20 Apr

where things stand

For what it’s worth in mid-April, Baseball America projects Southern Miss as an NCAA Tournament team and the No. 15 national seed, hosting a regional in Hattiesburg. Still a long way to go until the NCAA Baseball Selection Show on May 29, but the 25th-ranked Golden Eagles are trending in the right direction at 22-13 overall and 10-5 (tied for second) in the Sun Belt Conference. USM takes on first-place Coastal Carolina (11-4) in a three-game series this weekend at Myrtle Beach, S.C. USM swept James Madison last weekend, powered in part by SBC player of the week Slade Wilks, who homered twice, including a grand slam, and tied a school-record with eight RBIs in Sunday’s series finale. Wilks, out of Columbia Academy, is batting .333 with 14 homers and 39 RBIs. … In the mighty SEC, both Mississippi State and Ole Miss have a lot of work to do to impress the NCAA selection committee. State (22-15, 5-10) is tied for fifth with Auburn in the West Division and visits the Tigers this weekend. After last week’s gut-wrenching series loss at Starkville, Ole Miss (21-16, 3-12 and seventh in the West) gets to host No. 1 LSU this weekend. … It has been a tough year for Mississippi’s SWAC schools. Jackson State is 19-16 overall but just 4-11 in the league, fourth in the East and battling for a league tournament berth. Mississippi Valley State is 2-13 and 10-27, Alcorn State 2-12, 5-26. … It has also been a tough year for the state’s Division II schools. Delta State is 21-21 and 11-12 (ninth) in the Gulf South Conference. Mississippi College is 15-27 and 9-15 (11th). The top eight teams make the GSC Tournament. … In NAIA, William Carey University sits atop the Southern States Athletic Conference standings with a 14-4 record after sweeping Mobile last weekend. The nationally ranked Crusaders (32-9 overall) visit scuffling Blue Mountain Christian this weekend. The Toppers are 6-15 in the SSAC, 23-21 overall. … Rust College is tied for first in the NAIA Gulf Coast Athletic Conference with an 11-4 mark. Tougaloo is fifth in the six-team loop at 5-9. The league tournament is set for Jackson’s Smith-Wills Stadium April 27-30. … NCAA Division III Belhaven is second in the Collegiate Conference of the South standings at 10-4. The Blazers (18-15 overall) have one conference series remaining before the league tournament that starts May 3. … D-III Millsaps, on a six-game losing streak, is sixth in the Southern Athletic Association at 7-11 (16-21 overall) with one league series remaining. The postseason starts April 28 with four best-of-3 series, followed by a double-elimination tournament. The Majors reached the SAA championship series last year as the No. 6 seed under a different format. … MUW, a D-III independent, is 4-22. No record is available for Southeastern Baptist, an NCCAA school in Laurel.

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