A sweep is what they needed and a sweep is what they got!
“The combination of the potent Southern Miss offense and the struggling Blue Raider pitching is enough to convince me of a Golden Eagle sweep, but I also believe the Southern Miss pitching steps up being back home in Hattiesburg.”
This is EXACTLY what happened as Southern Miss scored 28 runs in the series, while holding Middle Tennessee to just 3.
Oh, and star ace Nick Sandlin returned and threw 5 nearly perfect innings, allowing only one hit and striking out 12 Blue Raiders. Because of his performance, Sandlin has earned his 4th C-USA Pitcher of the Week.
Southern Miss went a perfect 4-0 this past week after a three-game sweep of the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders. With this perfect week, the Golden Eagles were rewarded with a number 11 ranking in both Perfect Game’s poll as well as D1Baseball’s poll.
They also were ranked at 10 by the National College Baseball Writers Association, which is the highest ranking they have had all season. More importantly, they are now in sole possession of first place in Conference USA at 13-4 with 4 conference series to go.
Something else of importance is the Golden Eagles’ RPI. Their RPI was in the 50’s a week ago and now has jumped to 36. This is thanks to a perfect week, as well as to the Mississippi State Bulldogs for taking all three games from the 5th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks.
You may recall that Southern Miss opened up their season by sweeping the Bulldogs in Hattiesburg. Golden Eagle fans do not want to cheer for MSU, but the better the Bulldogs do, the better the RPI for Southern Miss.
Because of the RPI going back in the direction it needs to, there is still a slight chance that USM can host a regional. With the teams of Conference USA having such bad RPI’s, Southern Miss really just has to keep winning.
With all of this in mind, the biggest game of the season RPI-wise is tonight against South Alabama. The Jaguars are coming in to tonight’s game with an RPI of 29 and will most likely be the best RPI opponent that Southern Miss will face the rest of the season.
South Alabama won the first game back in Mobile early on in the season 10-9. Tonight’s game is in Hattiesburg at Pete Taylor Park, where Southern Miss is 19-4. The Golden Eagles seem to be heating up at the right time.
If they want to still have a chance at hosting a regional, this is pretty much a must-win for Southern Miss. People say that midweek games are not important, but this is about as important as it gets for the Golden Eagles.
Location: Pete Taylor Park
Time: Tuesday, Apr. 24, 2018 – 6 pm CT