HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) - Southern Miss fans, coaches and players must wait until Monday morning to see if the Golden Eagles baseball team will receive a thumbs up from the NCAA selection committee.
Florida Atlantic eliminated Southern Miss (36-18-1) Friday night from the 2015 Conference USA Baseball Championship with a 5-4 decision over the Golden Eagles at Pete Taylor Park.
Southern Miss head coach Scott Berry believes his Golden Eagles have built a season-long resume to crack the NCAA postseason.
"It's unfortunate we leave here with a loss, but I feel like there's a strong possibility that we keep playing from here, "stated Berry. "We'll find out on Monday, and I know certain things have to happen."
He added, "But if the committee looks at what we've done down the stretch, and what we've done over the course of the season in all honesty, and they keep that in perspective, I think we certain warrant one of the 64 slots."
The Golden Eagles led 3-1 in the top of the sixth inning on Chase Scott's RBI double, Matt Durst's run-scoring single and Austin Roussel's sacrifice fly.
The Owls from Florida Atlantic would not be denied. They got to Golden Eagles starting pitcher Cord Cockrell in the bottom of the sixth.
Following a double off the bat of Stephen Kerr, he scored on a single by Billy Endris. Golden Eagles left-hander Luke Lowery struck out Conference USA Player of the Year Brenden Saenger for out number one.
Ricky Santiago singled home Endris and that run tied the game.
Lowery got the second out by striking out Roman Collins. Esteban Puerta walked, Christian Dicks was hit by a pitch and that loaded the bases for the Owls.
C.J. Chatham singled to left field that scored two runs and Florida Atlantic led 5-3.
The Golden Eagles came back in the top of the eighth inning. Roussel singled home former Gulfport Admirals Daniel Keating who raced to home plate on a throwing error.
That would be as close as Southern Miss would come in a 5-4 setback to Florida Atlantic.
The Owls (40-16) advance to face sixth-seeded UAB (32-24) at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in a championship bracket game.