By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Feeling like an SEC series win slipped through the grasp, there was a lot of time to think it over on the bus ride back.
Ole Miss players felt like they missed opportunities at Kentucky, particularly in the Friday night game when they totaled just two runs on 14 hits in a 3-2 loss.
Matt Snyder’s two home runs evened things up on Saturday, but the Wildcats took control in the decisive third game with a five-run sixth inning – the type of inning the Rebels were never able to muster in two of three games.
Although Kentucky was ranked No. 4 by Baseball America when the weekend began, the Rebels (21-10, 6-6 SEC) dropped eight spots to No. 18 in Monday’s release of the Top 25.
The completion of this weekend’s SEC series will being the conference schedule to the half-way point. Currently, the Rebels are tied for third in the Western Division with Auburn, two games back of leader LSU, a game behind Arkansas.
Ole Miss is back in action today at three for first game of a doubleheader against Central Arkansas. Both games will be seven innings.
UCA is 13-15 overall, 7-8 in the Southland Conference.
SEC play arrives earlier this week as the Rebels travel to Georgia for a Thursday night ESPNU game. The series will run through Saturday.
“It was a really frustrating eight-hour trip back,” said Snyder, whose five RBIs helped lead the Rebels to a 9-3 win in the second game.
Big innings needed
Ole Miss put together and eight-run fifth inning then, and that’s what hitting coach Cliff Godwin is hoping to help the Rebels achieve more often.
“If we can have five quality at-bats in an inning then we’re pretty much guaranteed to score more than one run. That’s what we have to try to focus on,” he said.
The Rebels hit .324 for the weekend and in Friday’s game had the oddity of having three runners thrown out at home plate.
Only two of Friday’s 14 hits went for extra bases.
“You get all the hits you get, you’re just not getting the runs for it. We’ve got to make sure we have guys come up with more doubles, more extra-base hits. Those are the ones that win the games, especially when you’re on the road,” Snyder said.