4 Southern Miss baseball players picked Preseason All-Conference USA; Golden Eagles picked to win the league

Published 2:04 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Four Southern Miss baseball players earned preseason All-Conference USA honors, while the Golden Eagles were picked to win the league’s regular season crown in a vote by the league’s 12 head coaches released Wednesday afternoon.

The four preseason selections included infielder Danny Lynch (Jupiter, Fla.), outfielder Gabe Montenegro (Guatemala City, Guatemala), designated hitter Charlie Fischer (Edina, Minn.) and starting pitcher Ben Ethridge (Collinsville, Miss.).

Lynch, one of the team’s tri-captains, posted a .320 batting average last season with 12 home runs and 36 RBI as he finished the year with an 11-game hitting streak. His season also culminated by being named to the NCAA all-regional team in Oxford.

Montenegro, a second-team all-league pick last season, started in all 61 games and tied for the team lead in batting average at .345. He added a team-best 24 doubles to go along with a triple, four home runs and 29 RBI. A NCAA all-regional pick last June, Montenegro holds a nine-game hitting streak heading into the 2022 campaign.

Fischer, who collected ABCA All-South and Conference USA first-team honors last spring, sported a .304 batting average with 11 doubles, seven home runs and 37 RBI a year ago. He paced the squad with 46 walks, leading the team in on-base percentage at .467.

Ethridge returns as a starting pitcher for the Golden Eagles in 2022 after garnering a second-team all-league honor and a C-USA All-Freshman nod. In 16 appearances (14 starts), Ethridge posted a 6-2 record with a 3.25 ERA. He fanned 82 and walked 13 in 74 2/3 innings. At one point during the season, he did not allow a run over 21 innings which stretched over three starts.

As for the Golden Eagles, who finished last year 40-21 overall and 22-9 to finish second in the West Division to go along with a regional final appearance in the NCAA Oxford Regional, they look to capture their fifth regular season crown under coach Scott Berry (2011, 2013, 2017, 2018) and sixth overall.

The Golden Eagles open the 2022 season this Friday, Feb. 18, when they entertain North Alabama in the first of a three-game series at Pete Taylor Park. Game time is set for 4 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased by going online at SouthernMissTickets.com, by calling 1-800-844-TICK (8425) or visiting the Pat Ferlise Ticket Office weekdays during normal business hours or at the Pete Taylor Park ticket office starting two hours prior to each game’s first pitch.

Here is a look at the entire C-USA preseason poll and all-conference squad:

Preseason Poll (first place votes in parentheses)

Southern Miss (6)
LA Tech (2)
Old Dominion (1)
Charlotte (2)
Florida Atlantic
FIU (1)
Middle Tennessee

Preseason All-Conference

C: Brock Gagliardi, Old Dominion
INF: Austin Knight, Charlotte
INF: Tommy Bell, Old Dominion
INF: Taylor Young, LA Tech
INF: Danny Lynch, Southern Miss
OF: Andy Garriola, Old Dominion
OF: Carter Trice, Old Dominion
OF: Gabe Montenegro, Southern Miss
DH: Charlie Fischer, Southern Miss

UTIL: Jonathan Tapia, UTSA
P: Ben Ethridge, Southern Miss
P: Jonathan Fincher, LA Tech
P: Hunter Cooley, Florida Atlantic
P: Jarrett Whorf, LA Tech
RP: Jason Hartline, Old Dominion
RP: Noah Dean, Old Dominion

– @USMGoldenEagles/@SouthernMissBSB –