16 May

developing situations

Suddenly, Ole Miss looks like a juggernaut. Again. Buried at the bottom of the SEC standings a couple weeks ago, the Rebels have won seven in a row, including their first (as in ever) sweep at nationally ranked LSU over the weekend. Three home runs and clutch pitching by closer Brandon Johnson carried UM (31-19, 13-14 SEC) to an 8-5 win Sunday. Ole Miss was a consensus top 10 team at the season’s outset.
It was bombs away in Hattiesburg as Southern Miss, in dire need of a big win, blasted six homers — three by Christopher Sargent — and got clutch pitching from closer Landon Harper in a 9-5 victory against Texas-San Antonio that clinched the weekend series. The Golden Eagles (38-14, ranked No. 18 by Baseball America) are 2 games up in first place in C-USA with a 20-7 record. An NCAA regional host role may still be in play.
The stunning freefall by Mississippi State continues, as the Bulldogs’ losing streak stretched to nine after a sweep at the hands of nationally ranked Texas A&M. MSU pitching yielded 8, 9 and 8 runs in the three losses. The defending national champion Bulldogs, at 9-18 in the SEC, are in real danger of missing the conference tournament.
Jackson State, seeking to right a listing ship, swept Florida A&M at Braddy Field over the weekend, winning the finale 13-2 as Jaelen Williams went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. The Tigers climbed back over .500 at 26-25 and are 13-14 in the SWAC with a road series at fading Mississippi Valley State (on a 12-game losing streak) remaining before the league tournament.
William Carey’s “reward” for winning the SSAC Tournament is a trip to Lawrenceville, Ga., to meet defending national champion Georgia Gwinnett today in an NAIA Opening Round game. Gwinnett is 42-14, Carey 37-15. Hope International (Calif.) is the top seed in this four-team regional. The winner of the double-elimination tourney goes to the NAIA World Series, which WCU won way back in 1969.
Delta State is off to Saint Leo, Fla., for an NCAA Division II South Regional matchup on Thursday against Rollins College. DSU, making its 35th regional appearance, is 32-15. The winner of this four-team bracket moves into a Super Regional series to play for a berth in the World Series. The Statesmen won the D-II national title in 2004.
The NJCAA Division II Region 23 Tournament starts today in Poplarville with MACCC champ Pearl River Community College playing Northwest, East Mississippi taking on Jones and Hinds tangling with LSU-Eunice. PRCC (36-10) is ranked No. 1 in the nation. LSU-E, the defending national champion, is No. 4. The winner of the double-elimination event gets a trip to the juco World Series.

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