This past weekend the Ole Miss baseball team squared off against the Hatters from Stetson. The Rebels have already hit the road for a tough week, traveling to Louisville for a two-game tilt Tuesday and Wednesday against the No. 13 ranked Cardinals, and then flying to Baton Rouge to open SEC play against the No. 1 ranked LSU Tigers in a weekend series to open conference play.
In what has become the norm for the Rebels, the weather didn’t cooperate for a traditional three-game series against Stetson. The Friday night game was moved to a Saturday doubleheader.
In the first game, the Rebel bats woke up as Ole Miss defeated Stetson 8-3. The Rebels won the second half of the doubleheader, 7-3, and were in position to sweep the weekend heading into Sunday’s final game. They jumped out early for a 1-0 lead–but then got into trouble with the wheels coming off in a 16-4 loss. The Rebels won the series 2-1 but really needed to sweep the Hatters prior to going on the road for five tough games.
What went right
BRADY BRAMLETT – Brady threw six scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts in the second half of the doubleheader on Saturday. He had it all working well. It appears Brady’s biggest strength is the ability to change speeds on his fast ball. He was clocked anywhere from 84-91 throughout the outing.
THE NEW LINEUP – Kyle Watson looks secure in the leadoff spot (going 5-for-12), followed by the DH role of Holt Perdzock when the Rebels are facing right-handed pitchers and Will Golsan when they are facing left-handed pitchers.
The Rebels scored 8, 7 and 4 runs this weekend which more than doubled their output in the last five outings.
THE LONG BALL – Henri Lartigue hit his first career home run this weekend, and in his next at-bat, he was just a few feet to the right of the foul pole for his second in as many at-bats. J.B. Woodman hit his first dinger of the new season, as well.
What went wrong
SUNDAY’S GAME – The Rebels left the bases loaded twice on Sunday, the first of which was in the first inning. They had the bases loaded with only one out, but failed to score any more in the frame. If the Rebels had been able to put up a 3-5 spot in the inning, they could have potentially taken the wind out of the sails of the Hatters. But Ole Miss’ inability to score gave the Hatters hope and allowed them to stay in the game.
It appeared Ole Miss may have gotten a little content with having won the prior two games of the series. In the final game, they seemed to have poor energy—and maybe, just maybe, the skipper let them fail on purpose. A wise coach sometimes allows his team to dig its own hole and get down in it, so that lessons can be learned for later in the season. That could be what Coach Bianco was doing Sunday.
At The Rebel Walk, we examine trends or historical actions and use them to make predictions on what, if any, changes we might see from our Ole Miss baseball team.
Our predictions last week:
- Evan Anderson as the midweek starter – He indeed started against USM
- Matt Denney, John Wesley Ray and Drake Robison would all see mound time – As it turned out, Denny pitched Sunday, while Ray and Robison pitched both Wednesday and Sunday.
- Will Golsan to get at-bats –Will started or played in all four games last week.
- Henri Lartigue and Tate Blackman both saw action on the weekend. Lartigue caught the middle game and went 1-for-3 with a homerun and a walk. Blackman played all three games and went 6-for-10.
- Lineup changes – We suggested you might see Coach Bianco shake up the lineup a bit. He did so and saw results. The Rebels scored 8, 7, and 4 runs, respectively, over the three games against Stetson—and, honestly, should have scored more.
The week ahead
Ole Miss left today to head to Louisville for a two-game midweek stint, followed by a trip to Baton Rouge for the SEC opener in a very hostile LSU stadium. There, the Rebels will face the nation’s newly No.1-ranked Tigers.
The Rebels need to find a way to win three games this week. Our starting pitching of Christian Trent, Brady Bramlett, Sam Smith, Anderson, Waguespack and/or Ray gives us the possibility to stay in every game we play. Our bullpen with Wyatt Short, Scott Weathersby, Will Stokes, Matt Denny and Drake Robison can keep the last half of the game in check. Our offense has to produce and give the Rebel staff the support they need to get the wins.
Rebel Walk Q&A tonight
Tonight from 7:00-8:00 pm CST, The Rebel Walk will host our second weekly Q & A session!
Tweet your questions to Johnny Flynn @TheRebelWalk We welcome all questions regarding your Rebels–or baseball in general. (We won’t talk negatively about coaches or players.) We look forward to hearing from you!
Good Luck to the Rebels this week and Hotty Toddy!