Alabama to play Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

Kevin Connell

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The Alabama baseball team will conclude its nonconference road schedule with a midweek trip to Hattiesburg, Miss. on Wednesday to play the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Pete Taylor Park.

The Crimson Tide (24-18, 9-9 Southeastern Conference) is coming off its biggest win of the season on Sunday after handing the No. 2 LSU Tigers its fourth loss of the season with a 4-3 walk-off win in 10 innings.

Head coach Mitch Gaspard said it’s a positive sign for a team looking to take the next step in becoming one of the SEC’s best.

“I think it means that we’re really close,” he said. “That’s what we’ve been telling the team; we’re real close to being a good team. It’s just each guy sharpening up a little with what they have to do.

“The more of these wins that we can get, obviously the better you’re going to become as a team, not only now, but as we move forward.”

Freshman second baseman Kyle Overstreet provided the game-winning RBI single in Sunday’s win to reclaim the team lead in RBIs at 27. Although Overstreet is hitting .261 for the season – fifth best on the team – he has been the Tide’s best batter as of late, Gaspard said following Sunday’s win over LSU.

“You look back over the past 20 games or so, and he’s been our most productive and consistent hitter. You just have to throw the averages out,” he said. “He’s probably hitting .340 in his last 20 games. With that, it’s good at bat after good at bat. He’s very confident, and that’s what you want. You want that guy in the three hole to fall just like it did. The game is on the line, and you trust that guy that’s in the box.”

Overstreet was a key contributor in Alabama’s previous meeting against Southern Miss on Feb. 19 when the Tide defeated the then No. 21 Golden Eagles 10-8 in Tuscaloosa. The freshman went 1-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs.

For Wednesday’s game, Overstreet said he will stick with what has made him successful over the past month for Alabama.

“I just get up there and stay calm and try to get a pitch I can hit,” Overstreet said.

Prior to its loss on Sunday, Southern Miss (21-18, 10-5 Conference USA) had won 10 straight, which included a 2-1 win over Ole Miss last week. The Tide was swept in three games against the Rebels April 12-14.

Sophomore left-hander Jon Keller (3-5, 3.50 ERA) will start Wednesday for Alabama. Junior left-hander A.J. Glasshof (0-2, 3.86 ERA) will make his third start of the season for Southern Miss.