The last non-conference weekend for No. 9 Ole Miss (14-1) was quite good for the Rebels but, boy, it was not fun for the visiting Princeton Tigers. Mike Bianco’s top-10 bunch won their 12th, 13th, and 14th games in a row, obliterating the winless Ivy League club by a total score of 47-6.
In an offense that, despite the long ball, was really struggling to hit consistently entering the weekend. Well, that wasn’t the case this weekend.
Tyler Keenan went 6-for-12 against Princeton and had 10 runs batted in. Tim Elko, in a draft year when he has underwhelmed the previous two, had home runs in the first two games of the series and freshman electric factory Peyton Chatagnier had three(!) dingers over the weekend. As if that wasn’t enough to carry the Rebs, the starting pitching was outstanding. Doug Nikhazy, Gunnar Hoglund, and Derek Diamond combined to strike out 27 in 17 innings of work en route to a cruise control weekend at Swayze Field.
The Rebels will host the LSU Tigers next week in the first conference series of the season, looking to continue their win streak and to get off to a strong start in the loaded SEC West division.
But, first, let’s quickly recap the weekend.
3 things that we liked from the weekend
The starting pitching continues to impress.
Nikhazy, Hoglund, and Diamond all thrived in their starts against Princeton.
On Friday, #DougDay lit the Tiger bats on fire, throwing six innings, surrendering no hits, and striking out 12. Saturday was another splendid #HogDay as he threw six innings himself, scatter five hits, and strike out 10. And on Sunday, the Doc was in, throwing five innings once again and striking out five, moving to 2-0 on the season. And yes, the office is closed until next Sunday against LSU.
If the Rebs are going to continue to win at such a rate, they will need these three to continue to do this.
The little dudes were raking.
Anthony Servideo, Peyton Chatagnier, and Justin Bench all had fantastic weekends.
The under 180-pound club had themselves a weekend to remember, feasting on Princeton pitching and dropping bombs. Servideo and Chatagnier have been known commodities at the top of the lineup, but with Jerrion Ealy still getting acclimated to baseball after missing fall practice, Bench could be a nice bridge in the outfield with his big-time production at the plate.
Tyler Keenan likes to have fun, too.
After winning the series on Saturday, the junior third baseman wanted to get in on the celebration heard round the world. Unfortunately, his timing was a bit off and he was prepared for the media backlash so he took to Twitter to get ahead of it.
Before anyone asks or the video is tweeted out yes i did Ant and Peytons celebration and yes i tripped and it looked miserable— Tyler Keenan (@TylerKeenan_10) March 7, 2020
The heart and determination was there, but the execution left a lot to be desired. But, our big, hot corner son made up for it with some RBI’s and such on Sunday. Keenan is now hitting .367 on the year with a team-leading 24 runs batted in and four home runs. He’s slugging .633 and is second on the team in total bases (38).