Jackson State visits 'resilient' Rebels

By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – Ole Miss assistant coach Cliff Godwin was pleased to see the Rebels keep pushing against Alabama even if it took a while to break through.
After a 16-hit performance in an 11-7 win in Game 1, the Rebels totaled just four hits in Game 2 and teetered on the edge of losing their second SEC series of the year before pushing across six runs in the final two inning to win 8-4 on Sunday.
“We were resilient and kept fighting the whole game,” Godwin said.
A 2-2 week which included a 10-0 loss in which the Rebels were held to three his by Southern Mississippi did not damage them in the eyes of the those who compile the Baseball America Top 25. The Rebels climbed one spot to No. 16 in Monday’s latest release.
Better batting
The Rebels (17-7, 3-3 SEC) began the Alabama weekend hitting just .182 over their previous four games. They hit .321 for three games in Tuscaloosa in spite of a 4 for 30 performance in a 3-2 loss on Saturday.
As the Rebels prepare for their lone mid-week game against Jackson State tonight at 6:30 – then a visit from No. 1 Florida – they are second in the SEC in hitting against all opponents (.310), fourth in hitting against SEC foes (.266).
Godwin said the difference in Saturday’s loss – in which Alabama scored twice on a two-out walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth – and Sunday’s win was the Rebels’ approach at the plate.
Alabama started two left-handed freshmen in Justin Kamplain on Saturday and Jon Keller on Sunday. They were finesse pitchers, not flame-throwers, and Ole Miss batters did not make necessary adjustments in their timing against Kamplain.
“I think we struck out more times on Saturday than we probably have in 10 games. That was just uncharacteristic of us,” Godwin said. “One thing we’ve usually been pretty good at, if you keep pitching us the same way, we’re going to get you. On Sunday, it took us a while, but we made the adjustments and got the lefty out of the game.”
parrish.alford@journalinc.com