Significant Win

HOOVER, Ala. – Because you just never know and because Ole Miss' history of not knowing and then being disappointed in situations that Rebel fans can recall in whatever sports through the years, beating Vanderbilt Thursday was significant.


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Get all that? Read it again if you need to.

Ole Miss beat Vandy 7-2 in an elimination game at the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Maybe the Rebels "needed it" and maybe they didn't.

All we know is they got it. And good for them.

For starters, the 41-18 Commodores' RPI was No. 7 coming into the game, and No. 7 afterward.

The 41-17 Rebels stood at No. 15 before the game and moved up to No. 11 afterward.

Say it with me. Huge win for the Rebels.

Now they live to play another day here and perhaps improve that resume' again. They'll either play Arkansas or LSU. Both have RPIs below the Rebels. So how does that figure in? We'll see.

Arkansas enters that game later today at No. 33 in the RPI after its 2-1 win against Ole Miss Wednesday.

LSU is currently holding the 16th spot in RPI and is as hot as any team in the SEC. They'd beaten Vanderbilt Wednesday 11-1 in a game that ended after seven innings – the 10-run rule deal.

I just overheard one Arkansas media person say he wasn't sure if the Razorbacks could hang with Tiger ace Aaron Nola, and that the Tigers are apparently playing like the 1927 Yankees.

Playing LSU would be the most beneficial for Ole Miss, certainly if the Rebels can win it.

Ole Miss and Vanderbilt had not played a game this season. So score that Ole Miss 1, Vanderbilt 0 in whatever the conversation for the next few days means as this is all sorted out.

Vanderbilt is headed home with a good resume' and a good RPI. Coach Tim Corbin was visibly disappointed in the postgame press conference.

While things look good on paper for the Commodores, coming here and leaving 1-2 (the win was Tuesday 3-2 over instate rival Tennessee) wasn't a good thing. Not when several other teams are trying their hardest to get into that top eight.


Rebs were pleased after win vs. Vandy
Danny Parker

Putting things into a bit of perspective for us, Mike Bianco didn't make the postgame press conference after the Rebels' win against Vanderbilt. He headed back to Oxford for something even more important than baseball games – his son Michael's graduation from Oxford High School.

Assistant coach Cliff Godwin filled in for him and we talked to Jeremy Massie and Austin Anderson. Bianco will be back here late tonight and coach the Rebels again Friday.

The demeanor from the Vandy coach and players was night and day to that of the Rebels, as you would expect. No team or staff wants to be gone this quickly here, not when there is as much on the line as there apparently still is.

Of course, all things considered, there should be baseball in Oxford next Friday and on through the weekend. There is little doubt of that – unless it's one of those aforementioned unreal disappointments Ole Miss people have been through before.

But on this Thursday, the Rebels took the field and took care of business against a current RPI top eight team, and even got their bats going again.

So on to Friday and let's see what happens. But today was a good day for Ole Miss.


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