April Fools Day jokes are supposed to be funny, however Ole Miss baseball fans weren’t laughing Saturday. The #19 Rebels were seeing brooms as the Miss State Bulldogs won 2-1 to complete the 3 game sweep.
Ole Miss baseball fans already knew what was at stake Saturday. Down 0-2 in the series, on April Fools Day, and having to play our in-state rival in game-3 could only end one way. Blowing the series on your home field is never good. Get swept. Well, of course, the joke is on us.
The Rebels took the field Saturday with expectations of at least salvaging the final game. However, #19 Ole Miss would fall short yet again in a low scoring ballgame. The Rebels dropped game one Thursday 4-3 and then again Friday 5-3.
Drama Filled Finishes
The thing about quality pitching and no offense equals low scores, and of course, low scores. With Ole Miss baseball we have found ourselves square in the middle of this very situation. In fact, in each game against Miss State, the Rebels had the tying run on base in the 9th inning. Of course, we were unable to produce runs and stranded those runners on base to lose each game. According to OleMissSports.com,
"In all three games of the series, the Rebels had the tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth; Ole Miss lost the three games by a combined five runs. ~OleMissSports.com"
In The Slump
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Since the Shriner’s Hospital for Children College Classic, the team has had an obvious slump at the plate. Returning home from Texas with a 7-4 overall record, Ole Miss won 7 out of the next 9 games, including 2 home games in the Vandy series.
Ole Miss baseball appeared to be back on track, however appearances can be deceiving. Since the Vandy series, Ole Miss has won only 2 games out of the last 8.
Ole Miss entered the series against MSU hitting .245 as a team. After the series with the Bulldogs, the Rebels are hitting .241 as a team. Although Tate Blackman and Colby Bortles have worked hard at the plate and have increased their individual stats, they can’t do it all by themselves.
Inconsistency at the plate is killing us and costing us games. In the MSU series, Ole Miss stranded 27 runners. In 9 SEC games they have left 71 runners on base. All total, Ole Miss baseball has stranded 202 runners in 28 games. The lack of productivity has also caused Ole Miss to be dropped out of the Top-20 in national rankings.
Golden Eagles Up Next
The University of Southern Mississippi awaits the Rebels in Trustmark Park in Pearl, Tuesday night. The Golden Eagles are ranked #17 with an astounding 24-5 record. They are a high impact offensive team who can hit the ball, leading Conference USA and ranking 11th nationally.
Freshman right-hander Greer Holston (0-2, 2.28) draws the start on the mound for Ole Miss. First pitch will be at 6:30pm CT. The Rebels lead the series against USM 72-50.
Are You Ready?