Ole Miss baseball was back in action Wednesday afternoon, in the second game of a two game series with Georgia Southern.
Despite the distraction of having two major absences in the starting lineup, the Rebels took GSU to bonus play. The Rebels however, would fall short 0-2 in the extra-innings contest as the offensive woes continue.
The Ole Miss baseball team was hoping to crank up the wood against GSU Wednesday afternoon in Oxford. After a brutal four game skid, the 1-0 win Tuesday night was a much needed confidence boost for a young pitching staff. Will Ethridge continued to shine in his second career start as a Rebel. Ethridge would go perfect for 5.2 innings, retire 17 straight, and record seven strike-outs. On the mound for 7.2 innings, he would strike out ten Panthers on the afternoon, while allowing only two hits and giving up no walks.
In total, four Rebel pitchers saw elevated time in the contest. Andy Pagnozzi entered in relief in the 8th and faced one GSU hitter, giving up a walk. Dallas Woolfolk was next out of the pen, and put in his 2.1 innings of work, striking out three GSU batters. However, Woolfolk gave up four hits and two earned runs, which sealed the game in the 11th, which left him to take the loss. Houston Roth saw relief time as he pitched one inning, slating one strikeout and giving up one walk.
It may have been a tough loss, however it was a huge for preparing a young pitching staff for the grind of SEC play.
No Offense For Ole Miss Baseball
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Of course, the Rebels have continued to struggle offensively, unable to produce runs scored. Once again, in the second game of a two game series, the Rebel bats were cold and only produced three hits in the shutout loss. leaving nine runners on-base
The Rebels were hoping to return from last weekends disastrous tourney showing, and hopefully, cruise through five games in six days. However, this is no pleasure cruise; there have been a few speed bumps for Ole Miss baseball. This is arguably the most important week in the non-conference portion of the season, as SEC play begins next Friday when Vandy sails into Oxford.
Olenek Continues To Produce
Ryan Olenek, one of only two Ole Miss baseball players to collect hits in Wednesday’s contest, went two of four (2-4) with one strike-out in the box. Per OleMissSports.com, Olenek has hit 11-44 for (.250), striking out only 6 times and knocking in seven runs. Ryan will continue to improve moving forward into the season, however he can’t do it all by himself.
Where’s The Beef?
Blackman and Bortles were once again missing from the starting lineup of yesterday’s game with GSU. Regardless of what may have happened in order for them to be suspended, they were sorely missed at the plate and in the field. OleHottyToddy just ran a great piece a month ago about Tate and Colby and their significant roles with Ole Miss baseball.
Blackman and Bortles control the dugout and field as team captains. Not having them in the lineup at any time, creates a void in the attitude and performance as a team. Not to mention what is lost on an offensive production level.
Per OleMissSports.com, Blackman and Bortles have combined for 21 hits and knocked in 16 of the Rebels 59 runs scored this season. Their presence in the lineups of the last two games could have possibly meant a sweep instead of the split in the series.
Paladins Await Ole Miss Baseball
Furman (8-4)will be up next for Ole Miss baseball, as they visit Oxford for the last non-conference weekend series, before the start of SEC play. David Parkinson is slated to get the start for Ole Miss on the mound. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. CT Friday evening.