About the Sam Houston State Bearkats:
38-22 record (20-13 home, 14-8 away, 4-1 neutral), automatic from Southland Conference, 69 RPI
Head Coach Mark Johnson (first season, 914 wins against 455 losses career)
Johnson was the head coach at Texas A&M when the Rebels traveled there in 1999 and was an assistant at Mississippi State earlier in his career.
This is the Bearkats' fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament with the last coming in 1996 where SHSU knocked off No. 2 Miami. They are 3-6 all-time.
Team batting average: 319; Team ERA: 4.11
Key offensive players: Keith Stein (.386), Bobby Verbeck (.373, 13 HR, 75 RBI, 5 triples, started all 60 games)
Key pitchers: Jacob Howard (11-5, 2.74, 74 Ks, 28 BBs in 105 innings pitched) will start against Ole Miss, Luke Prihoda (6-3, 1.21, 63 Ks, 10 BBs in 67 innings pitched)
About coming to Oxford: "The team and our staff are really excited to be going to Oxford and playing an outstanding program in Mississippi," SHSU head coach Mark Johnson said. "The teams in the Southeastern Conference have a reputation for putting on outstading baseball events and its going to be a treat for our guys participating in this regional. "What a great regional it's going to be. Mississippi is an outstanding ball club. I've had friends in the area telling me how good they are. Corky Palmer, the head coach at Southern Mississippi, is an old friend of mine. We used to work baseball camps together at Mississippi State. And Troy really tore up the Sun Belt this year. This will be a quality tournament."
About the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles
38-21 record (24-7 home, 11-14 away, 3-0 neutral), at-large from Conference USA, 25 RPI
Head coach Corky Palmer (10th season, 375 wins against 231 losses career)
Palmer is a Southern Miss alumni
Five regionals all-time under Palmer with the last coming in 2006 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Team batting average: .285; Team ERA 3.74
Key offensive players: Trey Sutton (.368, 12 stolen bases), Brian Dozier .335
Key pitchers: Ryan Belanger (7-4, 2.63, 82 Ks and 18 BBs in 99 innings pitched), Barry Bowden (7-3, 3.12, 83 Ks and 26 BBs in 92 innings pitched)
About the Troy Trojans
34-25 record (19-10 home, 10-13, away, 5-2 neutral), at-large from the Sunbelt Conference, 54 RPI
Head coach Bobby Pierce (fifth season, 181-111 at Troy, 716 wins against 314 losses career)
Pierce graduated from Alabama.
17 NCAA regional appearances with last coming in 2006 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Team batting average .304; Team ERA: 5.54
Key offensive players: Trevor Trye ,381, Clint Robinson (.359, 17 HR, 69 RBI
Key pitchers: Josh Dew (7-2, 2.56, 96 Ks and 25 BBs in 63.1 innings pitched), Clegg Snipes (6-5, 5.18, 84 Ks and 22 BBs in 97.1 innings pitched)
About making the tournament: "We are obviously excited to move on to the NCAA Tournament," Pierce said. "We are pleasantly surprised, but I appreciate the committee rewarding the schedule we put together. I am sure it was a big factor. This is a great opportunity to try to play our best baseball of the year this weekend."
Ole Miss and Southern Miss split two games this season.
Troy beat the Golden Eagles in the opening game and eliminated them during the 2006 Tuscaloosa Regional.
Troy defeated USM 3-2 earlier this season.
Oxford is hosting a regional for the fourth straight season. They are the only SEC team to accomplish that feat.
Friday's schedule is Southern Miss vs. Troy at 3 p.m. and Ole Miss vs. Sam Houston State at 7 p.m.
Game times are 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday with the "if necessary" game at 7 p.m. Monday.
Ole Miss is 3-0 all-time against Sam Houston State, 65-38 against Southern Mississippi and 5-0 against Troy.
Oxford Regional capsules
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