Golden Eagles Post First 40-Win Season; Make First NCAA Tournament Appearance ( 42-25)
The 1990 Golden Eagle Baseball team will be
remembered as one of the best in
the school’s history as Southern
Miss would receive its first-ever
invitation to the NCAA Regional
Tournament, in Baton Rouge, La.
Heading into the season, Head
Coach Hill Denson had many
vacancies to fill, due to the departures of third baseman Fred Cooley,
catcher Kenny Graves and starting
pitchers Pat Rapp and Chuck Shive, all four were
drafted by major league teams. Southern Miss did
return, however, its middle infield led by second
baseman Scotty Jurich, who hit .346 the previous
year. The outfield would also prove to be a strong
point for this year’s team, as it would return three
starters in Todd Nace, Chad Van Kooten and
This season would be a year of firsts as the
Golden Eagles received their first-ever top- 25
ranking. Southern Miss would also have its best
start in school history, winning its first eight games
of the season, highlighted by a 5-1 win over LSU
in the Busch Challenge in New Orleans, La.
Heading into the Metro Conference portion of
the schedule, the Golden Eagles
were flying high, as they would
take a 13-3 record to Columbia,
S.C., against the South Carolina
Gamecocks for a three-game
series. Game one was a one-run
affair won by USM, 4-3. That
would be the last win the Golden
Eagles would record in eight days,
as Hill Denson’s squad would
drop their next five games.
With a regular-season record of 41-23, USM
received an invitation to play in the 48-team
NCAA Tournament Field.
There would be eight separate sites with six
teams in each regional bracket as the Golden
Eagles were selected to play in the Baton Rouge,
La., regional hosted by LSU.
Game one of the 1990 regional would be a
night to forget as Southern Cal blasted the Golden
Eagles, 23-5. Senior starting pitcher Damon
Pollard took the loss for Southern Miss.
Game two would be much better for the
Golden Eagles when they won a come-from-behind slugfest, 14-10, over Louisiana-Lafayette.
Junior Mark Kubicki picked up the win, pushing
his season record to 6-4.
The Golden Eagles season would come to a
close the next day as the Houston Cougers rolled
over Southern Miss, 15-3. Damon Pollard, who
pitched his last game ever for the Golden Eagles,
picked up the loss.
The 1990 Southern Miss baseball team will
be remembered for accomplishing its first ever
40-plus win season ( 42), and its first-ever NCAA
appearance, along with their highest regular-season Metro Conference finish (2nd) and most
conference victories ( 16) in a season.
Front Row (from left): Rusty Hinds, trainer, Brent Covington, Greg Cole, Scotty Jurich, Jason Simmons, Chad Hebert, Mark Carson, Brad Skeen, Chris Logan, Mitch Whittington.
Second Row: Amp Case, manager, Tony Phillips, Marc Kubicki, Tommy Castanedo, Larry Wesson, Chris Robbins, Bubba Hall, Mike Emmons, Kevin Young, Stacy Cameron,
Kevin Gilbert, manager. Third Row: Hill Denson, head coach, Damon Iannelli, assistant coach, Mickey Dutil, Randy Springs, Andy Woodard, Dack Demoruelle, Barry Jefcoat,
Chad Van Kooten, Doug Benefiel, Todd Thomas, Charlie Gray, assistant coach, Brian Rees, assistant coach.