Ole Miss baseball needed this weekend’s Arkansas sweep

Posted on Apr 11 2016 - 7:01am by Brian Scott Rippee

Ole Miss completed a much-needed sweep of Arkansas over the weekend to improve to 25-7 on the year, and more importantly, back to .500 in SEC play at 6-6.

“It was big weekend for us to just get back in the SEC and get three wins was huge for us,” Will Golsan said. “A sweep is always good, especially at home in the SEC.”

It was Ole Miss’ first SEC sweep since taking all three games at home to Mississippi State in 2015 to close out conference play.

(Photo by: Evan Turner)  Brady Bramlett pitches in Friday's win over Arkansas.

(Photo by: Evan Turner)
Brady Bramlett pitches in Friday’s win over Arkansas.

Pitching MVP: Brady Bramlett

Ole Miss won the Friday night game 7-3 behind seven innings of three-hit shutout baseball from ace Brady Bramlett.

“I felt great tonight. I was really proud of my outing, especially after the last couple of weekends,” a smiling Bramlett said while holding his game-ball and T-shirt Mike Bianco awards to the MVP of each game. “Coach B actually challenged me this week in the bullpen. He asked ‘Where are your seven shutout innings’ and I gave it to him tonight.”

“He is that kind of kid,” Bianco said. “He really believes in himself, and in a good way, and to have success in any type of sports, but especially in baseball and especially on the mound, you’ve got to believe in yourself.”

Bramlett provided a much-needed quality start for a team looking to get back on track in SEC play.

Offensive MVP: Errol Robinson

(Photo by: Evan Turner) Errol Robinson hits during Friday's win over Arkansas.

(Photo by: Evan Turner)
Errol Robinson hits during Friday’s win over Arkansas. Errol would hit 6-13 for the weekend and brought up his batting average to a .254.

This could have gone to a number of different players, like Will Golsan, who had four RBIs in the Sunday win and brought his total to six on the weekend. But Robinson earned this with his turnaround at the plate after struggling to begin conference play. He went 6-13 and brought his batting average up more than 50 points in this last week to mark of .254.

“It’s nice to see the results, but I think it is more the process,” Robinson said after Friday’s win. “I think before then I was making pretty good contact and just hitting right at people, and now it is about getting back to it and getting back to the results and sticking with that process.”

Ole Miss scored 29 total runs this weekend, it’s the most in an SEC series this season and its second most in a series all year, only behind a 32-run series against Florida International to open the season.

Analysis: This weekend was just what the doctor ordered for Ole Miss.  It came into the series with an offense that had been struggling in conference play and a new-look rotation. The Rebels answered the call as the offense exploded for the 29 runs and the starting pitching was better, maybe not the level it should be at, but it was definitely better. David Parkinson earned a win in his first career start on Saturday, going 5.1 innings and allowed just one run on three hits, and Wyatt Short did what Sunday starters are asked to do in the SEC –give your team a chance – and he certainly did that as he walked off of the mound in the fifth inning on Sunday to an ovation and a 6-3 Ole Miss lead. Short wasn’t feeling his best, but he did enough to get the Rebels the win.

Going forward, Bianco said he does not know what he will do with his rotation, but having an offense that gives the pitching staff that big of a cushion certainly does not hurt. The Rebels got back on track, and have everything in front of them as they sit just two games back of first place in the SEC west. Solidifying the rotation will be key, and it definitely got a step closer to that this weekend.