HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) - The first two days of March weren't too kind to the Southern Miss baseball program.
The Golden Eagles lost their first two games of the season -- both to South Alabama -- after beginning the year with seven straight wins.
Since then, the Golden Eagles earned their 40th win of the season in the Conference USA tournament championship game and the No. 2 seed in the Tallahassee regional that begins Friday.
"As awesome as it was this past Sunday, a brand new season starts," said senior first baseman Tim Lynch, who has started all 58 games for USM. "Just like we talked about a brand new season starts for the conference tournament, well, now there's a brand new season and it's a regional."
Southern Miss (40-18) will play South Alabama at 11 a.m. The winner will advance to play either host Florida State or Alabama State on Saturday.
The Golden Eagles are 25-5 in day games compared to 15-13 at night. Both of the games against the Jaguars earlier this season were played after sunset.
"I think what you're looking at right now is a field of 64 teams whose records are all zero and zero," USM head coach Scott Berry said. "This is a new season for 64 teams trying to get to be the final eight in Omaha."
The program's best run was in 2009 when the Golden Eagles advanced to the College World Series. That year in the Super Regional round, Southern Miss swept Florida, which is a potential opponent in Super Regionals again this year.
But South Alabama is USM's only focus right now.
"We haven't played our best against them," USM sophomore outfielder Daniel Keating said. "We know that we're going to get their best going into this. No games are going to be a cakewalk, but I like our chances in that Tallahassee regional."
Kirk McCarty (7-1, 3.38 ERA) will start on the mound for Southern Miss, while South Alabama counters with All-American Kevin Hill (8-1, 2.53 ERA). All games will be streamed live on ESPN3.com.