I didn’t expect this weekend to go the way it did.
Ole Miss baseball, newly-christened as the top team in the land by virtually every poll, dropped two of three against unranked UCF at Swayze Field this weekend with the one win coming via a walk-off hit by Tim Elko. The offense struggled, and the team seemed to be in a funk we’re not used to seeing.
Before I go any further, I want to calm everyone down. I know that a series loss after winning 20 straight games is frustrating, especially when it comes at home to an unranked team, but this is a long season. Sometimes a team just has your number on a given weekend. This Rebel team is still extremely talented and very good and has the potential to make this season very special. Now, however, is where the rubber meets the road.
This team hasn’t seen adversity like this since 2019. It lost one game in the shortened 2020 season to the then top-ranked team in the country and responded by rattling off 16 straight wins. As a fan, you’ve probably forgotten what this feels like, but, again, it’s normal. I said earlier this weekend you don’t need to have a football mindset when it comes to baseball, and that still stands true. One loss (or even a series loss) doesn’t change the outlook for this season.
Now, however, we will learn a little bit about this team. They face Memphis and Jackson State in the midweek before playing host to Belmont next weekend, a perfect opportunity to right the ship and regain some momentum. Even so, it has to happen. How this team responds to inevitable adversity is much more important than a winning streak and will come into play when SEC play gets here. Because (breaking) there will be losses in SEC play. It’s inevitable in a league this good from top to bottom.
So, in short, everyone breathe. It’s going to be okay. It’s one series where your spark plug second baseman didn’t play, and it’s a long, long season. Take the lumps as they come.