Hot diggity dog!
The State of Mississippi will have a team in the College World Series to root for! Southern Mississippi will host Ole Miss this weekend in the “Super Regionals”. The winner of this best two of three games will be moving on to the “Holy Land” of college baseball at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha for the 75th College World Series beginning on June 17.
Southern Mississippi won the Hattiesburg Regionals by winning two of three from LSU and also besting both Army and Kennesaw State in some nerve-racking games at Pete Taylor Park.
Southern Miss (47-17) advances to their first Super Regional since 2009. The Eagles played in Omaha in 2009 in their only CWS appearance.
Ole Miss, who was the last team selected for this year’s tournament, is making the NCAA selection committee look very good. The No. 3 seeded Rebels defeated Arizona twice and host Miami in the Coral Gables Regionals to advance.
Ole Miss (35-22) has been to eight Super Regionals and has made five College World Series appearances.
The Southeastern Conference held their spring meetings in Destin, Florida, this past week. Many were expecting fireworks between Alabama coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher, but not much talk centered on their war of words a couple of weeks ago.
The SEC is in the early stages of making changes to all the sports schedules in preparation for the arrival of Texas and Oklahoma into the conference in 2025.
The league did approve scheduling formats for men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, softball and men’s and women’s tennis. The football scheduling is not set, but an eight-game and nine-game scheduling is the most likely with three permanent opponents. This would protect certain rivalries from being scrapped.
Most of the scheduling formats have no more division play but the top two overall teams playing in the SEC Championship Game. Over 30 models are being considered. The Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) and the transfer portal were the other major topics discussed over the four days.
Hattiesburg native Davis Riley is still looking for his initial win on the PGA Tour, but it could be coming sooner than later. The former University of Alabama golfer finished tied for 13th in the Memorial played last weekend in Dublin, Ohio. Davis has posted three top 5s, two top-tens, and two top 13s finishes in his last eight starts.
Pearl River Community College claimed the national NJCAA Division II World Series in Enid, Oklahoma, this past weekend. Jones College is the only other state JUCO to win a baseball national NJCAA championship, which was back in 2016. Coach Mike Avalon registered his 200th win as head coach of the Wildcats.
Dakota Jordan of Jackson Academy was named the Mississippi Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year. The senior outfielder batted .524 with 16 home runs. Jordan has signed with Mississippi State to play football and baseball.
Grambling pitcher and Raleigh native Shemar Page was named to the Division 1 All-American second team. Page finished the season ranked No. 2 in the nation with 143 strikeouts. Page was the SWAC Pitcher of the Year this past season.
Mississippi State’s Mia Jordan, who became the SEC’s all-time softball home run leader with 92 during her Bulldog career, was named a unanimous first-team All-American and was also named the NFCA DI Catcher of the Year.
The Steve Hull Memorial Golf Classic is set for Saturday, June 11, at the Dancing Rabbit Golf Club at the Pearl River Resort. The deadline to enter the four-person scramble is June 8. This year the tournament is limited to 25 teams. Contact Lindsey Hall at WTOK-TV in Meridian for more details.
The State Games of Mississippi held their 32nd opening ceremonies last Friday night in Meridian. The State Games have over 30 different events this year in individual and team competition. This year the first ever home run derby will be held on Monday, June 13.
Dale is a Waynesboro native who has been writing sports since 1973.