Vandy knocking off Mizzou in the opening game of the SEC Tourney put even more pressure on Ole Miss, which is doing some unexpected sweating during an unprecedentedly crowded hosting race. The Rebs responded, shaking off a shaky first inning from Brady Bramlett and a slow start at the plate to knock off Georgia, 5-1.
Ole Miss advances to play South Carolina on Wednesday. There's an outside shot that a win there would bump the Rebs in front of the Gamecocks in the national seed. At the very least, you have to think it'd be enough to ensure a regional in Oxford next week.
Here a few keys to the win over UGA:
The offense broke out in the fourth inning.
Up until that point, the Rebs had been one-hit through three frames by Georgia's Heath Holder, the same guy who carried a no-hitter into the sixth against Ole Miss three weeks ago. But the Rebs caught up to him the second time through the order: a walk, single, hit-by-pitch, double and triple turned a 1-0 deficit into a 4-1 lead in the span of five batters.
J.B. Woodman did J.B. Woodman things.
Woodman stayed red hot, stacking three RBI with a pair of extra-base hits. The first of those would have probably been good for his 14th homer of the year at Swayze, but the big outfield in Hoover limited it to a bases-clearing triple to kick off the scoring in the fourth. He went 2-for-3 on the day, adding a walk and stolen base.
Starting Brady Bramlett on short rest paid off.
It sure looked like Mike Bianco's decision to throw Bramlett on four days rest was backfiring early after the big fella gave up a solo homer and loaded the bases in the first inning. But credit Bramlett for sticking around for another three scoreless frames before his pitch count (60, apparently) forced him to give way to Brady Feigl heading into the fifth. Feigl, Will Stokes and Wyatt Short held Georgia off the board over the last five innings.
Bramlett did enough to hand his shutdown bullpen a lead midway through the game and now he gets to kick back and relax until regional play.
David Parkinson is pitching on Wednesday.
Mike Bianco is not playing around in Hoover. The Rebels will turn to lefty David Parkinson when they take on the Gamecocks tomorrow at The Met. Parky is 4-3 on the year with a 2.70 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 56.2 innings. Winning against the East Division champs could go a long way with the NCAA Selection Committee come Sunday.