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USA Baseball - Not as bad as it sounds.

Anytime a school schedules any athletic team from the Sun Belt Conference, a certain haughty snicker must go up from we who watch real sports. And the University of South Alabama is no different - not the least of reasons include the irrefutable fact that other than one pretty notable exception, "Universities of South(ern)" anything usually suck pretty bad. See Exhibit A.

But these guys are scrappy.

Rebel fans will certainly remember that the Jaguars received an NCAA Tournament At-Large berth. The university will inaugurate its first football season on September 5, 2009. And, despite obvious disadvantages, like the name of their home stadium (Stanky Field - so named with Mobile rap star Mr. Bigg, who is, I promise, NSFW), USA baseball is, reportedly, okay.

First off, the Jags just knocked off Auburn in a Wednesday game last week 4-3 on a performance by reliever Lance Baxter, a junior right-handed pitcher sporting a shiny 2-4 record with a 8.51 ERA. Baxter will start for the Jags tonight. And, as a team, they are batting a respectable .307. Season stats available .

Here's the thing about USA, they've won seven out of their last ten (seven of eight before dropping Saturday and Sunday decisions to Florida Atlantic), and they think that they are good. Sorry Western Kentucky and Central Arkansas Tech Prep, no matter how poorly the Rebels might have performed against you, there's no way you ever thought you were going to get a win in Oxford. But USA is a decent team with impressive history (alums include Marlon Anderson, Juan Pierre, and Luis Gonzalez). As bad as the Rebs have played in mid-week games, a team that thinks they can win is dangerous.

So, hitch up your britches, Mike - you won't have to pull 'em very high - and keep swinging those bats, Rebs.

Game starts tonight at 6:30.