Ole Miss baseball came into the weekend ranked No. 4 in the country according to D1Baseball, a post they still hold after picking up a home series win over the ULM Warhawks.
The Rebels, like against Belmont the week before, won easily on Friday before needing a walk-off two-run shot from Kevin Graham in the bottom of the ninth to secure the victory on Saturday.
What’s better than a walk off beer shower? pic.twitter.com/7mpHiMyXUA— Barstool Ole Miss (@BarstoolOleMiss) March 14, 2021
Sunday, however, was a different story as poor defense and less-than-stellar pitching sank Ole Miss in an 8-3 loss to the Warhawks. Sunday Starter Derek Diamond only lasted 3.1 innings before giving way to the bullpen in a nightmarish top of the fourth that the Rebels never recovered from.
It wasn’t the best weekend, but a series win is a series win. If you’re a pessimist like myself, you could look at Saturday and Sunday’s games together and say that if not for Graham’s late-game heroics, the Rebels could very well be staring a series loss in the face here on this Monday. The ever-small optimist in me, however, sees this series win heading into the week that starts conference play and will take it.
As I’ve said many times in these recaps, this team isn’t perfect. Coming into the weekend, probably every Ole Miss fan expected a sweep of ULM, something that should never be banked on in the sport of baseball, but the Rebels were definitely the better team at Swayze Field this week. They just didn’t show it on Sunday.
Now, it gets real very soon. Ole Miss travels to Ruston to take on Louisiana Tech for two games this midweek, a Tech team that coincidentally handed Arkansas its first loss of the season on Sunday, before playing host to Auburn this weekend to start SEC play. The Tigers from the Plains haven’t been super impressive to this point, sitting at 10-5 at this point in the young season, but SEC play is a different animal.
The Rebels have a chance to relieve some stress brought on by the series loss to UCF and the bad taste that lingers from Sunday’s loss to ULM this week by facing two quality opponents. Pick up a series win to start SEC play, and suddenly much of the angst about these three early-season losses fades away.
The Rebels will face the Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech on Tuesday at 6pm and Wednesday at 2pm before opening its three-game set against Auburn on Friday. The Auburn series will be broadcast on SEC Network+.