Hashman Emerges

Taylor Hashman has emerged as one of the most productive Rebels lately. His weekend in Starkville proved that even more.

The senior outfielder went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored Friday night in the Rebels' 4-2 win against Mississippi State. In Saturday's 12-10 victory, he was 1-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. And in Sunday's 19-11 storm-shortened scoring fest, he was 1-for-2 with four RBI and two runs scored.

He had two home runs on the weekend, his first one Friday night the first Rebel run of the weekend that knotted the score 1-1 in the fourth inning. His other round-tripper, a three-run shot in the sixth on Sunday, expanded a growing UM lead in the finale.

The Naples, Fla., product also walked five times in three games which could signal a mature, patient approach at the plate.

Hashman, who attended Manatee Community College in Florida before arriving at Ole Miss, worked hard and waited his turn during his two years' time in Oxford. Now it's all playing dividends for himself and for his team.

"I've just continued to work hard to try to help the team," said Hashman, who is batting .354 now, which is second on the squad behind Matt Smith's .361. "I've just been able to be effective when I've been in there at times, and that's helped my confidence."

Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said the right-hander has basically established himself as the Rebels' left-fielder at this point.

"He's even got some really good swings off against some right-handers. He's a great baserunner and can really steal," Bianco said. "And he's one of our best defensive outfielders. He's kind of taken over there."

Bianco also noted the effectiveness of his at-bats in the run-scoring department. He has 30 RBI on 28 hits in 79 plate appearances, along with six stolen bases in six attempts.

"Here's a guy with half the at-bats as a lot of guys on the team," he said. "He's really been a big spark for us in this 10-game win streak."

Taylor Hashman

Even before that, the 6-foot, 210-pounder was beginning to prove he belonged on a more consistent basis. At Georgia in a 4-3 Rebel win in game two of that series on April 10, Hashman's two-run home run in the 13th inning helped lift his team to a win that day.

Hashman, with six home runs this season, said the offense has been good overall, and Sunday's 15 hits and 19 runs were just another example.

"We came out swinging today," he said. "(MSU) brought in every (pitcher) they could. They just couldn't stop us. We're on a roll right now. We've just got to keep swinging like we have been."

Ole Miss, 33-13 overall and 14-7 in Southeastern Conference play, hosts Arkansas this weekend for three games. The Razorbacks are 35-10 and also 14-7 in league play. The teams share first place in the SEC West with three weekends to go.

Hashman says the team is certainly more confident than at any time this season.

"Obviously we're jumping up in the standings," he said. "But we're just doing what we've always been doing this year, trying to play one pitch at a time. That's what we do. We're going to try to keep doing that. This weekend's a pretty big weekend now. And we're at home, so I think we've got the advantage."

Game times for Ole Miss-Arkansas are 7 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

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