Ole Miss takes on Arkansas Pine-Bluff tonight in their last midweek action at Swayze Stadium this season.
Ole Miss is currently 21-3 in non-conference competition, and 10-2 in midweek competition. The Rebels went 8-6 in the midweek last season, and 15-14 in non-conference competition overall.
Ole Miss defeated Arkasnas Pine-Bluff last season in a game that was much closer than it probably should have been. Ole Miss was trailing going into the final inning 6-4, but the Rebels mounted a three run ninth inning to win 7-6.
Chad Smith will likely start his third straight midweek game this week. Smith has been pretty solid since taking over a midweek role. The junior has gone 10 innings in his previous two starts only surrendering two earned runs. Smith gave the Rebels multiple chances to win the Governor’s Cup last Tuesday night, only allowing two runs in five innings to a potent offensive team in Mississippi State.
Ole Miss needs Smith to find success for them to be at full strength come postseason play. The junior right hander has flashed velocity up to 95 miles per hour this season and possesses really good secondary stuff. Smith could be a valuable option out of the bullpen or as a starter in a regions type setting for the Rebels.
Coming off arguably the best offensive performance of the year, Ole Miss will look to continue the hot streak at the plate on Wednesday night. The Rebels will need to be in stride this weekend as they head to Georgia. Georgia has a future high draft pick in Robert Tyler going for them on Friday night. Tyler shut down the 2014 Ole Miss team that went to Omaha in Oxford.
The real reason that this game is important for Ole Miss is simple. They can not afford a loss to a sub 200 RPI team. Pine-Bluff currently sits 278 In the RPI, and if Ole Miss were to come out on the short end of the stick, the Rebels would likely fall out of the top seven or eight of the RPI standings. Ole Miss currently is number six. The Rebels have had no bad losses on the season, as their “worst” loss was to No. 76 Tennessee. Ole Miss needs to keep the “no bad losses” stat going for them, as it could be a key metric come the postseason.