As a fan of the defending national champion, it’s understandable if you haven’t been closely following the Ole Miss baseball team this season, as we are all aware, based on last year’s experience, the important games don’t start until May.
However, as a fan smartly watching their defending national championship team with casual interest, you may have missed a pair of bizarre endings to mid-week games this season. The first instance occurred on March 1st when Ole Miss hosted Louisiana Tech in Game 2 of a mid-week series.
As thunderstorms rolled through Oxford that Wednesday night, the game had a lengthy weather delay, mostly due to not wanting to see people struck by lightning. Tough but fair.
After a delay that lasted over two hours, the game was called final about 4 hours and 45 minutes after the first pitch, with Ole Miss leading 4-3 after 6 completed innings. The twist in this scenario was Louisiana Tech took a 5-4 lead in the top of the 7th, but since the inning was never completed, the rules state Ole Miss was the winner when the game was called.
That's baseball!— Ole Miss Baseball (@OleMissBSB) March 2, 2023
Due to lightning, tonight's game has been called after six complete. pic.twitter.com/ZIuOSf12B2
Obviously, this made Louisiana Tech upset, as noted by the statement from their athletic department:
A statement from the LA Tech Athletics department pic.twitter.com/mnrlqaWWjy— Diamond Dogs (@LATechBSB) March 2, 2023
The team’s coach also had some thoughts, which can be classified as “I’m not mad. Please don’t put it in the newspaper that I got mad.”
Tech HC Lane Burroughs:" We wont be scheduling Ole Miss again in the regular season as long as im the coach here." Strong stuff from the bulldogs skipper.— Sean Fox (@fox4sportstalk) March 2, 2023
Again, he’s not mad. Don’t say he was mad.
The second bizarre finish of the season happened on Tuesday night in Pearl, as the Rebels stepped into the diamond circle with Southern Miss. Yes, the same Southern Miss that Ole Miss outscored 15-0 in two Super Regional games last year in Hattiesburg.
In the bottom of the 4th, with Southern leading 2-1, the umpires declared the game a no contest after it was apparent field conditions were DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW TO PROPERLY SOD, BRO?
The unfortunate early ending to tonight's game due to sod conditions.— Ole Miss Baseball (@OleMissBSB) March 29, 2023
The game has been declared a no contest in the bottom of the fourth inning. pic.twitter.com/SUjxmgdlfF
Some might call it an Act of Sod. Folks,,,,,,
[me tapping the mic]
Is this thing on? I said, “Act of Sod.” You know like Act of G-
[pelted with trash as boos reign down]
As for the field, in general, if a pitcher cuts off the mound to try to field a ball and causes the infield grass to explode, creating a mini-mound, those are NOT IDEAL CONDITIONS.
That type of field condition is reserved for the United States Men’s National Team when they play a must-win World Cup qualifier in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. For the smattering of you that got that reference, I love you, our baby Eagles, and team dad Tim Ream.
The result stinks for both teams, as they are, ahem, working through some things and could’ve used another 5 innings in a competitive environment prior to the weekend. And it really stinks for the fans who trucked it out to Pearl, with plans to enjoy baseball food and icy cold domestic drafts on a Tuesday night in March.
However, with a field that can’t support a player’s weight, it was absurd to continue due to the possibility of injuries. Now, the losers and haters, of which there are many, will be furious because Ole Miss was involved.
They will assume Ole Miss made this decision, despite USM head coach Scott Barry noting he and Mike Bianco agreed the game shouldn’t continue because of the potential for injuries.
AH, WELL, NEVERTHELESS. CLOWN COLLEGE.
That’s Defending National Champion Clown College to you, person whose team probably didn’t go to Omaha last year.
So, in review, here is your official Ole Miss Baseball Game Endings Tracker™:
- 14 ended with Ole Miss ahead after the top or bottom of the 9th
- 1 ended with Ole Miss ahead after lightning delays caused the umpires to call the game following 6 completed innings
- 9 ended with Ole Miss behind after the top or bottom of the 9th
- 1 ended in the bottom of the 4th after the field was ready to claim some ACLs
Of note, we have yet to cross the April barrier, which means there are plenty of opportunities for even more bizarre endings. While I did not consult the college baseball scriptwriters for this list, here are a few possibilities for bizarre endings that are most certainly on the whiteboard in the writer’s room:
- Bench-clearing brawl that leads to 5 like players left on either team (PLAY 5-ON-5, YOU COWARDS)
- Fans channeling their inner Tennessee fan and throwing stuff on the field while filling their diapers
- Birds doing bird things. Look, if a bunch of crows get together and decide to make a game hell, NO ONE wants to be around for that.
- Sinkholes. Perhaps unlikely since Ole Miss doesn’t go to Gainesville, but that’s exactly what sinkholes want you to think.
- Eagles Demolition Night. Similar to Disco Demolition Night in 1979, but instead of rioting after blowing up records, everyone is too overjoyed from the destruction of Eagles’ records to continue playing baseball.
- Mike Bianco winning a bet with some of his players: