No. 8 Ole Miss takes five-game winning streak into matchup with No. 18 Southern Miss
OXFORD – The No. 8 ranked Ole Miss baseball team has regained the offensive firepower the Rebels showed before a five-game losing streak sidetracked them at the end of March. It just took a little time.
The Rebels are now on a five-game winning streak and face No. 18 Southern Mississippi tonight at Swayze Field (6:30 p.m. CT, SEC Network+).
Ole Miss head baseball coach Mike Bianco was never concerned about whether or not his team would break out of the batting slump that accompanied them in the games they lost. Although it was frustrating to watch, Bianco kept the faith—and so did his players.
And even though Ole Miss lost the series, 2-1, against Mississippi State, the Rebels won game three to begin their current winning streak and are fresh off a three-game sweep against then-No. 21 Arkansas over the weekend.
The sweep over the Razorbacks was the Rebels’ first over the Hogs since 2009—and the first ever over Arkansas at Swayze Field.
Ole Miss (25-7, 6-6 Southeastern Conference) totaled 39 hits and 29 runs in the sweep. “You’ve got to just trust the process,” Will Golsan said about the Rebels’ batting. “Just go up there, keep swinging and see pitches and hit them.”
Golsan’s batting was one of many positives for Ole Miss in Sunday’s 8-7 win as he went 2 for 4 at the plate with four RBI’s. Center fielder J.B. Woodman was 2 for 4 as well with two RBI’s and a home run. Second baseman Tate Blackman and designated hitter Michael Fitzsimmons each had an RBI.
Thus far on the season, Woodman leads the team with five home runs. Golsan’s four RBI’s Sunday are a career-high. Errol Robinson recorded his fifth straight multi-hit game, and the Rebels have reached double digits in hits during this five-game winning streak.
Wyatt Short earned his first career start in 56 appearances for Ole Miss as he took the mound Sunday against Arkansas. Short had not started since his days at Southaven High School. He pitched for 4.1 innings, giving up six hits and three runs while facing 22 batters. Chad Smith pitched 1.2 innings, giving up two hits and two runs when the Rebels were up 8-5 in the top of the ninth inning.
Coach Bianco wasn’t sure why all of the attention was on the pitching when Ole Miss was getting solid hits on six different Razorbacks’ pitchers.
“It’s amazing we’re talking so much about the pitching when we played so well offensively, but Smith was terrific,” Bianco said of his right-hander. “His first appearance out of the bullpen and he did what he was supposed to do.”
Bianco also praised the work done by Short in his first start:
Wyatt (Short) did what makes him real good and what makes other pitchers real good. When it’s not going well, you can still make a pitch to get you out of the inning. He certainly did that through the first four innings.
Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco
Stay the course…
With the Rebels’ confidence in full swing heading into Wednesday night’s matchup against No. 18 Southern Miss, what does Bianco tell his team to keep the hits coming?
We will just continue what we do and continue to work. Sometimes, you have to stay the course. Sometimes, you have to get back to who you are and they have worked really hard. Again, it’s baseball and hitting comes and goes at times. But I think they have realized that and they are an older lineup that has been able to bounce back.