Ole Miss hopes the hits keep coming in the Governor’s Cup
OXFORD – With the season winding down and the Governor’s Cup on Tuesday, No. 9 Ole Miss hopes to continue the offensive rhythm it found against Auburn this past weekend.
Though it took until the eighth inning for the Rebels to get the hit parade started Sunday, the team did not get frustrated with bad swings because they knew sooner or later someone would rise to the occasion at just the right time.
And the bottom of the ninth inning in game three against Auburn on Sunday was the perfect time.
Just ask freshman Ryan Olenek or junior Henri Lartigue how great it is to be a part of the team’s largest ninth-inning comeback since the Rebels trailed Mississippi State by five before ultimately winning in the 10th inning on May 9, 2015.
Sunday afternoon marked the second time this season Ole Miss (31-10, 10-8 Southeastern Conference) has rallied back from a deficit of five runs or greater. (The Rebels trailed Memphis 6-0 on March 2 before defeating the Tigers 9-7.)
After being such a huge part of the 6-5 win over Auburn, Olenek commented on what it feels like to be a part of this Ole Miss team:
Freshman Ryan Olenek
Lartigue’s thoughts on Olenek
As for Lartigue, he is impressed with Olenek and the contributions the former Trinity Prep product is making to the team.
Henri Lartigue on Ryan Olenek
Ole Miss bats come alive in final two innings
Junior infielder Colby Bortles started Ole Miss’ comeback against the Tigers Sunday with a two-run homer that cut the Rebels’ deficit to 5-2. Olenek and Lartigue picked up where Bortles left off.
With two men on base in the bottom of the ninth, Olenek smashed his second home run of the season to tie the game at five. The freshman has been clutch in the ninth inning, going 5 for 7 so far this season.
Following Olenek’s heroics, Lartigue delivered a walk-off single that drove in Tate Blackman and sealed the win for the Rebels. Ole Miss tallied 10 hits against Auburn, finishing with a total of 33 in the series.
Bullpen carries Rebels until bats get hot
But before the ninth-inning magic, there wasn’t a whole lot for Mike Bianco and the Rebels to smile about. In the first seven innings, Ole Miss only managed four hits—and being down 5-0 didn’t help either. But the Rebels kept swinging and their pitching carried them until the hits finally came.
Lartigue is now focused on the Governor’s Cup Tuesday night inside Trustmark Park and knows what is at stake.
“It’s the next game and you can’t worry about it until it’s here. Well, it is here now,” Lartigue said. “It’s just another chance for us to get another ‘W’ and just increase our resume to give us a chance to play here in the postseason.”
The surge in hitting is timely for Ole Miss as they face No. 3 Mississippi State (27-13-1, 10-8) in the Governor’s Cup. The last time the two met, the Bulldogs got the better of the Rebels in Starkville with a 2-1 series win. The Bulldogs are coming off a big 2-1 series win over LSU in Baton Rouge this past weekend.
Probable Pitching Matchup
Ole Miss: Chad Smith, Jr., RHP, 3-3, 4.99 ERA
Mississippi State: Ryan Cyr, Fr., RHP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA
Matchup: No. 9 Ole Miss vs. No. 3 Mississippi State
Location: Pearl, Miss., Trustmark Park
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Television: SEC Network
Series: Tied 18-18
Last Governor’s Cup: April 28, 2015–Ole Miss won, 11-1.
Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men’s basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with Rivals.com. A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.