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Golden Eagles rely heavily on area players

By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
March 15, 2001
Most everyone knows the enormous connection the Southern Miss baseball coaching staff has with the Meridian area.
Head coach Corky Palmer and assistant coaches Scott Berry and Lane Burroughs all have significant ties with Meridian Community College.
But did you know the Golden Eagles also have a slew of former high school and juco players from the area now playing for Palmer?
Former MCC standouts Anthony Rawson (LHP), Allen Winningham (SS), Michael Artman (OF), Rusty McDaniels (C/OF) and Daniel Stewart (RHP) all enjoyed tremendous success at MCC.
First baseman Brad Montgomery played for Bill Baldner at East Mississippi Community College after high school.
The 24th-ranked Golden Eagles (13-6) begin Conference USA play with a three-game slate on the road against the Houston Cougars. The Cougars, like all other C-USA teams are 0-0 in league play. Their overall record is 6-16.
Dogs win a big one
The Mississippi State Bulldogs captured the 2000th win in the history of the franchise with a thrilling 6-5 win over the New Orleans Privateers on the road Tuesday.
The Bulldogs are now 10-5 on the season and take to the road to face Vanderbilt in a three-game series that continues throughout the weekend.
They are undefeated in Southeastern Conference play at 3-0.
MSU became the 18th school in history to accomplish the 2000-win plateau.
The Bulldogs are currently batting .269 and have a sparkling fielding percentage of .975. Jason Burkley leads the team in hitting with a .361 average.
State pitching has only allowed two home runs all season.
Jeff Hunter and Allen Buckley, who played at Meridian Community College and East Central CC, respectively, are two MSU players with local connections.
Other local players are Jamie Farris (MCC); Brad Farley (ECCC); Michael Shumaker (Forest High School/and ECCC) and Josh Wooten who pitched under Scott Berry at MCC.
Rebs ready for MSU
In a fan poll offered on the Ole Miss internet website, 75 percent of the respondents, when asked which home series they were looking forward to, said they were waiting for the May 11 home series against State.
Interestingly enough, perennial SEC and national champ LSU wasn't one of the choices offered.
The Rebels will continue to try to inch their way into the Top 25 rankings when they travel to The Plains to take on the Auburn Tigers in a three-game set this weekend.
The Rebels' lone connection to the area is former MCC standout Josh Christian.
Scoring runs certainly hasn't been a problem for the Rebs, as they have notched run totals of 10 or more in five games.
Coming into the weekend set of games, the Rebels were batting .297 and their opponents were hitting at only a clip of .236.
Pitchers Pete Montrenes and Adam Yates both have an earned run average of 1.80 with a combined record of 6-1.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. Email him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.

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