26 May

it’s a big one

Conor Fisk gets the ball today for his 12th start as a Southern Miss pitcher. None of the other 11 remotely compares in significance to this one. It’s do-or-die now for USM, which plays Rice in Houston for the Conference USA Tournament title. At 30-26, the Golden Eagles need to win to get an NCAA regional bid and join Ole Miss, Mississippi State and SWAC champ Jackson State in the postseason party. Otherwise, the Eagles will pack up the equipment, just as every other Mississippi college and juco has now done. So, who is Conor Fisk? He’s a 6-foot-2, 225-pound junior right-hander from Wisconsin. He was drafted out of high school by Milwaukee but went instead to a juco, Wabash Valley, where he was 14-2 with a 2.71 ERA in 2012. He is 4-3 with a 2.97 for USM. He pitched fairly well against Rice in a meeting in March, going seven innings and yielding eight hits and three runs. He got no decision in what became a 6-3 loss. In his last outing, on May 17 against Houston, Fisk got knocked around for nine hits and six runs (four earned) in 4 2/3 innings. He took the L in that one. Rice is the top seed in the tournament and is 40-17, virtually assured of an NCAA bid already. Maybe that will work in Fisk’s favor. Then again, there’s that win-or-go home pressure in the air. P.S. Roy Oswalt needs more polish before he’ll be ready to help the Colorado Rockies. The former Weir High and Holmes Community College star said as much himself after allowing four hits (two homers), three walks and three runs in five innings in a minor league start on Friday. … Add Jesus Sucre to the list of Mississippi Braves to make the majors. The catcher debuted for Seattle against Texas on Friday night. He was doubled up on that absurdly bad call at first base, where the pitcher (not on the bag) caught the ball in front of the first baseman (who was on the bag). The umpires somehow missed it.

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