Baseball to open the season with Missouri
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 18:02
The University of Southern Miss baseball team finally opens up a highly anticipated 2013 baseball season at Pete Taylor Park on Friday night with a three game series against the newest member of the Southeastern Conference, Missouri.
After three preseason top 40 rankings, and a handful of individual preseason awards, the Golden Eagles seem poised for a deep run into an NCAA Regional.
The Golden Eagles are returning seven position players who contributed in a starting role, and an entire weekend rotation from last years 32-24 squad that missed an NCAA Regional for the first time in ten years.
“We are as prepared as we are ever going to be, we have been working mighty hard since august and we have been making big strides,” Head Coach Scott Berry said.
Senior right-hander, Andrew Pierce, is the expected starter for the season opener on Friday afternoon. Pierce won seven games last season with a 1.98 earned run average on the way to earning All-Conference honors.
Pierce will face Tiger ace Rob Zastryzny, who went 5-5 in 2012 with a 3.80 ERA in 109 innings. Zastryzny is a top prospect with a fastball topping out the low 90’s.
Redshirt Sophomore lefty, Jake Drehoff, is the most highly touted professional prospect on this years roster and will start Saturday’s game. He won six games last season with a 3.51 ERA.
Mason Robbins will toe the mound on Sunday for the Golden Eagles. The left-handed Sophomore became a mainstay in the back end of the rotation to close the 2012 campaign.
Jake Walsh will toe the rubber for the Tigers in game three after carrying a 3.44 ERA with eight saves as the closer last season.
Mason Robbins and Blake Brown will be back providing all the pop in the middle of the line-up for the Golden Eagles, with Dillon Day and Michael Sterling looking to set the table for the big boppers. Isaac Rodriguez, Chase Fowler, and Bradley Roney will look to spark the bottom half of the order this weekend.
Who to Watch for
There will be a few Golden Eagles trying to earn their wings on this opening weekend. Junior College transfers Daniel Wineski and Sean Bucholtz should see significant innings out of the bullpen. While at the plate, look for true Freshman Tim Lynch to contribute in the designated hitter role for a game or two.