UPDATE: Eight straight NCAA tourneys for Southern Miss

HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss has won the right to brag about its eighth straight appearance in the NCAA baseball tournament.

The Golden Eagles’ 7-4 win over Rice in the Conference USA title game assured them of a regional berth.

They reached this point after winning 17 of their final 22 games. They had strong pitching performances by Scott Copeland and Todd McInnis to shut down a potent Rice squad.

The NCAA announced Monday that Clemson, Southern Miss and Jacksonville State will join the host Auburn Tigers for the regional that starts Friday.

Auburn is the No. 1 seed for its regional. Clemson is the No. 2 seed, Southern Miss is No. 3 and Jacksonville State in No. 4.

The Associated Press