Sideline View with Dale McKee

Published: May. 22, 2023 at 9:43 AM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles head coach Scott Berry, the school’s winningest coach in program history, announced last week he will retire from coaching following the season. Berry, 60, has guided the Eagles for 14 seasons and has been part of the program since 2000. Taking over will be pitching coach Christian Ostrander. The former Delta State player and former Jones County Junior College head coach will be only the fifth USM head coach since 1959.

The Golden Eagles ended their regular season by winning two of three games from Louisiana and will head to Montgomery on Wednesday (12:30) as the Sun Belt Conference second seed. The Golden Eagles (36-17, 22-8), who finished second to top-seeded Coastal Carolina (37-17, 23-7) in the final conference standings, will play the winner of the Old Dominion/James Madison play-in game. The Eagles ended the regular season by winning 15 of their final 16 contests.

William Carey, led by legendary coach Bobby Halford, punched their tickets to the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho, as the fourth seed in the ten-team field that will begin this Friday. The Crusaders (47-9), ranked eighth in the final NAIA Coaches Poll of the season, won the Hattiesburg Regional in dominant fashion. William Carey will take on Bellevue (Neb.).

East Central Community College baseball also punched their ticket to the NJCAA World Series by winning the Region 23 title. The Warriors (37-17) will be making their first trip in program history this Friday to Enid, Oklahoma, for the series.

Jackson State will begin play in the SWAC baseball tournament as the No. 4 seed from the Eastern Division. The Tigers (28-23) will take on the No. 1 seed from the West in Grambling in their opening game on Wednesday in Atlanta. Alcorn and Valley did not qualify for the SWAC tournament.

Mississippi State and Ole Miss both ended their seasons last Saturday. The Bulldogs (27-26, 9-21) lost two of three against Texas A&M in the final SEC series of the year. The 2021 National Champions lost seven of their final ten games of the year and will not take part in the SEC tournament for the second consecutive year. Defending National Champion Ole Miss (25-29, 6-24) also will be sitting home while the SEC Tournament is being played in Hoover this week. The Rebels lost eight of their final ten games after beginning by winning 14 of 16 games.

Biloxi’s Colt Keith hit for the cycle going six-for-six with two home runs for the Detroit Tigers’ Erie minor league club last week.


Ole Miss softball won two of their four games in the NCAA Utah Regionals. The Lady Rebels (32-28) took two games from No. 18 Baylor before falling twice to the host Utes.

Belhaven softball clinched their second NCAA Division II Regional in Marshall, Texas. The Lady Blazers (32-11), winners of 17 in a row, travel to Berry College (Ga.) this Friday for the Super Regionals.

Co-Lin and Jones are in Spartanburg, South Carolina, this week for the NJCAA World Series. Co-Lin (43-9) is the fifth seed while Jones (46-8) is the sixth seed.

High School

The MHSAA named six softball champions as the 12-team tournament was played in Hattiesburg. Northwest Rankin (6A), George County (5A), West Lauderdale (4A), Booneville (3A), East Union (2-A) and Hamilton (1A) were crowned the 2023 state champions. The MHSAA baseball tournament will be at Trustmark Park in Pearl beginning on May 30. The MAIS crowned baseball champions in Jackson Prep, Magnolia Heights, Oak Hill and Marshall last week.


Mississippi State men head to Scottsdale, Arizona, for the NCAA Championships beginning Friday. The Bulldogs won the Morgan Hill, California Regional as the only team that finished under par.

The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs qualified for final round play this week by finishing in the top 15 at No. 14 of the NCAA Championships in Scottsdale. The Ole Miss Lady Rebels finished 28th as their season ended.