Last weekend did not have the best of starts. Missouri scratched their Friday starter, pitched a reliever and shut down Ole Miss at Swayze. But, Mike Bianco’s club (25-15, 9-9 SEC) didn’t quit and back-ended a series for the first time since last season. Now, all they have to do is travel south to Pearl and take on a red-hot Mississippi State team (28-14, 13-5 SEC) that’s 1st in the West Division and ranked 10th in the country by D1Baseball.
State is winners of five-straight SEC series and are led at the plate by Golden Spikes Award Candidate Brent Rooker, who leads the SEC in average (.400), slugging percentage (.877), on-base percentage (.505), hits (62), runs batted in (58), doubles (20), home runs (16), total bases (136) and stolen bases (16). It’s safe to say that the Bulldogs’ success runs through Mr. Rooker. They hit .290 as a team and sport a 4.46 team ERA.
The Ole Miss offense is slowly trending upward, hitting .247 as a team and owners of not one BUT TWO every day players (Nick Fortes and Will Golsan) hitting over the .300 mark. It’s baby steps, sure, but this influx of offense might be surfacing at just the right time as the Rebels head into a critical stretch of their schedule that includes road series against No. 15 Arkansas, No. 9 Florida and No. 7 Auburn. A decent showing during that span could do wonders for Ole Miss’ RPI, which currently sits at No. 40.
How to watch
First pitch: 6:30 p.m. CT
TV: SEC Network
Online streaming: WatchESPN.com
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (station listings here)
Online radio: OleMissSports.com
Ole Miss: RHP Greer Holston (2-2, 3.20 ERA)