Reynolds’ Redemption Paces USMFeatures
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – He got the pitch he was looking for. Don’t miss it, don’t miss it. Smack.
The ball flies. He knew that feeling well. He was really excited to experience it this weekend, and not just because it was the first one of the season
Luke Reynolds’ home run helped his team capture a 7-4 victory and a series win over Mississippi State. But this swing, this series victory, it was personal. It had to be. Because Reynolds once wore Bulldog Maroon instead of Eagle Black and Gold.
That was three years ago, with two long years waiting for a chance, this chance, to show the team he left what he was about. Saturday Reynolds went 2-for-3 that home run that set the tone.
“I got a fastball over the middle of the plate,” Reynolds said of his dinger. “Running around the bases, I just soaked it in. It felt great.”
For Reynolds, he played in Starkville as a freshman in 2015. He left just before the 2016 season and sat out that season plus all of 2017 as a transfer. In his two games this weekend, he is 4-for-7 with 4 RBI’s and five runs scored.
“It is sweet. It felt good to get two off of them,” said Reynolds. “The cherry on top would be to win (Sunday) and get the sweep. There are no hard feelings against Mississippi State. It is just fun to compete against them.”
“Reynolds is a tremendous addition to our program,” said USM assistant coach Chad Caillet. “Obviously we lost two huge pieces in Taylor Braley and Dylan Burdette but we feel like he has come in and held that up, at least for the time being. His baseball IQ is off the charts. He is an all-around player. Tremendous leader on and off the field. He is a complete baseball player, a coach’s dream to be honest with you.”
“Reynolds, he is a great baseball player and an even better dude,” said Wallner. “He is a great player to have in the clubhouse. Reynolds is fun to watch hit. He can be down 0-2, get a curve ball and he is hitting it up the middle. He is a mature hitter who hits to all fields.”
The victory Saturday came on the heels of Friday’s 11-0 Golden Eagle whitewash. Regardless of Sunday’s outcome, Southern Miss has demonstrated strength with an impressive series victory. Saturday, it jumped out with three runs in the first and two in the second and cruised from that point.