The No. 17 Southern Miss Golden Eagles secured their sixth Conference USA Regular season crown by defeating Middle Tennessee 9-4.
This crown was the Golden Eagles’ fourth outright and third in the last five seasons. This year is the final year to gain this crown, as they will become members of the Sun Belt Conference on July 1st. Head Coach Scott Berry claimed the team had “bigger goals” than the Conference USA regular-season crowns after the game in the radio interview.
Southern Miss now has a record of 39-14 and a conference record of 21-8. Southern Miss needed a victory and a Louisiana Tech loss to secure the crown.
The victory wasn’t given as Southern Miss had to rally from behind to take the first of the series.
“We had some good at bats. Slade Wilks had a really nice night, he really elevated us after we fell behind,” Head Coach Scott Berry said.
Southern Miss began the scoring early as Wilks got the Eagles the 2-0 lead in the top of the first with a two-RBI single. Middle Tennessee would add a run in the bottom spot of the first to bring the game to 2-1.
Will McGillis would get the Eagles another round in the top of the fourth to make the score 3-1. Middle Tennessee would take the lead with two runs scored in the bottom of the fourth and then add a run in the fifth to make the score 4-3.
Wilks would lead off the sixth inning to make the score 4-4, then Gabe Montenegro would score two on a single and he would score on a passed ball to extend the lead to 7-4. A passed ball and an inerrant throw in the top of the seventh and eighth made the score 9-4.
The Golden Eagles have a fair shot at facing UAB in the first round of the Conference USA tournament next week. First, they have game two against Middle Tennessee this weekend.