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.

10 May

next!

Eliminated on Monday from the Gulf South Conference Tournament, Delta State awaits a bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament. The regional fields will be announced on Sunday. The Statesmen (32-15), regular season champs in the GSC under coach of the year Rodney Batts, lost to Alabama-Huntsville 7-3 on Monday in Oxford, Ala. DSU went 2-2 in the tournament. The Statesmen got a South Regional bid in 2021, Batts’ first full season at the helm, but went 2-and-out at Pensacola, Fla. … Also awaiting its postseason destination is William Carey, champion of the Southern States Athletic Conference. Bobby Halford’s Crusaders will take a 37-15 record into an NAIA regional. … Millsaps’ season ended Monday with a second straight loss to top-seeded Birmingham-Southern in the Southern Athletic Association championship series. Jim Page’s Majors won 10 of their last 14, including a pod title, to finish 24-21. … Belhaven’s season ended Sunday with two losses to UT-Dallas in a pod championship showdown in the American Southwest Conference Tournament. Kyle Palmer’s Blazers went 28-16, most wins for the program in seven years. … Rust College, under first-year coach John Bates, plays Edward Waters on Wednesday in the NAIA bracket of the Black College World Series at Montgomery, Ala. The double-elimination pod winner will meet the NCAA Division II bracket champ in a title game. … In the NJCAA Division II Region 23 Tournament on Monday in Poplarville, MACCC champ Pearl River Community College plays Northwest, East Mississippi takes on Jones and Hinds gets LSU-Eunice. The winner of the double-elimination event gets a trip to the juco World Series.

08 May

championship stuff

For the second straight year, William Carey University wears the crown in the Southern States Athletic Conference. Behind a brilliant pitching performance by Chris Williams, the Crusaders beat Faulkner 7-0 Saturday, completing a 4-0 run through the double-elimination tournament at Columbus, Ga. R.J. Stinson hit a pivotal home run in a 13-6 win against Loyola-New Orleans earlier Saturday and drove in two more runs in the title-clincher. Carey (37-15) earns an automatic bid to the NAIA nationals at a regional site to be determined. Under coach Bobby Halford, in his 37th season, the Crusaders have won 18 conference titles (GCAC or SSAC) and been to eight NAIA tournaments. … Behind the brilliant pitching of Brett Sanchez, Belhaven University beat UT-Dallas 7-1 and moved into the championship round of its pod in the American Southwest Conference Tournament at Richardson, Texas. BU (28-14) plays UT-Dallas again today, needing one win to advance to the ASC title series. Sanchez (8-1) threw a complete-game six-hitter with nine strikeouts. Caleb Whittle homered for the Blazers. … Top-seeded Delta State lost to Lee University 9-3 and dropped into the losers bracket of the Gulf South Conference Tournament at Oxford, Ala. DSU (31-14) plays Montevallo today in an elimination game. … Wesley Lester’s 10th-inning grand slam boosted Northwest Mississippi Community College past Meridian 14-11 and into the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament. East Mississippi also won a Game 3 on Saturday, beating East Central 11-1, and joins Northwest, Hinds, Jones, LSU-Eunice and host Pearl River in the region tourney at Poplarville starting May 16. The region winner moves on to the NJCAA Division II World Series.