By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – With their only non-conference game rained out, it’s been a week for Ole Miss players to reflect on a disappointing weekend at Florida.
It was a second-straight SEC series loss for the Rebels, and breaking that streak this weekend will require beating Vanderbilt, ranked No. 2 in this week’s release of the Baseball America Top 25.
Ole Miss slid six spots to No. 17 in the same rankings.
The Rebels (23-6, 4-5 SEC) manufactured an 11th-inning run to win 4-3 in Game 1 against the Gators. They won Game 1 at home against Texas A&M two weeks ago before being swept in a Sunday doubleheader of two seven-inning games.
Game times against the Commodores (26-4, 8-1) are 6:30 tonight, 4 p.m., Saturday and 1:30 p.m., on Sunday.
Ole Miss players say they need to compete harder to be more successful on SEC weekends.
“We’ve got to compete. At the end of the day we’re good enough to play better than that and win in this league,” said junior catcher and DH Will Allen on Sunday’s loss.”
That was a theme also emphasized by shortstop Austin Anderson.
“It’s human nature to come out flat one game, but it’s unacceptable. We need to keep the energy up and understand that any SEC game could be the difference in winning the SEC or not making the SEC as happened my freshman year,” he said.
bats go cold
Through nine games, Ole Miss is hitting just .220 against SEC competition, 13th among the 14 teams.
On-base percentage is 12th at .300, scoring 120h with 33 runs.
Vanderbilt has two of the top starting pitchers in the league in righty Kevin Ziomek, who will pitch tonight with a 1.89 earned run average, and lefty Tyler Beede, the Saturday starter with an ERA of 0.99.
Reliever Brian Miller has given up just one earned run in 27.2 innings, none in SEC play.
Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said the Rebels are playing hard.
“When you lose it always looks like you move a little slower. When you lose it always looks like you don’t have as much energy. I always say it sucks the life out of you,” he said. “These kids have competed to this point and played their rear ends off and gotten off to a good start. When you don’t have success it hurts. I think that’s what you’re seeing more. We can play better than we’ve played.”