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‘It’s pretty sad’: Ole Miss swept at home by No. 1 LSU and the math is starting to get trickier

3 min read
‘It’s pretty sad’: Ole Miss swept at home by No. 1 LSU and the math is starting to get trickier

Nearly 10 months ago the Ole Miss baseball team dogpiled in Omaha after winning its first national championship. It happened and cannot be taken away, but how the 2023 season has gone it almost feels like the summer surge of last June took place in an alternate timeline.

The logo on the outfield wall in center field states it happened in this current timeline, but on April 23 it is a far feeling from jubilation.

Sunday’s loss to No. 1 LSU, which won with a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning, felt as close to a walk-off defeat that Ole Miss could feel inside Oxford-University Stadium. The Tigers, trailing 6-4, leave Oxford with the 7-6 victory and the series sweep.

For Ole Miss (21-19) it is the third Southeastern Conference series sweep of the season after dropping the first six conference games of the year to Vanderbilt and Florida in back-to-back weekends last month.

The Rebels are 14-11 at home this season.

“It’s pretty sad because 10,000 people out here watching us and we’re just not playing good baseball right now,” said Ole Miss starting pitcher JT Quinn.

The Rebels are 3-15 in SEC play after Sunday’s heartbreaking loss and currently two games behind 13th place Missouri. They are three games and a tiebreaker (to Mississippi State) behind 12th place, which gets them to Hoover and the SEC Championship.

Series with Georgia (7-11 SEC), the Tigers (5-13), Auburn (7-11) and Alabama (9-9) remain for Ole Miss and 12 games to move up two spots in the SEC standings.

Sunday’s loss to LSU was a backbreaker to Ole Miss and its number-crunching of trying to get to Hoover.

Judd Utermark came in to pinch-hit for designated hitter Will Furniss in the sixth inning and in his second at-bat of the game hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to put Ole Miss ahead by two after tying LSU at 4-all the inning prior.

The euphoria was short-lived, however, as Mitch Murrell was sitting on a 1-2 count with two outs in the top of the ninth and could not get it done. Pinch-hitter Hayden Travinski sent a Murrell pitch into the left field stands for the three-run home run and the winning swing.

Ole Miss once again found a way to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory and did so in a game that might became the most crucial of the season after dropping the first two of the weekend.

“It sucks. It just kind of rips your heart out,” Quinn said. “We’re up in the ninth inning, yeah, just not good enough. Frustrating, I guess. …There’s really no words used (post game). We competed, but it’s just not happening for us. It’s not happening on the mound, it’s not happening at the plate. Just can’t pull together a win and somehow we got to figure that out.”

A path to Hoover is not completely erased after Sunday’s loss, but the margin of error is razor thin. More so than it already was entering the weekend.

The next two weekends, hosting Georgia and traveling to Missouri, will be the deciding six games of where Ole Miss might see its season concluded. Playing two teams directly ahead of you in the standings provides a little bit of controlling your own destiny to it.

At worst Ole Miss needs to be sitting with a 4-2 record come the night of May 6. Anything worse than that might be the nail in the coffin, that already has plenty hammered in for the defending national champions.

The post ‘It’s pretty sad’: Ole Miss swept at home by No. 1 LSU and the math is starting to get trickier appeared first on On3.

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