Left fielder Tanner Mathis was one of the Rebels’ hottest postseason hitters last year.
Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco would like to see Mathis return to that form, and he thinks the senior from Lake Charles, La., is close.
Vanderbilt visits for three games at Swayze Field this weekend.
“I think he’s gotten better the last week or two. You see spurts of Mathis, a couple of walks in tough situations, a couple of hits to the left side,” Bianco said.
Mathis is hitting .248 right now with two doubles and five RBIs.
Mathis is the leading returning hitter from the 2012 roster. He hit .359 a year ago and finished in the SEC’s top 10 in average, on base percentage, runs scored, hits and walks.
He was drafted in the 27th round by Houston but chose to return for his senior year.
“He’s missed more pitches, swung through more pitches this year than I’ve seen in a long time. There have been some at-bats that don’t seem very Mathis-like … easy outs, not all of them but sprinkled in his body of work. He obviously hasn’t gotten off to a good start, but he’s always been a finisher, always played better in the second half. I think he’s very close,” Bianco said.