06 Jun

momentum

You know the old saying in baseball: Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher. The focus today is on who might take the mound for Southern Miss and Ole Miss, both hoping to catch a wave. USM got clutch pitching efforts from Hunter Riggins, Tyler Stuart and Justin Storm in winning a pair of elimination games Sunday in the Hattiesburg Regional. The Golden Eagles now face a winner-take-all game against LSU at 3 p.m. at Taylor Park. Can coach Scott Berry get some quality innings from Tanner Hall, the C-USA pitcher of the year who worked eight innings on Friday? The bullpen is stretched thin. Five pitchers threw on Saturday night. It took six to get through Sunday. Ole Miss is in a much more enviable position in the Coral Gables Regional. The Rebels are 2-0 going into today’s championship round against Arizona, a team they beat on Saturday. The Wildcats had to win twice on Sunday to stay alive; they’ll have to do that again today. UM has used five different pitchers — Brandon Johnson closed both games — and yielded just five runs while punching out 35. Derek Diamond, who has had a disappointing season (4-4, 6.57 ERA), could get a shot at redemption today. Arizona roughed up Diamond in their Super Regional meeting in 2021. Outs are hard to get when the heat rises in tournament baseball, but if USM and Ole Miss can summon some more clutch pitching, we’ll get that dream matchup in the Super Regional next weekend.

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