Orleans for a 6:30 p.m. game Tuesday at UNO and the Privateers will make the return trip at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Golden Eagles will host Marshall this weekend in another key Conference USA series. The Thundering Herd have also had a disappointing season, but it has competed well in league play so far after taking two-of-three against Houston this past weekend.

The chances of a postseason at-large bid may already be off the table for USM, but a regular season C-USA title is within reach. With three quality arms in the rotation, the Golden Eagles will also have a shot at making a run in the C-USA Tournament at Rice.

While there's still a good deal of work to be done, there is hope this season for USM after all.

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