No. 23 Ole Miss will take the field this weekend with hopes of ending a three-weekend series skid. The Rebels (23-10, 4-8 Southeastern Conference) will face conference foe Alabama (22-13, 8-4 SEC) in a critical three-game series in Oxford.
The Crimson Tide enters the game on a three-game win streak, while the Rebels have lost six in a row, including a sweep by Vanderbilt, which was the first time Ole Miss had been swept at home since 2010.
“I think it is just like anything, you’ve got to keep grinding it out,” Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said of breaking out of the slump.
“The good news for us is that we’ve had success. We’ve had a lot of success. We’re 2-8 in the last 10 games, we are in a bad stretch here. It’s time to stop it.”
Bianco said he has also seen an anxiousness in his players to get back onto the field after falling to in-state rival Mississippi State in Pearl on Tuesday.
“They’re anxious. They are ready to go,” Bianco said.
“They realize there are games left. At some point you have to stop this free fall that’s happened to us over the last two and a half weeks. We have to play better. At some point you have to play better than we’re playing.”
The Rebels will send junior right-hander Bobby Wahl to the mound Friday to begin the series. Wahl is 6-0 in eight starts this season and leads the starting pitchers with a 1.57 ERA, 51.2 innings pitched and 45 strikeouts.
Senior right-hander Charley Sullivan will oppose him for Alabama. He is 3-2 on the year with a 2.52 ERA through 50 innings pitched.
Junior right-hander Mike Mayers will toe the rubber Saturday.
Mayers comes in with a 2-4 record in eight starts and holds a 3.20 ERA.
He has pitched 45 innings for the Rebels and recorded 34 strikeouts.
The Crimson Tide will counter with sophomore left-hander Justin Kamplain.
It will be his first start of the season and his 14th game. He has a 4.34 ERA through 18.2 innings pitched.
Sophomore right-hander Sam Smith will close the series out for the Rebels. Smith is 2-0 on the season and has a 4.40 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 28.2 innings.
It will be his eighth start of the season since replacing sophomore Chris Ellis in the Sunday starter role after he went down with an injury.
Alabama will send sophomore right-hander Spencer Turnbull to the mound.
He is 4-1 with a 2.22 ERA through 48.2 innings pitched.
At the plate, the Crimson Tide is led by Brett Booth, whose .293 average leads the team. The Tide will also turn to Georgie Salem and Ben Moore to lead the offense.
The two are first and second on the team with 42 and 37 hits, respectively.
At the plate for the Rebels, juniors Stuart Turner and Austin Anderson continue to lead the way.
They are the only two Ole Miss players hitting over .300 at this point in the year, Turner (.412), Anderson (.311).
First-pitch times are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m Sunday.
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