Well it was a tough weekend for the No. 12 Ole Miss Rebels (30-11, 10-8) as they welcomed in the No. 7 LSU Tigers (30-10-1, 10-7-1) to Swayze Field in Oxford for a Easter weekend series. The Rebels were looking for a series win to gain position in the race for the SEC West crown, but the Tigers had other plans defeating Ole Miss two out of three times in front of record crowds.
A total of 29,663 fans watched the Thursday-Saturday series, which is a new three-day record for Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. But most left unhappy as the Rebels dropped Thursday and Saturday to their rivals from Louisiana.
Game one of the series went to 13 innings and was highlighted by two career pitching performances by Tiger Aaron Nola and Rebel Chris Ellis. The low point of the game was the error by Ole Miss second baseman Preston Overbey that sent the game into extra innings.
LSU got the edge in the 13th inning with a grounder that went between the legs of Ole Miss shortstop Erroll Robinson scoring two runs to ultimately provide the winning edge in the series opener.
Game two was all red and blue with the Rebels having a great day the plate, lead by the bats of Braxton Lee and Auston Bousfield. Ole Miss looked to have all the momentum going into Saturday’s finale, but they forgot their high powered offense at home and were shut-out for the first time this season. LSU recorded it’s SEC high 12th shut-out of the season (which is absurd by the way).
The Rebels now sit at 10-8 in conference play heading into a non-conference game against in-state rival Mississippi State. Ole Miss won the series in Starkville earlier in the season, the final matchup for these two is the annual Governor’s Cup in Pearl, Miss. Tuesday night.
After the series loss to LSU, Ole Miss dropped one spot to No. 13 in the national rankings, which isn’t bad because they still have a good RPI on their side for later.
Ahead for Ole Miss is the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington lead by the high powered bat of AJ Reed. Reed has 16 homers on the season and sports a .372 batting average. The Rebel pitching staff will have it’s hands full with this lineup, but desperately need a series win if they want to stay in the hosting discussion for later in the year.
Kentucky is 16-6 at home this season and is sitting at 9-9 overall in Southeastern Conference games. The two teams are ranked pretty closely with Ole Miss sitting at No. 12 and Kentucky sitting at No. 17. Game times for the three games are 5:30 PM Friday, Noon Saturday and Noon Sunday. The Saturday game will be televised on CSS.
Connor Hennessey is a writer and radio host in Oxford, Miss. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or @ConnorHennes on Twitter. Visit OleMissSports.com for up-to-date information pertaining to the Ole Miss Rebels.