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No. 24 Ole Miss looks for redemption against Golden Eagles

Tyler Jackson/The Daily Mississippian

 

Hoping to get back on the winning side of things, No. 24 Ole Miss (28-16) will take on Southern Miss 25-18) tonight at 6:30 p.m. from Trustmark Park in Pearl to make up a game from earlier in the season that was cancelled due to rain. 

Tonight’s contest will be the first of two midweek games for the Rebels, who will face off with Murray State on Wednesday in Oxford, before welcoming No. 4 LSU to town on Friday. 

Southern Miss, who has won three straight in the rivalry, got the best of Ole Miss early this season shutting out the Rebels 10-0 in Oxford on March 20. The Golden Eagles are coming off a series win at Marshall, while the Rebels have lost four of their last five games. 

On the mound, Ole Miss will throw freshman right-hander Josh Laxer, who is 3-0 this season with a 5.51 earned run average. Laxer has recorded nine strikeouts in 16.1 innings of work. His counterpart will be junior left-hander Dillon Day.

Day has played in the outfield for the Golden Eagles this season, but he has yet to pitch all year. Last season, Day was 1-2 in 14 appearances, and he had a 5.35 earned run average in 38.2 innings pitched. 

Offensively, the advantage goes to the Rebels, who are hitting .308 as a team and averaging six runs per game, but as of late, those numbers haven’t meant much. Junior second baseman Alex Yarbrough is the leader at the plate with a .420 batting average with three home runs and 38 RBI, while senior first baseman Matt Snyder is hitting .355 with 10 home runs and a Southeastern Conference leading 48 RBI. 

Southern Miss is batting .281 as a team with an average of scoring 5.8 runs per game. Freshman catcher Austin Roussel, who has only played in 23 games, and freshman outfielder Mason Robbins are the offensive leaders for the Golden Eagles with .348 and .346 averages, respectively. Robbins also has two home runs and 31 RBI. 

SEC Roundup

After dropping a series on the road at Mississippi State, Ole Miss is in a three-way tie for third place in the SEC West with the Bulldogs and Auburn. The Rebels are now ranked No. 24 in Baseball America’s latest poll, No. 25 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll and No. 26 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association (NCBWA). Ole Miss dropped out of the Collegiate Baseball Newspapers rankings.

Mississippi State, on the other hand, broke into the Collegiate Baseball rankings at No. 29. Auburn swept Tennessee over the weekend, and LSU, who is the top team in the West, took two of three from Georgia. The Tigers, who Ole Miss hosts this weekend, are now as high as No. 4 according to Baseball America, NCBWA and the USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll. 

Arkansas, who is one game above Ole Miss in the SEC standings, won a series at Florida over the weekend and moved to up to No. 13 in Collegiate Baseball and USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll.  The Gators dropped but are still No. 5 in the NCBWA and USA Today/ESPN coaches’ polls. Kentucky lost two of three games to Vanderbilt, but the Wildcats are still No. 3 according to Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America. 

South Carolina remains the leagues hottest team with a sweep of Alabama. The Gamecocks are now ranked as high as No. 3 in the NCBWA and USA Today/ESPN coaches’ polls.