There's nothing like the ups and downs of college baseball. The Rebels outscored LSU(#13 RPI) in Baton Rouge while losing two of three nearly sweeping one of the best teams in the nation. At the same time, they come from behind to sneak by Jackson State(#253 RPI) in Oxford and Memphis(#127 RPI) at Autozone Park this week.
The Rebels have strung together three wins in a row this week and have the Wildcats of Kentucky(#27 RPI, 18-9, 4-5 SEC) rolling into town for this weekend. The weekend rotation has formed into a strength in the past weekend after being easily the greatest weakness in the first few weekends of college baseball.
Ole Miss sits at #40 in the RPI standings, according to Boyd's World, collecting a record of 19-8 with a 5-4 conference record.
What lies ahead is a three game series between two SEC teams separated by the smallest of margins.
Friday pitching: Drew Pomeranz(us) LHP vs. Alex Meyer(them) RHP
Pom Pom Pom Pom Pom-eranz gets wins for the Rebels when he takes the mound. He's got a 3.55 ERA while striking out 24 in 25 innings. The Friday starter should set the tone for the rest of the weekend, and Pomeranz has fulfilled that role thus far. Alex Meyer is a freshman starting on a Friday, so I'd like to see what kind of stuff he's got if he's the one slingin' pills for the 'Cats. Meyer is just about taller than everyone on the Ole Miss basketball team, save Kevin "Please transfer" Cantinol.
Saturday pitching: Philip Irwin(us) RHP vs. Chris Rusin(them) LHP
Irwin wasn't able to snag the win last week against LSU, but I'm sticking with him because of a 4-1 record. He seems to be out to prove that he has what it takes to pitch on the next level(I just mean the minors, for now). He leads the pitching staff in innings, so I'm beginning to wonder if his arm might be getting a little wear after some longer outings. Rusin looks to be the ace of the Kentucky weekend rotation. He leads the staff in K's, IP, W's and ERA. He's also got two complete games, so this one could be a John Smoltz- Jack Morris 1991 Game 7 type of match-up. Obviously, not even close to as big of a game.
Sunday pitching: Scott Bittle(us) RHP vs. James Paxton(them) LHP
How long can Bittle go in a game? He went seven innings last weekend and told Bianco he was just tired when he came out of the game. Bittle pitched one of the best starts of the entire season for the Rebels and a repeat performance would elevate his status to possibly rearranging the weekend rotation. THE BITTLER has struck out 29 in 17.2 IP. Ri-damn-diculous. Paxton might be the son of Bill Paxton, but we didn't take the time to look it up. Just tell him his dad is a hack. Might work. Anything other than the second rate throw it in the dirt we've been getting this year.
I hate to ever predict a sweep, because it just makes me feel uneasy and homer-ific. It's what the team needs to do right now to stay in the race for the SEC West or overall SEC regular season title. There's still 21 games left in conference play, but the Rebels have some serious challenges ahead. The Rebels need a sweep.
Friday: Ole Miss 6 Kentucky 2
Saturday: Ole Miss 2 Kentucky 1
Sunday: Ole Miss 7 Kentucky 6