Two Players Ineligible, One Hurting…
The start of the 2011 postseason couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Southern Mississippi baseball team. USM starting pitchers Geoffrey Thomas and Jonathon Thompson are suspended due to academic reasons, while senior outfielder Tyler Koelling may not play in the Conference USA Tournament due to a hamstring injury.
Golden Eagles head coach Scott Berry made the announcement on Monday. Thomas (10-3, 3.09 ERA) is USM’s Saturday starter, while Thompson completes the team’s weekend rotation. Berry says Thomas is “temporarily ineligible”, but Thompson (7-1, 3.49 ERA) will miss the entire postseason.
Thomas and Koelling were both recently named to the All-Conference USA First Team. Koelling suffered the hamstring injury in last Saturday’s 7-3 regular season finale win over Rice. He has four
home runs and 46 RBIs this season, while leading Southern Miss. with a .367 batting average.
Berry, who was named Conference USA’s Coach of the Year after guiding the Golden Eagles to a share of the program’s first regular season crown since 2003, said Koelling is questionable for this week’s C-USA Tourney in Pearl, Miss.
“I don’t know if we’ll see him the whole tournament,” Berry said. ” It’s a fragile thing with the hamstring. It’s nothing you play with. Of course, our medical staff is working around the clock to get him back.”
Koelling recently received the 2011 Cellular South Ferriss Trophy, given to the top collegiate baseball player in the state of Mississippi. He is the first USM player to receive the award since its inception in 2004.
Southern Mississippi sends C-USA Pitcher of the Year Todd McInnis to the mound Wednesday in their conference tournament opener against Tulane.
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