'Power' Play

The best of times. The worst of times. Logan Power has seen them all. Been a part of many of them, too.

It's been an up and down, roller coaster season for Ole Miss baseball. From preseason hype of being maybe the best team in the entire Southeastern Conference and a No. 2 national ranking in late February to a doubleheader loss to Arkansas that made the Razorbacks look more like the team with the early season accolades.

But low-key Logan, a stalwart in the outfield and the Rebels' most consistent hitter this season, takes it all in stride and moves on to play another day.

At practice Monday afternoon under a blue sky with little humidity and slight breeze, the Hillcrest Christian product trotted out of the locker room in his practice gear, grabbed his glove, and headed to the field to help his team get ready for some important games.

Like ones with Memphis and Jackson State this midweek and at Georgia this weekend.

Power came to Ole Miss to compete for championships, to play in Regionals and Super Regionals, to go to Omaha. This could be his last shot, depending on the June draft.

He redshirted out of Hillcrest that first season, way back in 2005 when the Rebels hosted their second straight Regional and first Super Regional. His high school teammate Seth Smith had left Ole Miss the year before. They had shared the outfield at Hillcrest when Logan was a freshman.

Another of his high school and Ole Miss teammates, Stephen Head, had left Ole Miss after Texas broke the Rebels' hearts and stopped the '05 Omaha Express a win short of its goal of getting there.

Then there was the Miami Super Regional year, followed by the one at Arizona State.

Logan Power has been here through it all, and as April turns to May, he knows now is the time again. And he believes everybody else knows that as well.

"You have to stay positive right now," Power said. "We're still in first place in the (SEC) West, and we've still got three weekends ahead of us. To get where we want to go, we have to play well. I thought we swung the bats well this past weekend. We didn't get it done defensively. We're going to work on that, and look forward."

Logan knows what everybody knows. It's what Coach Mike Bianco has said every season since he's been at Ole Miss. Not only does every weekend mean something, the last one in mid-May will still mean something as well.

Bianco's always said even in the national championship years at LSU that the final weekend of the regular season was important to all those teams and where they ended up.

So with three weekends left this season, the Rebels, 28-17 and 11-10, press on. They practiced today on the usual stuff as well as the mistakes they made over the weekend, which were numerous.

"The past few years, our teams have really come together at the end," said Logan, meaning by that May, which on the calendar begins Thursday. "We usually put it together then and move through the postseason. That's what we need to do right now."

Logan says there is no absolute button to push to make things happen positively now that might not have been happening earlier.

"Consistency," he said. "That's the key. In past years we just put it together at the right time and played better at the right time."

Two years ago, although a bit earlier in the SEC season, it was in Athens that the Rebels began moving toward another Regional and Super Regional host. The Bulldogs were in first place, like this year, and the Rebels swept them at Foley Field.

"We're looking to do that again," Power said. "But to do that, we have to practice hard this week and correct our mistakes. We need to win two games this (mid) week and take the momentum into Georgia and play well there. We have to have some sense of urgency. We've been saying that, but now is the time."

And nobody on the team knows that better than Logan Power, a player who has been through all this for years.


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