Well, mission accomplished. Lance Lynn carried Ole Miss to a 4-1 victory over the top-10 Bulldogs. Was that enough to lock up a bid?
"I can't answer that question," Mike Bianco said. "Every win is great and certainly one against the conference champions, the team with the best RPI in our league and a team certain to host. It puts you closer, but is it the game that gets you in? Nobody knows."
Catcher Brett Basham shared the coach's sentiments.
"I don't know if tonight did it, but it has to help," the All-SEC Defense selection said. "If we keep winning, then we will know for sure."
After Wednesday, the Rebels are 14-16 against the RPI top 50 and 6-4 against top-25 ranked opponents at the time the games were played.
"We're here (in Hoover) to win it, not to just make a good showing," Bianco said.
Tim Ferguson and Sean Stuyerson have been rotating at shortstop for several weeks, but a winner appears to have emerged. Ferguson played last Saturday against Kentucky and also Wednesday versus Georgia. Bianco confirmed during the postgame that the freshman was in control of the position for now. Evan Button is still struggling with a back injury and didn't travel to Hoover.
Drew Pomeranz or Cody Satterwhite will start Thursday night against the Alabama/Kentucky winner. Both pitchers threw their weekly bullpens Tuesday in preparation for the possible starting assignment in the second round. If Satterwhite gets the nod, it will be two days short of normal rest. The junior went 3.2 innings last Saturday in Kentucky, while Pomeranz tossed 3.1 frames last Friday in Lexington.
Ole Miss is now 11-4 inside Regions Park since 2005, including the 2006 Tournament title and a 2005 runner-up finish. The Rebels are the only team to reach the weekend of the event the past three seasons.
"I don't know the exact reason we have had so much success here, but we have been here six years in a row and feel comfortable as far as the format," Bianco said. "We have a system and a routine on how to prepare."
The large stadium seems to serve Ole Miss well and some other teams poorly. While it benefits this edition of the Rebels, Bianco doesn't see that as a large factor in the success.
"It hasn't always been the case like it is with this year's team", the eight-year Ole Miss coach noted. "It is about playing well.
"Maybe we are pretty good, I don't know."
Ole Miss is now 1-0 versus Georgia in the SEC Tournament.
Ole Miss has won on opening day of the SEC Tournament for the fourth consecutive year.
Scott Bittle recorded his team-leading eighth save of the season. He is now in a four-way tie for seventh place on the school's single season list.
Cody Ovebeck recorded his 50th RBI of the season, giving him back-to-back seasons with 50-plus RBI.
The Georgia loss marks the third consecutive year the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament has lost on opening day.
SEC Player of the Year Gordon Beckham had his nine-game hitting streak snapped.
It is only the second time this season that the Bulldogs have failed to score more than one run against an SEC opponent (1-0 over South Carolina).
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