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Ole Miss baseball travels to Nashville for huge swing series with Vanderbilt

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The top 5 Rebs need a series win to keep pace with the other national seed clubs.

College World Series - Virginia v Vanderbilt - Game One Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

It has been well-documented how much No. 5 Ole Miss (28-6, 7-5) struggled in Starkville. So we’re not going to discuss it anymore. Because Ole Miss bounced back in a HUGE way on Tuesday against No. 13 Southern Miss in Pearl, demolishing them en route to a season sweep of the eventual C-USA champions.

Now, the Rebs hit the road to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores (20-13, 7-5) who are seemingly still struggling to find their footing. Which is just odd for a Tim Corbin team. They have struggled mightily in the midweek, losing games to Long Beach State, Eastern Kentucky, Belmont, Lipscomb, and Middle Tennessee.

But, they do have a series win over LSU, Georgia, and an early season sweep of Mississippi State on the road. But, the Dores still do Vanderbilt things and are their same methodical self. They are 7th in the nation and 1st in the SEC in steals, they are 3rd in the nation and second in the SEC in fielding percentage, and they’re 10th in the country and first in the SEC in strikeouts per nine innings. They are going to get theirs on the base paths, station to station, and on the mound with their hard-throwing righty laboratory.

But, Ole Miss has had some recent success against Corbin’s club lately. The good guys took two-of-three from them in Oxford last season and they even back-ended a series the last time they were in Nashville against the then-No. 1 Vandy Boys. And this team that is in . Music City is nowhere near the 2017 and 2016 clubs.

And I mean that in the nicest way possible. Let’s take a look at some meaningful stats about our sons.

  • Only team in college baseball to rank in the top 25 in the nation in ERA, batting average and fielding percentage
  • Pitching staff remains No. 1 in the SEC in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.34), striking out more batters (337) and walking fewer batters (101) than any team in the conference
  • Rebels are tied for the second-most wins in college baseball, trailing only top-ranked Florida (29-6)
  • They are slashing .059/.115/.053 better than last season through 34 games, scored 90 more runs on 80 more hits, including 24 more doubles and 14 more home runs while striking out 55 times fewer than they had at this point last year
GIF Keyboard

Ole Miss needs to capitalize on this opportunity playing a Vandy team that isn’t it’s usual super strong self and steal a road series win and keep pace with Florida, Stanford, Oregon State, and the rest of the top-ranked schools trying to get a national seed.

The Rebs are built to win this series, but in the Southeastern Conference we all know that is easier said than done.

And just so you know, Smeargle and I will do our best to try and dispose of The Whistler for y’all.

The numbers

Complete Ole Miss stats | Complete Vanderbilt stats

How to watch

Friday

First pitch: 6:30 p.m. CT
TV: NONE
Online streaming: SECN+
Game-time weather: 81°, partly cloudy, 0% chance of rain
Projected pitchers
Ole Miss: LHP Ryan Rolison (3-3, 3.63 ERA)
VU: RHP Drake Fellows (4-1, 2.51 ERA)

Sunday (game one, 7 innings)

First pitch: 12 p.m. CT
TV: ESPNU
Online streaming: SECN+
Game-time weather: 69° (nice), thunderstorms, 100% chance of rain
Projected pitchers
Ole Miss: RHP Brady Feigl (6-1, 2.23 ERA)
VU: RHP Patrick Raby (2-4, 2.88 ERA)

Sunday (game two, 7 innings)

First pitch: 45 mins after game one
TV: ESPNU
Online streaming: SECN+
Game-time weather: 56°, AM showers, 40% chance of rain
Projected pitchers
Ole Miss: RHP James McArthur (4-0, 2.54 ERA)
VU: TBA