The tickets are sold out, the grass on Hill Denson Field is mowed, everything is set for Southern Miss baseball’s February 16 season opener against Mississippi State at Pete Taylor Park – everything except the lineup card.
Head coach Scott Berry is tasked with filling out a lineup for opening day in just over a week.
Despite losing key pieces to the 2017 MLB Draft, depth is not an issue for the Golden Eagles this season. Berry’s dilemma of deciding which nine players from a talented crop of 35 take the field isn’t the worst problem to have.
“We’ve got a roster of 35,” Berry said. “That’s what the NCAA allows us and that’s what we’ll have this year. If at any time, one of those 35 can help us win a baseball game, then certainly that’s what they’re there for. I tell those guys all the time, my job’s to put the best nine out there that win us baseball games. The best nine that start the game aren’t necessarily the best nine that end the game, nor are they the best nine in the middle of the game. At the end of the game, to be one of the best nine to help us win a game of baseball – we try to do that with everybody we have on that roster.”