The Rebels (6-5) fell to Southern Mississippi Wednesday night and are headed home for a three-game series starting Saturday at 12:00. They will host the Stetson Hatters (7-6) and are looking to get back on track as the SEC season is quickly approaching.
Rebels drop 5-1 midweek game to USM
The Rebels looked a bit uninspired Wednesday night. The energy level was low; the dugout did not appear to be in the game; pitching was marginal; and, the bats were silent.
Evan Anderson (1-1) took the loss on the mound as he gave up three runs on three hits and three walks. The sophomore lefty didn’t have his best stuff; however, he gritted his way through five innings. He made it to the sixth inning, but gave up a walk and a hit before leaving the game with a 1-0 deficit. Ole Miss then used five pitchers to get through the final four innings.
The Rebels mustered five hits in the game. Will Golsan, J.B. Woodman, Sikes Orvis, Colby Bortles and Holt Perdzock all had one hit apiece; however, Ole Miss didn’t get a runner past second base until the sixth inning and didn’t score until the seventh.
Golsan a bright spot for Rebels
As we predicted, Will Golsan did indeed get some playing time on Wednesday night against USM. He started at second base and batted leadoff. He went 1-for-4 and flashed some serious leather in the field. His efforts warrant more playing time in the future. For a first start, he had the look of a wily veteran. He looked comfortable and showed the Rebel family that his future is bright at Ole Miss.
The Rebels have not yet played a normal three-game series this season. Each weekend there have been delays, postponements, doubleheaders, or shortened games. As a result of a mid-week storm, the Friday night game has been moved to a doubleheader on Saturday. Saturday’s games will be the fourth doubleheader Ole Miss has participated in as many weekends in 2015.
This Weekend: Hatters in town
The Rebels face a team in Stetson that is 7-6 and has not played the schedule the Rebels have. Ole Miss needs the bats to get hot, the pitching to stay strong and the defense to stay stingy. The Rebels need to find a way to get three games from the Hatters this weekend.
At the plate
Ole Miss has been struggling to score runs. In the last four games, the Rebels have scored four, two, four and one, respectively. With the new flat-seamed baseballs and the long ball being back in play, it will be tough to win games unless the run production increases.
We look for Coach Bianco to shake up the lineup a bit this weekend. Coach seems to still be searching for the right combination. Ole Miss has left too many runners on base thus far, but look for that to improve.
We expect to see Henri Lartigue and Tate Blackman back in the lineup this weekend after sitting the past two games. Lartigue provides a switch-hitter that can hit for average and power. Blackman just needs to relax and slow the game down, and his production will increase. Those who watched him swing in the fall and spring practices saw the potential he possesses.
On the mound
Christian Trent, Brady Bramlett and Sam Smith need to continue to provide quality starts. It is important for them to limit the walks and mistakes, so they can keep the Rebels in games until the bats get going. All three pitchers have shown the ability to do just that. They all threw well last weekend in Orlando against a mature USF team.
In the field
Ole Miss seems to be rounding into shape in the field. The infield–Colby Bortles, Errol Robinson, Tate Blackman/Will Golsan and Sikes Orvis –is playing well at this point and will need to continue to do so until we start swinging it better. The outfield seems solid as well. Kyle Watson, J.B. Woodman and Cameron Dishon are the mainstays in the outfield and are getting better every game.
The Rebels still need to figure a few things out. The team chemistry doesn’t seem to quite be there like in years past, and the intensity level needs to ramp up to another level. The season is still young, but these intangibles do need to be addressed–and hopefully before league play begins in Baton Rouge next weekend.
On the Horizon
After this three-game home series, Ole Miss hits the road for five tough games–a midweek two-game series at Louisville, followed by the opening of the SEC schedule at LSU on March 13.
Head on over to Swayze this Saturday and Sunday to cheer on our Rebels! Hotty Toddy!