Mid-South Midweek

After taking a weekend series over Vanderbilt 2-1, Ole Miss hits the road for the start of a two-game stretch against Arkansas State and Memphis. Read about it inside.

Having now taken two-of-three in its SEC opening weekend over Vanderbilt, the No. 12 nationally ranked Ole Miss baseball team heads to Jonesboro for the first of two midweek games against Arkansas State.

Following Tuesday's road trip, the Rebels will head home to face Memphis at 6:30 Wednesday night. Senior Brett Bukvich (2-0, 1.20 ERA) takes the mound against the Red Wolves, while RHP Chris Corrigan (0-0, 11.12 ERA) meets the Tigers at home.

The Diamond Rebs took the first two games against the Commodores, but were doomed by spotty pitching Sunday.

Head coach Mike Bianco said the team will try to find solid footing on the mound this week.

"If you don't play well, you lose in this league," Bianco said of the team's loss to Vandy Sunday. "That's why it's the No. 1 baseball conference in the country. We hit well enough all weekend. We certainly didn't pitch well enough to win in the second game, and we killed ourselves with errors as we tried to make some comebacks later. We left some opportunities out there offensively."

Ole Miss did play well in 9-3 and 6-1 victories in the first two games, and will try to build on that with Alabama headed to Oxford this weekend.


Outfield Improving:

Obviously Logan Power and Jordan Henry are mainstays in the Rebel outfield, but there has yet to be separation among other players for the third spot according to the coaching staff.

Seniors Jeremy Travis and Michael Hubbard have continued to platoon with Power and Henry, but have rotated depending on matchups. Travis is right-handed; Hubbard is left-handed.

Juniors Taylor Hashman (another righty) and David Phillips (a lefty) have also been in the mix, but have been used mostly in DH roles.

"It's a little easier for a left-hander to face a right-hander and vice versa," Bianco said. "There's been some times where Travis has even got some at-bats against a right-hander. So it won't be like that all the time."

Travis is hitting .303 on average for the year, with a .704 slugging percentage. Hubbard claims a .300 hitting clip, with a .467 slg.


Miller Getting Healthy:

Third baseman Zach Miller suffered a hamstring injury early in the third game of the Vandy series, but is feeling better according to Bianco.

However, the Rebel skipper doesn't see the junior playing until the weekend.

"He's pretty good," said Bianco. "He's not likely to play Tuesday or Wednesday, but he does have a good chance of playing this weekend. There's a chance (he'll play in the midweek games), but not likely."

Miller received treatment Monday, and was seen jogging in the outfield at practice.


Button Back:

Redshirt junior Evan Button made his first appearance over the weekend, after suffering an injury in the team's regular season opening weekend in Mobile.

Bianco was proud of Button's performance, but is being cautious in the playing time he receives.

"Evan's feeling pretty good," he explained. "I felt like he could even steal after he got on base. We're still a little tentative with him. We put him in the game because we need his defense and certainly need his offense."


Up Next:

Freshman Jacob Lee is expected to get his first start Tuesday night against Ole Miss. Lee has appeared in three games this season for the Red Wolves, working 6.1 innings in the process. Lee has given up six runs on nine hits, while striking out eight and walking five.

The Red Wolves trail 22-69 in the series against the Rebels. Ole Miss has won two consecutive over Arkansas State (7-9, 2-4), including an 11-5 victory in Oxford when the teams met for the first time this season. The two programs split a pair of games in 2008, with ASU defeating then-No. 2 Ole Miss 7-5 in Oxford and Ole Miss winning 9-4 in Jonesboro.

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