19 Mar

on the mound

Midweek starters in college baseball generally don’t rate the spotlight. But the two matching up tonight at Trustmark Park in Pearl should be the centers of attention before what figures to be a huge crowd. It feels highly appropriate for this rivalry game that both Ole Miss’ Riley Maddox and Southern Miss’ Cole Boswell are Mississippi boys, products of tradition-rich high schools. Maddox, from Pearl, was an All-State performer at Jackson Prep before heading to Oxford. Boswell, from Collinsville, pitched at West Lauderdale and then at Meridian Community College before moving on to Hattiesburg. Maddox is 1-1 with a 5.03 ERA in five games (four starts) for the 15-6 Rebels, who, like the 14-6 Golden Eagles, have surged into the national polls this week. Boswell is 0-0, 5.87, in four games and three starts, including one earlier this month at Trustmark against Mississippi State. Maddox was hurt most of last season at UM after posting a 5.24 as a freshman in 2022. Boswell went 11-1, 2.49, at Meridian CC last season and was the juco league’s pitcher of the year. Pitchers’ duels are not uncommon at the TeePee, the home of the Double-A Mississippi Braves that typically plays as a pitcher’s park. Maybe we get one tonight. It would be highly appropriate. … For the record, a pair of Mississippi products will hook up in Starkville tonight, as well, when MSU sends lefty Bradley Loftin (ex-DeSoto Central star) to the mound against Memphis’ 6-foot-6 right-hander Cade Davis (from Ripley via East Mississippi CC). … A few miles down the road from Pearl, at Joe G. Moss Field in Raymond, Hinds CC is hosting a twinbill against East Central, undefeated (28-0) and ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA Division II poll. Hinds is 15-14, including a loss to Warriors back on March 2. The spotlight in Raymond likely will be on ECCC sluggers Mo Little, Brady McGee and Trey Bridges, who have seven home runs each.

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