I emerged out of the bathroom at Swayze Field on Sunday as Ole Miss trailed 11-0.
I figured I’d stay for a while, but there wasn’t really any hope the Rebels would come out on top. At least it was over early.
Ole Miss fidgeted with a comeback while I was there, sort of like a kid playing with an unfamiliar food on its plate, but all hope felt lost again as the home team trailed by eight runs as my friend and I decided to leave the ballpark.
Shortly after we got back to the apartment, the game was tied at 14.
As much as we wanted to go back to Swayze to see the end of the game, knowing the superstitious ways of the game of baseball, we knew that was a no-go. Ole Miss had tied the game with us at the apartment, so that’s where we’d stay. At the time, I foolishly thought that Ole Miss was fixing to do the thing where they won the game after trailing 11-0 to start, but that didn’t come to pass. The Rebels’ pitching staff was, shall we say, horrid on Sunday, giving up 17 walks four more runs in the late innings to seal their fate.
Even though it was a loss, this was one of the most rollercoaster-like games I’ve ever been a part of at Ole Miss. Mike Bianco was ejected in the fifth inning for arguing balls and strikes with an umpire who probably couldn’t see the color of the outfield wall at Swayze Field, the offense came alive, the pitching staff caught on fire and burned to the ground in shock and awe, and we all were witnesses. It was real, it was fun, but it was not real fun.
After the loss, Ole Miss dropped to No. 6 in D1Baseball’s Top 25, because sure, why not? Even though Vanderbilt lost a series to
Georgia and only fell one spot to No. 2.
Mississippi State moved up to No. 4, meaning this weekend’s matchup will be between No. 4 and No. 6 in Starkville as the Rebels look to stay in the top two in the SEC West.
This series is important. The Rebels are losers of back-to-back series, but if this weekend showed us anything, it’s that this team has the capability to hit without Tim Elko in the lineup. Keep that momentum and pitch it well, and you’ve got to go take two of three in Starkville.