Tageant continuing college baseball career at Southern Mississippi

Published 8:39 am Monday, August 4, 2014

Delgado’s Clay Tageant has signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Southern Mississippi and play baseball for the Golden Eagles.

“I’ve always known they have a good program,” the 2011 Franklinton High School graduate said. “In the fall, I sat down with (Delgado) coach (Joe) Scheuermann. He asked me what schools I was interested in and they were one of the first schools I mentioned. When they pursued me, they were straight up and honest with me on how they are going to develop me and what role I will play.”

Tageant, a 2011 Franklinton High School graduate, said one of the main reasons he chose Southern Mississippi was because of pitching coach Michael Federico, who was in his fifth season in that role with the Golden Eagles this year.

“I feel like he has the drive and the interest in me,” Tageant said. “He just cares. He wants me to get better and sees my potential. He told me he sees some ways I can get better.”

Since Federico became the pitching coach at USM in 2010, the Golden Eagles have a 4.12 earned run average, which includes his first season when it was 5.96. Over the last four years, the Golden Eagles’ ERA is 3.65 and the staff has been consistent. The staff’s earned run average has been between 3.49 and 3.83 over that stretch.

Federico said he’s really excited about working with Tageant.

“I love the fact that he has played at some quality programs where winning has been important,” Federico said. “I’m looking forward to watching him continue to grow as a pitcher and help us get back to a regional.”

Before going to Delgado, Tageant was at LSU-Eunice where he redshirted his first year and played in a limited role his redshirt freshman season. Tageant was part of three Junior College World Series teams with LSU-Eunice winning it in 2012.

This season, Tageant went undefeated in six decisions, which covered 30.1 innings. Tageant had a 5.34 earned run average with 18 strikeouts and nine walks. Tageant appeared in 14 games and started three.

This season, Southern Miss. went 35-25 and missed playing for the Conference USA Tournament title by just one game.

Besides USM, Tageant said he was also considering the University of New Orleans, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, University of Louisiana-Monroe and Southeastern Louisiana University. He said he also spoke with Louisiana State University, Louisiana Tech, Central Florida, Florida International, Florida Atlantic and Stetson.Tageant, his father and Franklinton coach Jeff Tageant along with his brother Evan Tageant spent this week helping out at LSU’s baseball camp.

Academically, Tageant graduated from Delgado in the spring semester and earned a 4.0 grade point average for the third consecutive semester. Tageant was named a JUCO Academic All-American this season.

Tageant is the son of Jeff and Toni Tageant.