By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
Andrew Mistone says it’s not good baseball strategy to look at your batting average.
He can’t claim complete ignorance, however.
There’s something mental about hitting .300, and Mistone didn’t really get close to that in 2012 as a first-year junior college transfer.
Instead, his rookie season at Ole Miss was marked more by outstanding defense at third base.
“Obviously, if you’re a .300 hitter in any type of baseball that’s considered a pretty good hitter. That’s the ideal goal, to be above .300. I’m just going to keep my at-bats the same, try to keep doing the same things I’ve done,” Mistone said.
Ole Miss (32-14, 11-10 SEC) resumes conference play tonight at 6 at Auburn. Saturday’s game starts at 2:15 and will be televised by Fox Sports Net. Play starts at 1 on Sunday. The Rebels are currently seventh in the SEC overall standings, fourth in the Western Division and four games ahead of Auburn (25-18, 7-4) which lost twice at Missouri last weekend.
With nine SEC games remaining that consistency has helped Mistone become one of the Rebels’ top producers.
His average climbed above .300 Wednesday night when he was 2-for-5 in the Rebels’ 8-7 11-inning win over St. Louis.
On a team trying to score more runs, Mistone, at .301, is one of only two .300 hitters. Catcher Stuart Turner leads the team at .389.
More than average, Mistone has been good in clutch situations. He has 30 RBIs, 12 of them in SEC play tying Turner for the team lead.
Both players had big at-bats as Ole Miss rallied with two runs in the ninth to force extras against St. Louis. Turner’s hit drove in two. Mistone’s single would have ended the game, but Austin Anderson was thrown out at home.
At-bats like those serve as Mistone’s measuring sticks.
“Coach (Cliff) Godwin preaches that batting average is the devil. The more you look at your batting average your at-bats are going to suffer,” he says. “You go up in every at-bat with the intention of getting a hit, but more to help your team be productive and score runs, do what you’ve got to do to help get the guy over.”