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Ole Miss came back from TCU 1-1, moved up from No. 22 to No. 20 in the Baseball America poll, and debuts at home today against Arkansas State.

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That much we know. We learned some other things from the trip to Ft. Worth, Texas.

We learned Sam Smith, a freshman right-hander, will start against ASU. He's already pitched. Friday night against TCU in relief, the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder went 1.1 innings, allowing nothing as he faced only four batters, getting one of them to strikeout. The Rebels won the game 7-4.

"We will pitch some more guys in that (Tuesday) game," Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. "We're just trying to define some roles. Since (Smith) pitched a little bit on Friday, I think he's ready to go out there and start."

Freshmen Josh Laxer and Chris Ellis were throwing a bullpen at TCU Sunday after the final game there. So they are possibles to pitch in today's game.

When Smith came in Friday night, it was a tough situation. TCU had trimmed a four-run Rebel lead down to 6-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning. Smith immediately faced All-American Horned Frog catcher Josh Elander, who went 2-for-4 that night. There was a TCU runner on base, and Smith got Elander to hit into a fielder's choice to end the inning.

In the eighth, Smith got the Frogs three up, three down, and the stage was set for Brett Huber to close it out.

We know how good the Ole Miss outfield is. Friday night taught us that. But we already knew it from the fall and the preseason. We saw freshman Will Jamison make a spectacular catch at the wall for an out, and freshman Auston Bousfield throw two Frogs out from centerfield, one of them with no relay throw. And we have yet to see freshman Senquez Golson in action, but we will.

On the end of those relay throws to tag runners out at the plate was sophomore catcher Will Allen. His progress was evident in two games so far.

Junior third baseman Andrew Mistone had a solid weekend, especially in game one. The only real flaw was when the ball was "stuck" in his glove in the first inning Sunday on a play which led to two TCU runs scoring. Besides that, things went well, and offensively his home run to left gave Ole Miss some late cushion on Friday night.

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Offensively as a team, Ole Miss was effective for the most part until the latter stages of the Sunday loss. After scoring three runs in the top of the fifth to tie the game 3-3, the Rebels didn't score again. They actually didn't even have another baserunner in the contest. The Horned Frogs scored two in the bottom of the fifth, and that was enough in a 5-3 win.

Some of the Rebels' late-game offensive woes Sunday were a result of reliever Preston Morrison and closer Kaleb Merck.

Tanner Mathis said Morrison wasn't a hard thrower but was effective.

"He had a lot of movement, a lot of sink on his ball," Mathis said. "It's a two-seamer, it's almost like a sinker. He drops down and his ball moves so much. And he's good. He threw a great game, and he had us off balance."

The Red Wolves of ASU enter the Tuesday game 0-2, losing both games at Lamar this past weekend by scores of 2-1 and 10-2. Former Mississippi State assistant coach Tommy Raffo is in his fourth season as head coach at Arkansas State.

Junior outfielder Drew Burks led the Red Wolves with a .333 average on opening weekend, going 2-for-6 with a double and a walk.

Sophomore right-hander Cory Kyle, who will start for the Red Wolves today, pitched one inning against Lamar and allowed one run on one hit with a walk and a strikeout.

Bianco said he knows a little more about his team now heading into its third game of the season.

"I thought we competed well," he said. "We played a really good team on the road, and I thought we were ready to answer the bell. There were a lot of guys in the lineup who hadn't played (at this level) before. I thought we handled it.

"It was like the SEC," he continued. "If you don't play well, you lose. They played a little bit better than us (Sunday). On Friday, we played a little bit better than them."

Ole Miss stays at home this weekend with a three-game set against North Carolina-Wilmington. Games are Friday at 3 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m., and Sunday at 12 noon.

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