Southern Miss Wins 42 Games and Advances to Their Sixth Consecutive NCAA Regional
The 2008 team will be remem- ber for overcoming many
injuries and obstacles to accomplish another 40 win season and
sixth consecutive NCAA regional
tournament, finishing the season
with a 42-22 record and playing on the final day of the NCAA
Baton Rouge Regional.
The Golden Eagles finished second in Conference USA with a 15-9
record, earning the two-seed in the
C-USA Tournament for the first time in school history.
The season began with the Golden Eagles taking six of their first seven games over the likes of
Lipscomb, South Alabama, Louisiana-Lafayette
and Miami (Ohio). Staff ace Barry Bowden showed
his first glimpse of greatness with a complete
game shutout on February 29 at No. 25 Louisiana
Lafayette, earning his first of three C-USA Pitcher of
the Week honors and also earning national pitcher
of the week after his dominating performance.
Southern Miss hit the first road bump of the season in early March after dropping five straight road
games to No. 25 Louisiana Lafayette, No. 2 Ole Miss
and No. 26 Cal State Fullerton. With the record hovering at .500, the season took a turn and the Golden
Eagles got red hot winning 14 of the next 16.
Included in that streak was one of the best
weeks in recent memory as the Golden Eagles
used a Corey Stevens 10th inning walk off home
run to defeat No. 15 Ole Miss at Trustmark Park on
Tuesday, March 25. Stevens game winning blast to
straight away centerfield was featured on ESPN’s
Sportscenter as the No. 6 “Play of the Day”.
The following weekend Southern Miss accomplished a feat that no C-USA team had ever done,
win a series at Rice. The Golden Eagles took the
Friday night game behind another outstanding
Barry Bowden pitching effort, earning his third
C-USA pitcher of the week honor on the heels of
an 8. 2 inning game allowing only four hits and
10 strikeouts in the 1-0 victory over the No. 10
Owls. In the rubber game on Sunday, it was the
Golden Eagle offense that defeated the nations
No. 10 team scoring the winning run in the top of
the ninth inning to take the series.
With the team riding a No. 20 national rank-
ing and clicking on all cylinders the obstacles
began to come fast and furious. Staff ace Barry
Bowden came out of the East Carolina game with
should tightness and missed nearly a month of
action. The team’s Saturday starter and No. two
pitcher David Clark took a line drive off the knee
against Arkansas State the next weekend forcing
him to miss the rest of the season.
Todd McInnis earned Freshman All-American accolades. Bowden, Conn and James Ewing were all
named first team All-C-USA by the leagues coaches. Brian Dozier earned second team All-C-USA
and McInnis was named All-Freshman C-USA.
In the 2008 C-USA tournament, at Tulane’s
Turchin Field, Southern Miss won their first two
games over UCF and Marshall before falling on the
final day to the Thundering Herd one game shy of the
Championship. For his play in the tournament Drew
Carson was named to the All-Tournament team.
Southern Miss learned of their fate for the
NCAA postseason as they were sent to Baton
Rouge, Louisiana to play in historic Alex Box
Stadium’s last NCAA Regional.
The Golden Eagles took the number two seed
and was paired against a familiar foe in UNO, a
team they split the midseason home and home
series with, but when it all counted the Golden
Eagles defeated UNO twice to end their season.
However Southern Miss could not mange to find
a way to defeat No. 2 LSU, who was one of the
hottest team in the country riding a 23 game winning streak and playing in from of their 8,000 or
so fans as the Tigers eliminated Southern Miss on
their way to the College World Series.
In all the season was a success as Southern
Miss reached their sixth consecutive NCAA
Regional and won 40 games for the fifth time
under Palmer’s direction, and for the fourth
consecutive year over 100,000 fans visited Pete
Taylor Park to see the Golden Eagles play and
were not disappointed as the team amassed an
impressive 25-6 home record.
Front Row: Shogo Hayashikawa (Athletic Training Student) Chris Kirtland (Student Manager), Chad Caillet (Assistant
Coach), Scott Berry (Associate Head Coach), Corky Palmer (Head Coach), Graham Martin (Assistant Coach), Justin Russell
(Student Manager), Justin Napoli (Student Manager) Second Row: Yutaka Hirabayashi (Athletic Training Student),
Josh Fields, James Ewing, Corey Stevens, Brian Dozier, Tyler Conn, Bret Shattles, Molly Cannell (Certified Athletic Trainer),
Amber Sumrall (Athletic Training Student) Third Row: Wade Weathers, JR Ballanger, Michael Ewing, Trey Sutton,
Trey Cuevas, Daniel Covert, Houston Brown, Chris Matesich Fourth Row: Todd McInnis, Collin Cargill, Kyle Maxie,
Drew Carson, Collin Cargill, Barry Bowden, Anthony Doss, Bo Davis Fifth Row: L-R: Seth Hester, Josh Billeaud,
Adam Doleac, Patrick Daugherty , Matt Warren, Brian Leach, Keith Winstead.