Forgettable Week

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Ole Miss went to Alabama tied for first place in the Southeastern Conference, coming off a sweep over Missouri but with a midweek loss to Southern Miss. Three losses to the Crimson Tide later and the Rebels find themselves looking up at the leaders.

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Sunday's finale, a 3-1 loss, capped the sweep. Ole Miss is now 21-9 overall and 4-5 in SEC play. Alabama is 19-8 and 6-3.

Quotes of Note:

Will Allen – "We have to learn from it and move forward. Treat it as a learning experience and move on. We're a better team than this, and it's baseball. It's a tough conference. They're a good team. It's not necessarily the best team that always wins. It's the team that plays the best. They were a little better in all aspects this weekend. But not by much. The games were all close. We move forward, and it's a long season. A lot of baseball left to play."

Coach Mike Bianco – "It's been a really bad week. We've lost games in all kinds of ways. Today was another way. We didn't hit and give ourselves enough opportunities to score runs. We left the bases loaded in the first. (In the second) we're at first and third and hit into a double play for our only score of the game. After that, we just didn't do anything offensively to give ourselves a shot."

Bianco on Sunday starter Sam Smith (3-2), who went 6 and 2/3 innings with 3 runs allowed on 8 hits with 3 strikeouts – "Terrific except for that one inning (three-run fourth). They can put an inning together. He had trouble locating early. They got some good swings off. After that three-run inning, Sam really buckled down and does what he does. He goes to the seventh inning with the game still intact and gives us a shot to win."

The Situation

The Rebels had lost the first game 7-6 Friday night and the second game 6-5 in 10 innings Saturday. They needed to salvage one to maintain close proximity to the top of the league.

Sam Smith
File Photo

However it is still March and there is time. Seven SEC weekends remain. But a 5-4 record in conference play now would obviously be more workable than a 4-5 mark.

The Game

The Rebels led 1-0 after the top of the second inning. But as the weekend had gone, it was in the first inning that the tone had already been set. After an out, the Rebels loaded the bases. But Preston Overbey hit into a double play that ended the early going.

The Crimson Tide picked up three runs in the fourth, which was more than enough. Mikey White led off with a home run. After Ben Moore singled and Kyle Overstreet doubled, runners were in scoring position.

Wade Wass singled a run in and Austen Smith reached in a fielder's choice to get another run home. That made it 3-2, and that was all the scoring on the day.

Ole Miss never really threatened offensively after that. The Rebels didn't get a runner past first base after the third inning.

Left-handed starter Jon Keller (5-1) pitched a compete game, nine innings with one run on seven hits with eight strikeouts and three walks.

What's Up?

Ole Miss hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the annual School Day Game at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.

The Rebels then host Auburn this weekend for three games. It's Grove Bowl week at Ole Miss.

Baseball times for the Rebels-Tigers series are 6:30 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Saturday's Red-Blue football game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium/Hollingsworth Field is scheduled to kickoff at Noon.

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