It’s fair to say Ole Miss is rolling in the early portion of conference play.
The Rebels have swept its first two series in the SEC slate and swept the state of Alabama’s SEC schools. Ole Miss (20-4, 6-0 SEC) topped Alabama (15-9, 1-5 SEC) on Saturday 11-6 to complete its second SEC sweep of the season in as many series.
Derek Diamond got the start on the bump, and he was a little shaky to start, throwing over 50 pitches in two innings, but he settled in and found his groove to another win on the mound. Tim Elko was excellent per usual, driving in some key runs in the fifth inning to give the Rebels their first lead of the day, a lead they never relinquished. He also hit a mammoth home run off the scoreboard late in the game. ICYMI, he’s very good at baseball, and we are v happy about that.
I’ve been saying this in every recap thus far, but I’m going to say it again: these last two series were huge. Auburn and Alabama won’t finish at the top of the conference this season barring a miracle from God, and with three top-five teams coming up next on Ole Miss’ schedule, they needed to finish, at worst, 4-2 in these first two weekends to feel decent about their shot of hosting moving forward.
Now, they sit at 6-0 in league play, which, I’m told, is as good as possible through six games played, and they’re sitting excellent.
Look, there will be losses in conference play. I hate to break it to you, but Ole Miss won’t go 30-0 in the SEC this season. But what this does is give you room for error. As our esteemed editor One Man To Beat pointed out in the Red Cup Slack channel, going .500 in SEC play from here on out gives the Rebels an 18-12 record in conference play, which would almost guarantee a national seed. SEC wins are big, regardless of who they’re against, and when you sweep on the road (i.e. this weekend), they’re even bigger. Even if it is against Alabama.
I’m not saying Ole Miss will be a national seed. There’s a lot of season left to play. But I am saying that things are set up nicely moving forward with the remaining 24 conference games, and it’s there for the taking if the Rebels execute.