After Ole Miss went and hammered Grambling State 15-2 on Friday night, I honestly felt kinda bad for them. It felt like one of those little league games where everyone's getting walked around the bases. A group of young, nervous pitchers handed out 10 free passes, and when they did manage to get the ball over the plate, the Rebs rocked them for 11 hits. But give an ole Bianco tip of the cap to Grambling, which managed to bounce back and make both legs of Sunday's rain-induced double header competitive.
Grambling put the tying run at the plate in the second to last inning in the first Sunday game (the double header was trimmed to seven innings apiece) and it took a five-out save from Wyatt Short to preserve the 7-3 W. The late game was a hell of a lot closer than the 6-1 final suggests: the Rebs were only up one run heading into the bottom of the fifth. They piled on four runs in the final two frames, the most epic of which was this one:
More like Errolololol imo
That Ole Miss struggled a bit on Sunday, particularly with starting pitching, isn't all that encouraging with the SEC opener against Tennessee looming this weekend. Still, let's not pick too many nits here. The Rebs are 15-1, with the lone loss coming to a top-five Louisville team. Not a bad way to start the season.
Scores and higlights
Ole Miss 15, Grambling State 2 (box score)
Ole Miss 7, Grambling State 3 (box score)
Ole Miss 6, Grambling State 1 (box score)
The Rebs climbed into the top 10 in two of the major polls (as high as No. 9 at D1 Baseball) and shot up to No. 3 in the RPI.
3 big takeaways
1. Olenek has earned more starts at DH.
Freshman Ryan Olenek made the most of his lone DH start, reaching base on two of his three trips to the plate and hammering his first dinger of the season. He currently leads the team with a .381 average and is third with a .571 slugging percentage. Yet Holt Perdzock, who struggled big time to start the season, is still getting most of the DH starts.
In fairness, Perdzock has been heating up and his average has climbed to .346. But he's yet to have an extra-base hit all season and it feels like his starts are based more on seniority and lefty-right matchups than actual ability with the bat.
2. Let's play a dinger derby.
Olenek wasn't the only guy to leave the yard. The Rebs muscled five pitches over the fence, starting Friday night with the second homer of Errol Robinson's career.
Cameron Dishon followed suit a couple innings later.
Colby Bortles and J.B. Woodman joined the fun on Sunday. They now have five homers between themselves.
3. Smith and Johnson struggled a bit.
Is it possible that Chad Smith and Sean Johnson are twins separated at birth that still share the same biorhythms? The ebb and flow of their first month as starters has been identical: a poor opening weekend, great starts in weeks two and three followed by thoroughly meh starts against Grambling. Smith allowed seven hits and three runs over 5.0. Johnson gave up just one run off three hits, but had to be pulled in the fourth inning after he got himself into a jam.
Grambling's hitting isn't nearly as bad as its pitching—the Tigers lead the SWAC in batting average—but you'd still like to see a higher degree of dominance against this level of competition, particularly with conference play about to start. On Friday, Brady Bramlett struck out 11 of the 19 batters he faced over the course of five scoreless frames. That's more like it.
Tuesday and Wednesday: at UAB in Birmingham
Friday-Sunday: at Tennessee in Knoxville