Fowler Gearing Up For Big Season

Southern Miss opened up practice Friday afternoon on a mild January day in Hattiesburg. After a strong fall, the Eagles are eager to get to the field and get this season started. For senior Chase Fowler, it is also the chance to help command one of the deepest pitching staffs in recent memory.

Senior Chase Fowler couldn't contain his excitement for his senior season to get underway. He's been waiting for this afternoon for a long time, and the high expectations of the Eagles are just fuel to his fire to get it started.

"It feels awesome, and I've been waiting for two weeks for this day to get back on the field as a full team," he said in an interview with

"Everybody is ready to get this season starting."

In preparation of this day, the Eagles have been working hard individually.

"We've been doing our 4 on 1's with the coaches and having different time slots and getting individual work in," he said. "We have been working out hard too and getting back in the swing of things."

Fowler's importance to this team cannot be overstated, and having a senior behind the plate will make an already loaded pitching staff even more stingy.

"Senior year, I just hope to provide some leadership on the team from a defensive standpoint," he said. "I want to be there every step of the way for our pitchers and lead them.

"I want them to know I'll be there for them and want to help teach the younger guys to slow things down and understand the grind of a long season."

The switch hitting Fowler hit .239 last season including 17 RBI's, but he knows his most important role is in leading this vaunted pitching staff.

"I expect big things from our staff to be honest with you," he said. "We have all three starters back and that is huge, and we are hoping Mason Robbins can be used mostly in the field.

"We have Connor Fisk who had a huge fall and showed what he can do, so we hope we can add him in the mix as well. We have Pierce and Drehoff who were our number 1 and 2, so it is just a great staff with three great arms.

"Whoever you want to pick in mid week games as well can get the job done. I'm just excited to get started and get to working with them."

With the high expectations, Fowler knows it will be important right out of the gate to have things going and a tone needs to be set by this senior class.

"We have the first time a SEC opponent comes in for our home opener and hopefully we can send them back with three losses," he said. "We are really excited, and we know that every game is important.

"We'll come out today in practice and every day with a new attitude of hard work and focus on the job at hand."

After a strong off-season, Fowler feels he is ready to lead.

"Coach and I had a sit down and talked about my role as a defensive player and how he wants me to bring my A game every day on the defensive side and not really worry about what I have to do with the bat," he said.

"I know my bat will come around, and Coach said just to focus on my handling of the pitching staff and everything offensively will take care of itself. I'm just trying to give the team everything I have from that side and help out any way I can."

The Eagles will participate today in Fan Day by meeting and greeting fans, followed by a scrimmage at Pete Taylor Park at 2:30

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