Sideline View by Dale McKee
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) -
The NCAA is expected to announce 20 potential regional baseball sites this week as Mississippi State (35-11), Ole Miss (33-14) and Southern Mississippi (33-15) all are potential hosts. The NCAA will announce the final 16 regional sites on May 30 after the final 64-team field is announced.
Southern Mississippi used four strong pitching performances to sweep Middle Tennessee in the final home series of the regular season. Walker Powell hurled a seven-inning no-hitter while Hunter Stanley, Ben Etheridge and Drew Boyd shut down the Blue Raiders’ bats in the other three games. The Golden Eagles (20-7) with the four wins took over first place in C-USA by a half game over Louisiana Tech (19-7). Louisiana Tech split two games with FIU over the weekend but lost two scheduled games due to a rained out doubleheader on Sunday. This week the Golden Eagles head to Florida Atlantic to end the regular season.
Mississippi State (16-8) won two of three games at South Carolina over the weekend to remain one game behind SEC West leader Arkansas (17-7). The Bulldogs will host Missouri beginning on Thursday. Ole Miss (14-10) dropped two of three at Texas A&M to fall three games behind Arkansas. Ole Miss will host Vanderbilt (16-7) this weekend. The Rebels’ head coach Mike Bianco in his 21st year, won his 800th game as their head coach and 900thof his coaching career.
William Carey (34-10) won the program’s first-ever SSAC Championship and earned a bid to the 2021 NAIA Baseball National Championship opening round with an 11-7 win over Faulkner at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile in the conference tournament. Carey will see their next action on May 17 in the NAIA playoffs. The Crusaders’ opponent in the opening round will be announced on Thursday of this week.
Jackson State (31-8) ended their regular season conference schedule with a sweep of Mississippi Valley to record a perfect 24-0 record in SWAC action. The Tigers will be the No. 1 seed in the SWAC tournament in Madison, Alabama, beginning on May 19 at Toyota Field.
Delta State (26-15) won their opening two games in the Gulf South Conference baseball tournament in Oxford, Alabama, downing both No. 4 seed Valdosta State (24-15) and No. 1 seed Lee University (33-8). Belhaven (20-18) lost two games in the ASC tournament in Marshall, Texas, ending the Blazers’ season.
The Biloxi Shuckers (1-5) will host the Mississippi Braves (2-4) beginning on Tuesday in a six-game series that will conclude on Sunday at MGM Park.
The Jones College Lady Bobcats softball team (39-7) won their seventh state title in the last nine years as they downed Itawamba, 4-0, in the championship game. Jones went through the tournament with a perfect 4-0 mark as they join Itawamba, Co-Lin, Northwest and Gulf Coast, along with host LSU-Eunice, beginning on Wednesday in the Regional 23 tournament. The top two teams from the region tournament will advance to the World Series beginning later this month.
Meridian, Hinds, East Central and Itawamba all won their best two of three series to advance to the Region 23 baseball tournament that will be hosted by state champion Pearl River Community College in two weeks.
The MHSAA Classes 1A, 2A and 3A state softball championships will be played at Mississippi State on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Classes 4A, 5A and 6A will be played at Southern Mississippi on Friday and Saturday.
Odds & Ends
Seattle Seahawks receiver D.K. Metcalf ventured into the world of the fastest men in the track arena this past Sunday. He did well for a 6-4, 235-pounder as he ran a 10.39 in the 100 meter run at the USA Track Field Trials in Walnut, California. The former Ole Miss receiver’s performance was good for 15th place out of 17 hopefuls as the winner Isaiah Young ran a 10.09.
Dale is a Waynesboro resident who has been writing sports since 1973.
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