Berry ‘impressed’ with fall game
Published: Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Updated: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 10:10
The Southern Miss baseball team defeated William Carey 13-1 in the two teams annual fall game at Pete Taylor Park Sunday.
It was the first time USM has hit the baseball field against another team since the College World Series, and the first time to hit the field without departed head coach Corky Palmer calling the shots from the dugout.
"It was kind of wierd," pitcher Todd McInnis said. "It's just a different atmosphere, I'm really excited about what coach Berry is doing, we just have a more aggressive attitude that he's bringing."
While the team was adjusting to the new bearings, Southern Miss fans got a chance to see what some new players look like and how others have progressed.
Golden Eagle pitchers allowed one run on seven hits and just two walks in 14 innings, a good sign to Berry.
"I was impressed," Berry said. "When you play 14 errorless inning and your strikeout to walk ratio is 9:2, you have to be happy about that."
McInnis started on the mound for the Eagles and pitched three innings, allowed one run and struck out three hitters without a walk.
Seniors Cody Schlagel, Scott Copeland, Collin Cargill all saw action, as did juniors Josh Jones, Todd McInnis and Seth Hester. Two sophomores, Mandella Mingo and Matt Warren, also got an inning of work.
The only two pitchers new to fans are Jones and Mingo. The duo pitched an inning apiece of shutout baseball Sunday.
"As you can tell we have a really deep bullpen," McInnis said. "We have a lot of arms, and no matter who ends up starting we'll be good. Everyone is starting to accept certain roles and we're going to fine."
On offense, the Eagles pounded out 15 hits to score 13 runs.
Junior Adam Doleac did the most damage by hitting a towering home run and a pair of singles for four runs batted in.
"It was a fastball I hit out," Doleac, who's nicknamed around the clubhouse "Donkey," said. "It was good to get out here and play another team. Scrimmaging was getting old.
"We have some big shoes to fill out here, but we have some players who are working hard and really improving. I think, in time, we'll be fine."
Berry said Doleac in particular had worked hard this off-season.
"Ever since the regional and super regional last year, he's just had that confidence," Berry said. "He's been lifting religiously since then, and had made himself into a very good hitter."
Newcomer Mark Ellis, a junior out of Chipola Junior College who is vying for Doleac's position at first base, also had three RBI's on a home run and a single.
Ellis is one of two Canadian imports on the team from Chipola, the other being right fielding junior Marc Bourgeois, who went 3-for-6 with a triple and an RBI Sunday.
"I was really proud of both of those guys," Berry said. "They come from a fine program and they did well in their first Division 1 appearance."
The Golden Eagles will continue to practice this fall, and plan to hold a scrimmage game this Sunday at 2 p.m.