There’s 2019 and 1982. The only two seasons where Ole Miss baseball travelled to Baton Rouge and came back home with a series win.
It’s improbable the Rebels (28-19, 10-14 SEC) will keep a four-game win streak alive through this weekend, but even a series win is unlikely given the history down at LSU (33-15, 14-10 SEC). While the Tigers are a top 25 squad, this baseball team out of Oxford is fairly unpredictable and coming off a top 25 win over Southern Miss earlier in the week.
LSU is keeping its starters close to the vest this weekend with TBA listed on Saturday and Sunday, but it looks like Ole Miss has locked in its weekend rotation again with the same three starters as the past few weekends.
Ole Miss: RHP Dylan DeLucia - 4-0, 4.14 ERA
LSU: RHP Ma’Khail Hilliard - 5-0, 3.95 ERA
Ole Miss: LHP Hunter Elliott - 2-3, 3.41 ERA
Ole Miss: RHP Derek Diamond - 4-4, 6.43 ERA
Rebel fans are likely torn over how the end of this season is progressing. On one hand, winning cures a lot of heartache and ills, but there are fans ready to move on from head coach Mike Bianco and piling up wins at this juncture will stymie that likelihood. Also, just losing to LSU sucks no matter what the situation is with a coach’s future hanging in the balance.
The RPI implications of the weekend is fairly enormous with the one win Ole Miss logged against Southern Miss jumped the team into the top 50 at No. 48 after previously being around No. 54-56. LSU currently sits at No. 16, so even one win would be a good shot in the arm to the overall team metrics for the postseason possibilities.
Unfortunately or fortunately depending on who you are, Ole Miss going 3-3 over the final two SEC weekends would land the Rebels at 13-17 in conference play and just over 30 wins for the season. It’s not a very good NCAA tournament resume at that point, and the SEC tournament would need to generate a couple wins for Ole Miss to shore things up.
The Bianco-LSU connection will be much discussed on broadcasts, and I would think would fuel some additional disdain from fans if coupled with losses. Talk about Bianco interviewing with LSU in the prior offseason left a bad taste in a lot of fans’ mouths, and a series loss in Baton Rouge to the Tigers would be another chapter in frustration for this disappointing season.
But... as always, go to hell LSU. Cheers!