Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco has talked about the need for this team to develop some confidence.
Maybe that’s taking place.
As its 10-24 record suggests, Tennessee’s Martin campus does not have a very good baseball team. The Skyhawks were charged with just one error yesterday, but they weren’t very clean fielding the ball in some other instances.
The Rebels, though, have been less than clean in some earlier non-conference games. They were in control the entire way against Martin.
“We’ve shown we can play with anybody. We’ve beaten some of the top teams in the country, but we’ve had a tough time coming out every day and playing our game. We’ll come out here, not show up sometimes and get beat by teams that we shouldn’t lose to. Finally, I think after this weekend we had a lot of confidence rolling into this game. We came out and took care of business today, and we just need to keep doing that,” Sikes Orvis said.
Orvis’ stolen base – the second of his career – gives an accurate glance at what kind of game it was for Martin.
“It was one of those phenomena that happens every now and then in baseball. The catcher just sneezed and double-clutched then finally threw it. I was lucky enough to get in there,” Orvis said.
Lots of Ole Miss hitters have struggled this season, including Orvis who doesn’t have the benefit of big bats around him in the order the way he did last year.
He hit his team-leading eighth home run yesterday. He leads with 30 RBIs and shares the lead with eight doubles but is hitting just .224.
Teams started implementing the “Sikes Shift” last season, many of them putting the shortstop right behind the bag at second and putting second baseman in shallow right field. It really has a church softball look when that happens. UTM was less extreme than that but did have the second baseman in the outfield grass and shortstop shaded toward second.
“It’s been a little tough. I’ve definitely been pitched a lot tougher this year than ever before in my career. I’ve just got to take what they give me. I got in trouble a lot this year just trying to do too much, trying to do too much with certain pitches. I’ve finally just accepted it, trying to take it easy, not try to do too much,” Orvis said.