There’s nothing quite like these early, Ole Miss non-conference baseball games.
The near freezing temperatures will most likely temper the crowd a bit on Friday evening, but this blog would highly recommend layers and hard liquor in right field. Saturday and Sunday have noon start times, but it will not be shorts and t-shirt weather just yet at Swayze Field.
Wins may be more hard to come by than Rebel fans expect as well as a Virginia Commonwealth (2-2) squad comes into town with previous SEC experience and some high level wins last year. Last season, the Rams went 1-2 in the Starkville regional plus it notched a 2-0 record against Virginia including a win in Charlottesville.
Needless to say, I have the gut feeling the Rams will not be intimidated walking into this weekend series despite the Rebels (4-0) being ranked as high as No. 2 nationally. Then, there’s the starting pitching matchups.
Friday, 4pm CT (SECN+)
Ole Miss: RHP Derek Diamond, 1-0, 3.60 ERA
VCU: LHP Jack Masloff, 0-0, 0.00 ERA
Saturday, 12pm CT (SECN+)
Ole Miss: LHP John Gaddis, 1-0, 2.25 ERA
VCU: LHP Madison Furman, 0-0, 9.00 ERA
Sunday, 12pm CT (SECN+)
Ole Miss: RHP Drew McDaniel, 1-0, 2.45 ERA
VCU: LHP Campbell Ellis, 0-0, 0.00 ERA
How to watch
Where: Oxford University Stadium-Swayze Field, Oxford, Miss.
When: 4pm Friday, 12pm Saturday and Sunday
Online streaming: WatchESPN
Seeing three left-handed pitchers through the weekend will be interesting, and obviously it’s early in the year so 0.00 ERAs aren’t really valid. There shouldn’t be a lot of line-up movement if I had to guess, but as the bullpen takes over, I would expect plenty of substitutions for righty-righty and lefty-lefty matchups.
Here's how the REBS will line it up for today's series opener! pic.twitter.com/9e6y3CfcEb— Coach Mike Bianco (@CoachMikeBianco) February 25, 2022
Obviously, we still don’t see catcher Hayden Dunhurst in the lineup as of yet, and we’ve heard his hamstring was tweaked last weekend. Maybe he needs a couple weeks to bounce back 100 percent, and Rebel fans will see him next weekend or maybe even a few innings in the mid-week coming up after VCU. It would definitely ease some anxiety if he at least pinch hit at some point this weekend.
The lineup on Friday has like five or six guys hitting .400 or higher, so I think it could be possible the offensive onslaught just keeps on rolling for another weekend. Here’s to 7-0, cheers!