Golden Eagle Offense Gives Palmer First NCAA Tournament Invite;
Advance To NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional Championship Round; Post 40-Win Season ( 40-23)
Offense was the main headline grabber during the year, and
it came often and continuously.
It was an explosive offense
that helped the Golden Eagles
establish a 17-5 record through
the first 22 games of the season,
which equaled a record set two
years prior. As the year progressed,
Southern Miss went on to post two
six-game win streaks and two four-game win streaks. And not once
during the year did they lose more than three
contests before notching a win.
The year was full of milestones, but two identified the season more than any other. The first
occurred on April 20. That’s when, with the help
of two grand slam homers by David Vilardi and
Matt Baltz, along with a two-run shot from Darren
Welch, the Eagles notched the club’s 1,000th victory with a run-rule shortened 13-1 victory over
The second occurred at the end of the season after the Golden Eagles came out of the
Conference USA Tournament. With a third-place
finish, Southern Miss earned a right to play the
NCAA Regionals for the first time since 1991.
Although the team made tremendous strides
throughout the course
of the season, it was
the individual effort by
the Golden Eagle players that gave the fans
plenty to talk about for
years to come.
Artman burst onto the
scene with a hit parade
that began in February
on opening day and
ended 106 hits later.
Artman set a school
record, as did his 82
singles. His 33-game
hitting streak was the
second-best in school
history. For the year, he
averaged above .400
and his on-base percentage was .490. On
defense, he was part
of school-record 80
double plays. He was
named to the NCAA
team, the Conference USA All-
Tournament team and a first-team
nod for Conference USA.
Sophomore Dusty Haley led
the squad with 15 home runs.
During the week of April 5-11, he
earned Conference USA Hitter of
the Week honors by going 10-for-
20 with three home runs and 10
RBIs against Ole Miss, Samford
Sophomore DeQuincy Scott was a fan favorite
during the course of the year. Once he was given
the chance, he proved his value, especially on May
2, when he had a pair of doubles and drove in three
runs against Charlotte. During the regional, Scott hit
four towering home runs in four games.
Senior pitcher Tyler Kee came to the hill 39
times and finished with 10 saves. He was named
to the NCAA Regional All-Tournament team.
Catcher/designated hitter Darren Welch also
had a flair for the dramatic. During a series with
Tulane, he swatted a three-run homer in the bot-
tom of the 14th that capped a miracle comeback
and ended the longest game in school history
with a 9-8 victory.
Despite the success, it was old foe, Alabama,
who would be the nemesis for the Golden
Eagles. On March 5, the Golden Eagles traveled
to Tuscaloosa for a regular-season contest that
would foreshadow what would come at the end
of the season.
Southern Miss and Alabama slugged it out for
eight innings, with the Tide holding a two-run
advantage. The Golden Eagles had runner in posi-
tion to tie the game in the inning, before Alabama
relief pitching came in and shut the door.
The Golden Eagles started the NCAA Regional
in Tuscaloosa with a hard-fought 20-13 victory
over South Alabama. Then Southern Miss faced
Alabama in the first of two matchups. The two
teams once again battled throughout the game,
but the Tide prevailed once again with a 10-4
victory. Southern Miss bounced back with a
10-9 victory over South Alabama to stave off
elimination before dropping a close 7-6 decision
to Alabama in the championship round.
For the season, Southern Miss set a school
record for home victories with 27 against only
three defeats. Coach Corky Palmer met and even
exceeded expectations. Although hampered with
a young pitching staff, the Golden Eagles were
able to quell several threats that came their way
during the course of the season and overpower
the opposition with their bats.
Front Row (from left): Tony Nguyen, trainer, Thomas Greene, manager, Eric McMaster, Matt Baltz, Robert Larsen, Scott White, Chris Fishburn,
Stephen Prewitt, Dennis Steed, Colby Calcote, Carter Hitt. Second Row: Deborah Huff, trainer, Ryan Bunch, manager, Chris Peden, Danny Stout,
Michael Artman, Scott Cheek, Jonathan Broadus, Chet Batson, Stephen Castleman, Dusty Haley, Greg Wooley, Tyler Kee, Michael Federico,
volunteer assistant, Eric Adams, student assistant. Back Row: Scott Leggett, trainer, Lane Burroughs, assistant coach, Dan Wagner, assistant coach,
Luke Wheeler, Danny Shupe, Charlie Rogers, Scott Pfaff, Chris Finnegan, Jay Lewis, Mike Maline, Josh Walker, Chad Christian, Danny Dossett,
David Vilardi, DeQuincy Scott, Corky Palmer, head coach. Not Pictured: Jeremy Albritton, Darren Welch.