Looking Ahead

The Ole Miss baseball team went 0-2 in Hoover, but it didn't take them long to get back at it. Friday afternoon they held an intrasquad to correct some wrongs and to get ready for NCAA play next weekend.

The Rebels will find out Sunday if they will host an NCAA Regional, and all indications are that they will.

Losing 6-3 to Georgia Wednesady and then 12-2 in an elimination game against Florida didn't sit well with anybody associated with the program. Thursday's starting pitcher Brett Bukvich said it's all about moving on from here.

"We can't really take anything from that game," Bukvich said after the loss to the Gators. "We've just got to flush it and move on. We've got to go back and practice and get ready to hopefully host a Regional."

One possible bright spot is that the team can get some rest and practice while focusing solely on the Regional, not worrying about three more days in Hoover.

While that is certainly not the script they'd hoped to follow when the tourney started, it's what they're dealing with now. It's a regroup situation and a time to remember what got them to this point, that they are SEC champs and stand 40-17 on the season.

Bukvich again.

"We can look at it like that," he said of refocusing on the task at hand which is NCAA play. "We weren't planning on going two and out. It's all about just getting back after it now and getting better every practice."

The sentiment is that if Ole Miss didn't hurt itself in the national seed picture, it obviously didn't help its cause either.

Ole Miss Coach Mike Bianco was asked postgame Thursday in Hoover if he felt both SEC co-champions, Ole Miss and LSU, should be national seeds.

Bianco was honest and forthright in his response.

"I thought that before the (SEC) tournament," he said.

And he is still hopeful afterward.

"Not to take anything away from LSU, but when you look at the numbers, they're so similar," Bianco said. "Certainly the overall record is basically the same, and the conference record is the same. We have a better road record. We have more wins against the top 50 than they do. We think we're very comparable to them.

"We lost two out of three at their place and (the losses) were two one-run games," he continued. "So I think it's close. Hopefully other people feel the same way."

The "other people" he is referring to would be the NCAA Committee. Certainly if the committee believes your "true" body of work is in the books before the conference tourney, the Rebels are in more than decent shape as co-champs to host next weekend and be in the mix to become a national seed.

If the SEC tourney figures in, 0-2 is exactly what you didn't want. But since that's what happened, they've already gone back to work today to get better.

And hopefully play in front of their fans next Friday. We will know Sunday.

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No updates on the status of pitchers Scott Bittle or Rory McKean. Both are considered hopeful as far as availability for a Regional next weekend.


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