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Ole Miss improves in top 25 ranking ahead of Southern Miss showdown

The next eight games could shape the season

Courtesy Ole Miss Athletics

Ole Miss baseball moved from the ten spot to ninth nationally in D1Baseball’s latest top 25 poll released Monday.

The Rebels (19-8, 4-5 SEC) are coming off a road series win over Kentucky and a mid-week win over North Alabama. This week presents a bigger challenge with a mid-week game against No. 18 Southern Miss in Pearl, Miss. and hosting Alabama (17-12, 4-5 SEC) in Oxford.

USM (19-8, 7-2 CUSA) has already notched wins against in-state rival Mississippi St. and Alabama this season in mid-week action, so it is unlikely the Mustard Buzzards will come into the game with any doubt of its ability to win. USM won a series against a talented Louisiana Tech squad over the weekend.

For Ole Miss, it is unclear how starting pitching will continue to be patched together though Oregon St. transfer Jack Washburn and Dylan Delucia both helped bring home wins against Kentucky with very solid outings. Washburn was previously one of the go-to midweek starters, so it will be interesting to see who takes the bump on Tuesday.

Last season, Ole Miss eliminated USM from the NCAA Tournament in the Oxford regional in the championship with a 12-9 win in the Monday finale. USM beat the Rebels 10-7 in the Sunday game of that regional.