Golden Eagles Extend School Record With Fourth-Straight NCAA Regional Tournament Appearance
The Southern Miss baseball team had another successful season, finishing with a 39-23
overall record, tied for fourth
place with a 13-11 mark in the
always-tough Conference USA
and extended a school record with
its fourth-straight NCAA Regional
Tournament and seventh overall.
The Golden Eagles enjoyed
many highlights during the year,
including five series sweeps
(Buffalo, Troy, UAB, East Carolina and UCF, nine
series wins and an in-season tournament championship (South Alabama’s Coca-Cola Classic). The
Golden Eagles also had four wins against ranked
teams (No. 25 Wichita State, No. 25 Houston and
two against No. 17 Mississippi State).
The season started with Southern Miss winning 11 of its first 14 games and 15 of its first 20,
including winning the South Alabama Coca-Cola
Classic with victories over No. 25 Wichita State
and Stetson and series wins over Birmingham-Southern, Illinois State and a sweep over Buffalo.
The Golden Eagles then won 10 of their next
15 and 14-of- 20 to extend their record to 26-12
overall and 5-4 in conference play. Southern Miss
swept both NCAA participant Troy at home, and the
conference-opening series at UAB. They also won a
non-conference two-of-three series at Dallas Baptist
during that stretch.
Southern Miss then won eight of its next 15
and 13 of its next 24 games to finish the regular
season with a 37-19 overall record and 13-11 in
C-USA. The Golden Eagles won both games over
in-state rival No. 17 Mississippi State for the first
time since 1995, won their series at Marshall and
registered home series sweeps over East Carolina
The Golden Eagles opened the Conference
USA Tournament with a 6-2 win over rival-Memphis but their luck ran out as No. 1 Rice
downed them 5-1 and the Tigers put them out the
Southern Miss’ eighth regional at Tuscaloosa
was a familiar one, as it had already faced two of
the teams in the regional, Troy and Alabama. The
Trojans avenged the earlier sweep to the Golden
Eagles by winning two close contests, 10-8 in the
opener and then ended USM’s season with a 6-5
defeat. Between the two Troy match-ups, Southern
Miss salvaged a tournament win over Jacksonville
Offensively, Southern Miss posted a .314 bat-
ting average with 682 hits, 492 runs, 92 doubles, 19
triples, 81 home runs and 445 RBIs.
The Golden Eagles’ batting average
ranked No. 3 in the C-USA and No.
33 in the nation with seven players
batting .300 or better. The team also
finished second in C-USA in RBIs,
triples, total bases and hit by pitch.
Southern Miss averaged 7. 9 runs
a game - second in C-USA and No.
17 in the nation. The Golden Eagles’
Individually, sophomore second baseman Trey
Sutton led the team in batting average (.375), junior
center fielder Toddric Johnson led the team in runs
( 65), hits ( 94), total bases ( 143) and on-base percent-
age (.444) and was second in home runs ( 11), RBIs
( 52), slugging percentage (.552) and third in stolen
bases ( 9) and senior third baseman Marc Maddox
led the team in home runs ( 18), RBIs ( 70), slugging
percentage (.577) and stolen bases ( 14) and finished
second in total bases ( 142) and walks ( 32).
Maddox finished his outstanding Golden Eagle
career, setting school career records for games
played (244), runs scored (228), hits (296), home
runs ( 53) and total bases (514).
On the mound, a group of four pitchers,
Ryan Belanger, Cliff Russum, Scott Massey and
Daniel Best, combined for 28 of the team’s 39
wins. Belanger and Russum posted eight wins
each to lead the team and Belanger led the team
with 62 strikeouts.
Best, the senior closer, closed out his career
with another outstanding season, posting a 6-2
record, along with 13 saves, which tied Tony
Phillips for the school’s single-season record. He
also finished with 25 saves in his career, breaking
Austin Tubb’s school record of 20. In 52. 2 innings
pitched, he recorded a 2. 22 ERA with 50 strikeouts,
only 11 walks and opponents hit .227 against him.
Following the season, two Golden Eagles
received All-American honors. Best and Maddox
both earned third-team honors on the National
Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s team.
Luke Adkins, Brian Dozier and Michael Ewing
were all named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman
Five Golden Eagles were named to the All-Conference USA teams, with two - Maddox and
Johnson - receiving first-team honors, three –
senior catcher Kevin Coker, Sutton and Best – on
the second team, while Adkins, Dozier and Ewing
earned All-Freshman team honors.
For the sixth-consecutive year, USM had at least
one player selected in the Major League Baseball
Draft. Maddox and Best were selected by the Kansas
City Royals in the ninth and 14 rounds, Johnson was
selected by the Oakland A’s in the 14 round and
Scott Massey was picked by the Pittsburgh Pirates in
the 24th round.
Back Row (from left): Brock Landry, Jody Blount, Ben Wade, Brad Owen, Keith Winstead, Daniel Best,
Brett Hoeflich; Fourth Row: Eddie Burger, Leighton Davis, Jonathan Johnston, Bryan Adams, Toddric Johnson,
Drew Carson, David Clark, Scott Massey; Third Row: David Steele, Patrick Ezell, Kevin Coker, Mike Cashion,
Michael Ewing, Cole Basinger, Bo Davis; Second Row: Justin Russell (manager), Chris Kirtland (manager),
Bailey Hartel, Nick Valluzzo, Cliff Russum, Matt Caire, Trey Cuevas, Chris Matesich, Ryan Belanger, Barry Bowden,
Jeremy Davis, Luke Adkins, David Campbell (athletic trainer), Shawn Fayard (athletic trainer); Front Row: Jake Cobb (base-
ball operations), Brian Dozier, Patrick Maxwell, Lane Burroughs (assistant coach), Corky Palmer (head coach), Scott Berry
(associate head coach), Josh Hoffpauir (assistant coach), Marc Maddox, Trey Sutton, Ana Gross (certified athletic trainer).