From the Mother Ship today, Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco looks back and looks ahead.
I thought he hit the nail on the head in the postgame session Sunday when he talked about inconsistency. The Rebels looked really good at times but couldn’t find enough consistency — insert runs there — get over the hump.
Ole Miss pitched it well in losses to Vanderbilt, LSU, Arkansas and others and even in the two NCAA tournament losses to William & Mary. Giving up only three runs is better than giving up four runs, but a four-run day by your pitches is still giving you a chance to win. Ole Miss lost 4-2 and 4-1 to William & Mary in Raleigh. In scoring a total of three runs the Rebels hit .246 in those games.
Bianco touches on mental toughness and talent here as well.
Going into the regional he mentioned NCAA tournament experience as a plus for this team. When it was over he talked about a nervousness and some “uncharacteristic” at-bats from certain players.
The Rebels ended the season 38-24. They went 17-22 after a 21-2 start.
Looking at a few numbers from the 30 SEC regular season games here. The Rebels were ninth in hitting and sixth in pitching. They were fourth in on-base percentage and fifth in runs scored. However, the runs were much closer to the teams behind them, Arkansas and South Carolina, than the teams ahead of them, and Arkansas and South Carolina both pitched significantly better.
In short, you are what your numbers say you are. Those four categories break down to an average sixth-place finish, which is where the Rebels were in the SEC standings, a No. 6 seed in the SEC tournament and not in the host discussion at the end.