The national seed discussion took a big hit today. I don’t think it ended because the Rebels have a chance for a great RPI win tomorrow against Vanderbilt.
Obviously there are opportunities beyond tomorrow if you keep winning.
Here’s my 2 cents on the national seed. Maybe the Rebels beat Vanderbilt tomorrow, and maybe they stay here a while longer. If so, their resume may be national seed worthy.
Right now, this team isn’t playing like a national seed. This season was built on offense, and when it’s good, it’s good, but there have been too many games the last month where it hasn’t been good.
I go back to the 2-0 loss in Game 3 against LSU, a game that would have won the series. After an explosive weekend at Kentucky the Rebels scored just one run in Game 3 against Arkansas, were shut out in Game 2 against Georgia and needed a 10th-inning Bousfield hit for a 2-1 win to take the Georgia series in Game 3.
There were good opposing pitchers in these games, yes, but a top eight seed hits good pitching better than Ole Miss has the last month.
Right now, this is a solid Ole Miss team and it’s worthy of the regional that it will host.
About today …
The difficulty in stringing together hits against Chris Oliver was not surprising given what Oliver did to the Rebels in Oxford when he allowed just five hits and one run over seven innings. The difference then was the Hogs jumped way out in front early, and it became clear the Rebels weren’t going to win that game.
That wasn’t the case today, and Ole Miss had chances, getting the leadoff batter on base six times.
However, in addition to being tough to hit – Oliver allowed just four hits over 6.1 innings – Oliver twice picked off baserunners in the early innings. It was Braxton Lee in the first and Errol Robinson in the third.
Robinson was the Ole Miss leader at the plate with two hits, one a double. Will Allen also had a double, and Ole Miss had seven hits total.
Arkansas pitching wasn’t only about Oliver.
Reliever Jacob Stone pitched the final 1.2 innings and escaped major trouble in the eighth against two of the Rebels’ best hitters.
Robinson led off with a single and Stone entered after a sacrifice bunt by Lee. He gave up a two-out walk to Austin Anderson, but on each side of that fanned Auston Bousfield and Will Allen. He fooled Bousfield who couldn’t hold up on a check swing and got Allen looking at a fastball on the outer half of the plate.
“I missed a couple of pitches, fouled them straight back, and on that last pitch, really didn’t see it as well out of his hand,” Allen said. “You’ve got to be able to swing and fight it off especially in that situation with a guy in scoring position.”
DH Clark eagan .300
LF Joe Serrano .307
CF Andrew Benintendi .275
2B Brian Anderson .315
1B Eric Fisher .267
RF Tyler Spoon .268
3B Bobby Wernes .236
C Alex Gosser .300
SS Michael Bernal .263
RHP Chris Oliver 7-4, 2.63
Ole Miss (40-16)
LF Braxton Lee .295
CF Auston Bousfield .353
3B Austin Anderson .324
C Will Allen .359
1B Sikes Orvis .302
DH J.B. Woodman .333
RF Will Jamison .252
2B Preston Overbey .262
SS Errol Robinson .310
RHP Chris Ellis 9-0, 2.12