Game one was pretty disgusting. Three errors, bone head decisions in the infield, at the plate, and on the base paths led to a gross 4-3 loss at the hands of a crafty lefty throwing 95% change-ups and the Dirtbags. Rolison was not his normal self and it was a bad start to the weekend after a Friday rain out. But, game two was much better.
Brady Feigl was dominant and the Rebels made just enough plays in the field and had just enough hits to win 4-3. Then, in the series finale, Ole Miss flexed their muscle and hit it all over the yard, winning 12-1 and taking the series. Mike Bianco’s club continues to hit it well and pitch it well and they are heading back home with a 10-1 record.
Ole Miss rebounded after their first setback.
After a lackluster performance in game one, the Rebels needed a bounce back win in game two and they found a way to deliver that. Ryan Rolison’s first setback of the season had all the makings of a disastrous road loss. Errors all over the place, no communication, and ugly performances at the plate.
45 minutes after that loss, the Rebs were able to take on Long Beach’s ace and win a tough, West coast style, pitcher’s duel. They spread around nine hits and were clean in the field. Feigl was on fire. He went seven strong innings and struck out six 49ers. The Rebels needed him to go deep into the game and deliver a knockout performance and he did that. The veteran bats were also impressive. Will Golsan and Ryan Olenek combined to go 6-for-9 and seemingly built-in some much needed confidence.
Kessinger continues to impress at the plate.
After quite the struggle in year one, Grae was obviously looking to improve in year two not only to give Bianco some flexibility either at the top of the lineup or the bottom. He has been in the leadoff spot since day one and it is night and day different in 2018.
Grae Kessinger entered the day 0 for the weekend. With his RBI double in the top of the ninth, he's 3 for 4 in game three, having scored twice and knocked in two RBI. pic.twitter.com/eRGClkurWS— Ben Garrett (@SpiritBen) March 4, 2018
After a strong weekend in California, the sophomore is now hitting .395 and has an all-new approach at the plate that is certainly refreshing. Kessinger looks much more comfortable at the dish, hunting fastballs, battling off pitches he doesn’t like just to find one he does, and just plain having fun. He is now leading the team in hits (17) and is a key cog for the offense moving forward.
Tex looked much better on Sunday.
Despite having an earned run average under 1.00 and only giving up one earned run all season, James McArthur just didn’t look like his old self on the mound. But, today he was lights out from the word ‘go’. He only threw five innings, but he only surrendered two hits, and struck out five. The Long Beach hitters were kept off-balance all day and Tex was able to use the enormous cushion provided to him by the offense to stay loose and challenge hitters early in the count.
Carl Lafferty needs McArthur to be the man on Sunday and he needs him to be consistently dominant like this. Obviously he won’t always be lights out every series finale, but with Rolison and Feigl looking incredibly comfortable in their Friday and Saturday slots, it is imperative that McArthur be the dude on Sunday to lock down series wins for the Rebels.