Pitching matters and when you have none, well folks, you are in for a long season.
This is the reality of the Ole Miss baseball season. Losing last year’s ace Dylan DeLucia to the draft plus Hunter Elliott and Josh Mallitz to injury was always going to be difficult to replace. Difficult turned into impossible as no one has been able to stop the opponents from scoring.
The season now comes down to this weekend as Ole Miss hosts the top 25 Auburn Tigers. This is an Auburn team that is 5.0 games ahead of the Rebs in the SEC standings and fresh off a series win over No. 1 LSU.
However, Auburn is just 5-10 on the road this season and the Rebs are 17-12 at home, so there is some hope. But as Ole Miss need to help themselves, they also need some help from others.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs are headed to Baton Rouge to hopefully get swept by the Tigers, effectively ending their bid at the final spot in Hoover. After Ole Miss failed to take the series against Mizzou, the Tigers sit one game ahead of Ole Miss as they host a lowly Georgia squad.
There are scenarios where Ole Miss can get in without sweeping Auburn, but in all reality a sweep is a must this weekend. If Missouri wins their series against Georgia, Ole Miss needs that to be a sweep as the Bulldogs take on LSU in their final weekend.
It’s all for not if the Rebs do not take care of their own business, starting tonight.
Thursday, May 11, 7:00 p.m. CST
Ole Miss: LHP Xavier Rivas - 5-3, 5.83 ERA
Auburn: RHP Chase Allsup- 0-1, 7.20 ERA
Friday, May 12, 6:30 p.m. CST
Ole Miss: RHP JT Quinn - 3-2, 5.86 ERA
Auburn: LHP Tommy Vail - 4-1, 3.68 ERA
Saturday, May 13, 2:00 p.m. CST
Ole Miss: TBA
Auburn: RHP Christian Herberholz - 1-3, 4.37 ERA
Saturday could see another shot for either of the Collierville boys, Grayson Saunier or Jack Dougherty, but Coach Bianco has time to think on it and it could be decided based on the results of the previous two games.
Thursday could be a high scoring affair while JT Quinn will need his best performance opposite Auburn’s best pitcher Tommy Vail.
Tonight’s game can be found on ESPNU while the rest of the series is on SEC Network.