OLE MISS

Sam Smith posted his eighth straight quality start, but it was not enough, as LSU shut out Ole Miss 2-0 Saturday afternoon to take the three-game series. It was the first time that the Rebels had been shutout since a 4-0 loss to Memphis on April 15 last season, and the six hits were the second-lowest output of the season.

"They came straight at us, attacking us," Will Allen said. "Early on, we hit a lot good balls, but they just weren't finding holes. That's baseball. They're a good team and they have good arms, but we're a better offense than that. We have to execute better than that. We know that. We're more talented than that. We have done our jobs for the majority of the whole, but today was not our day. We didn't really come out and get after it like we always have been and striking first."

"It was just a bad day offensively, which is not like us," head coach Mike Bianco said. "I really felt like this weekend wasn't like us. Unfortunately today, it was one of those bad offensive days that happens in baseball over 56 games. We just really couldn't mount anything. We had a few base hits here or there, but we really didn't threaten at all."

Smith, a native of Lake Charles, La., pitched into the eighth inning and left with a 2-0 deficit after he allowed a solo home run to Conner Hale to lead off the inning, which snapped a streak of 10 straight retired batters for him. 

He allowed two runs -- both earned -- on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in a career-long 7.1 innings. With the loss, Ole Miss is 5-3 during his streak of eight straight quality starts.

"It's so disappointing for him individually," Bianco said. "I know he just wants to win. It's not about his win or loss; it's about our success. What can you say? Every third game, he gives you great effort. He really didn't have his stuff today. 

"I don't know if he touched 90 (mph). If he did, it was just a few pitches in the 90s, where usually he's all over 90-93, but he hung in there. It wasn't his best day stuff-wise, but it was one of his gutsier performances. He gave us every opportunity, but we couldn't do anything offensively."

LSU's starting pitcher, Alden Cartwright, retired the first nine Ole Miss batters in order and left with a 1-0 lead after four innings. For the game, Ole Miss leadoff hitters were 0-for-9, and the Rebels were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.

Ole Miss threatened in the fourth with back-to-back one-out singles by Auston Bousfield and Austin Anderson, but Will Allen grounded into an inning-ending double play. 

"It was up and in, and honestly I shouldn't have swung at it," said Allen of his at-bat in the fourth. "That was my fault. That was really an inning that we could have put together and score some runs and put some pressure on them."

Sikes Orvis hit a two-out double in the seventh, but Ole Miss could not get him home, and then in the ninth, trailing 2-0, the Rebels got the would-be game-winning run to the plate after a single by Anderson and two-walk by Orvis, but LSU's Kurt McCune got a groundout to close out the 2-0 win.

"It is frustrating but it's baseball," Allen said. "It's happened to us before and we have overcome it to win some ball games. It's happened to other teams. It's going to happen to every team. There's not really much you can do about it. You have to keep your head up and keep swinging."

"We lacked that punch," Bianco said. "We lacked that on Thursday night, where we have always been so good when the game is on the line. We just couldn't manage stuff, and that's going to happen. It happens at times in our game. We couldn't manage to put an inning together, we couldn't make the pitch at the right time, and we couldn't make the play to get off the field in a couple of innings. That's not us. You look at the weekend, even yesterday, we played better, but certainly not the way we have played at home until this point."


Rainy Start to the SEC Championships

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Ole Miss women's golf sports information director, Jessica Poole will be blogging for the women's golf team throughout the 2014 SEC Championships held at Greystone Golf Course in Birmingham, Ala.

Well, looks like I'm cursed (At least I am not a British man, sorry Lynnette) We've got rain here in Birmingham, go figure. The last time I traveled with this crew, we had an ENTIRE round cancelled in Knoxville and today we had a one hour rain delay and now we've had today's round cancelled. It's definitely me (Sorry coaches!)

In my time at the course today, I have noticed that golfers have some really interesting ways to pass time. Aside from the usual playing with your phone and listening to music, doing homework, there are also teams that play cards. Texas A&M and South Carolina were having intense card games, while our team just enjoyed our time together. Lots of laughs had by allJ and many many things for our quote board!

Despite the rain, we did have a few fans, our administrator Lynnette Johnson made the trip to cheer us on and we even had an alum out on the course during our practice round, John Todd (Class of '64). We have some of the best fans ever. You can count on a Rebel sighting wherever we go!  

Ok so back to the rain ....

We decided at 12:45 p.m. that we were going to play.  (Yay). So we had a rain soaked day on the golf course. We battled not only the course, but the wind and the rain and the darkness and we came out #RebelStrong.

As usual, the best part of the day was dinner. We had a lovely meal in the private room at Greystone's Legacy Course (Shout out to Brett for hooking that up). During this meal, we talked about many, many things but the best was talking about what each golfer would have as a walk up song if we did that sort of thing in golf.

Coach Drinkard's was the best. It's an Elton John song and if you know Coach Drinkard you know what this song isJ

There were lots of laughs as usual at dinner tonight and I'll leave you with this little gem.

"T-W-O by T-W-O by T-W-O" you'll have to ask Taelor Rubin about that one.

We're back at it tomorrow at 10 a.m. Make sure to follow along on Golfstat and on @OleMissWGolf on Twitter throughout the weekend.

 Hotty Toddy,

 Jess Poole (Official SEC Championship Blogger of Ole Miss WGolf)

 

LSU looked to have gotten out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, but right fielder Mark Laird dropped a fly ball in foul territory that would have been the final out and send the game to the fifth down just one run. 

Later in the at-bat, Auston Bousfield took advantage of extra life and knocked a 2-RBI single back up the middle to push the Ole Miss lead to 4-1, as the Rebels went on to even the series with a 5-1 win Friday night at Swayze Field.

"I was kind of kicking myself as the ball is in the air," Bousfield said. "Laird is a great outfielder. He made that great catch against Sikes (Orvis) last night that might have sealed the game for them. When he dropped it, I breathed a sigh of relief, and I had to lock back in and try to make it hurt and make them pay. I was able to get a pitch to hit, and I drove it up the middle and got a hit."

Bousfield later added a solo shot in the seventh, his fourth home run of the season, as he went 4-for-4 with three RBI, which tied his career high for hits. 

"Boz had a terrific night with the four hits, none bigger than the bases-loaded, two-strike hit, where it looked like we were going to squander an opportunity there for a second," head coach Mike Bianco said. "We tried to be a little too aggressive and tried a couple of push bunts, a couple of safety squeezes, that didn't work out. We don't execute, but then he gets the big two-out hit, and that's what it's all about."

Bousfield extended his hit streak to 10 games, hitting at a .404 clip during the stretch, and has multiple hits in five of his last seven games dating back to a 2-for-4 game on April 8 against Memphis. 

He also moved into the team lead with a .349 batting average and 86 total bases and continues to lead the team with 60 hits, which also leads the SEC. His 86 total bases is second only behind Kentucky's A.J. Reed who has 104 for the season.

"I was struggling a couple of weeks ago," Bousfield said. "I wasn't getting a lot of hits, but I feel like I was hitting balls hard but just hitting a lot of balls at people. I'm getting good swings off, and they're starting to fall a little bit more."

With the win, Ole Miss improves to 30-10 overall and 10-7 in league play, ahead of tomorrow's rubber game at 1 p.m. on Fox Sports Net.

"It evens the series, and tomorrow if we can come out and play our game, we still have a chance to take the series against a really good LSU team, so it's always big to win this game," Bousfield said.


 

For eight innings, Chris Ellis dueled Aaron Nola, the Southeastern Conference's leader in strikeouts (84) and earned run average (0.70) to a draw, as he left with the game with the score tied at 2-2.

It was the eighth time in 10 starts that Ellis allowed one earned run or less for the eighth time in 10 starts, as he lowered his earned run average from 1.81 to 1.72. He allowed two runs -- one earned -- on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts, stranding nine runners on the base paths.

In the other dugout, Nola allowed two runs -- all earned -- on eight hits with two walks and seven strikeouts, as he threw a season-high 121 pitches in 7.2 innings of work. He has yet to allow more than two runs in any of his 10 starts this season.

"Both guys pitched terrific," head coach Mike Bianco said. "For Chris, it might have been his best outing of the year. Certainly, he pitched deep and did a great job with pressure-packed pitches. One of the ways that you beat Nola is you don't let them score. You keep the score low, so if you do scratch across a run or two, that will put you ahead or tie it up and get him out of the game. Certainly, Chris was terrific tonight."

The bullpens traded zeroes with the exception of the 11th, where each team scratched across a run and then the 13th, where LSU strung together a one-out double, followed by a walk, and then a fielding error to score what would be the game-winning run, the second unearned run allowed by Ole Miss during the game. 

"We had opportunities," head coach Mike Bianco said. "We have been on the right side of it several times. Today, it just didn't happen. We didn't get the big hit, we didn't make the big pitch, and we didn't make the play in the field."

"It's baseball," said Sikes Orvis, who went 2-for-5 with a solo home run. "We came out and played tough. We did everything we needed to do. I take that ground ball hit to Errol (Robinson) 9 times out of 10 that you roll it up. Baseball is a funny game. You get kicked in the teeth a lot playing it, but we'll bounce back tomorrow and be alright."

I'm Back

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Ole Miss women's golf sports information director, Jessica Poole will be blogging for the women's golf team throughout the 2014 SEC Championships held at Greystone Golf Course in Birmingham, Ala.

Hey everyone, you might remember my blogging from the team's trip to Knoxville, Tenn., for the Mercedes Benz Classic in the fall, but if not I'm Jessica Poole, Ole Miss women's golf sports information director. Essentially, I'm the keeper of all information regarding Ole Miss women's golf!

Anyhow, I'm back and blogging from Alabama for this week's SEC Championship. It's been awhile since I've traveled with this group and I'm so happy to be back in the Ole Miss sprinter! Love me some Big Blue

I'm not the only support staffer on this trip. Our sports psychologist, Josie Nicholson, is also on this trip. She's been doing some awesome work with our team this season and has been a great addition to our team. She can work with the team before and after the rounds and can make suggestions to the coaches throughout. I know that her thoughts and suggestions will be a great help for this team throughout the weekend.

The best thing for me about traveling with this team is the stuff that happens in the Sprinter. For those that don't know, the Sprinter is a big blue van that has Ole Miss on the side and it's a pretty sweet ride. I always sit in one of the front two seats in the back next to Abby Newton. Well today, we had a FUNNY moment in the sprinter on the way back to the hotel from our practice round (which we KILLED by the way:) Abby was checking out a vine on her phone entitled "What you think when your ex walks by" well, she clicked on it and out came some song lyrics, but they weren't just any song lyrics, they were song lyrics that you can't share with your grandma. Well, said lyrics came out and came out LOUD. Abby's face might have been the most priceless thing I have ever seen, imagine deer in headlights frantically turning down her phone! It was hilarious.

Fast forward to the SEC Banquet. The dinner was phenomenal and the senior salutes were great, but the best part of the meal was the confusion that Josie and I caused. We all got a text from coach Drinkard, saying "6 ok with everyone?" Everyone answers back 'Yes ma'am" Well ... Josie and I were thinking 6 a.m. for our departure time in the morning. Now mind you, we tee off at 9:10 and our hotel is 10 minutes from the course so 6 a.m., seemed SUPER EARLY! Naturally, Josie and I mentioned this at dinner and were greeted with "6 p.m. for dinner" and of course Josie and I let out a big "OH" ... talk about egg on face!

Well with that being said, it's time for me to get ready for our big day tomorrow. We tee off at 9:10 a.m. and are playing with Missouri (For this SID, this is a pairing that REALLY pulls at the heart strings. My new team playing with my alma mater... eeks!)

Make sure to follow along on Golfstat and on @OleMissWGolf on Twitter throughout the weekend.

Hotty Toddy,

 Jess Poole (Official SEC Championship Blogger of Ole Miss WGolf)

 

 

Two new mock drafts released this week has former wide receiver Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief being selected in the late second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, set for May 8-10.

NFL media analyst Bucky Brooks projects Moncrief to the San Francisco 49ers with the 56th overall pick in his latest mock draft.

"The 49ers need a speed receiver on the perimeter to open up the field for Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree," Brooks wrote. "Moncrief is a remarkable size-speed athlete, with the potential to slide into Boldin's spot when the veteran retires in a few seasons."

Here's the link to the full article, "Mock Draft 5.0: Jadeveon Clowney, AJ McCarronn to Texans"

ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper, who previously slotted Moncrief to the Indianapolis Colts with the 59th overall pick in a "Grade A draft," projects him to the San Diego Chargers with the 57th overall pick in his latest mock draft.

"With the measurables of a player typically drafted much higher, Moncrief is one of the best size/speed equations in the draft, but he was inconsistent in 2013 and lands here," Kiper wrote. "San Diego isn't set at WR just because Keenan Allen had a good year. The Chargers are thin behind him."

For ESPN Insider subscribers, here's the link to the full article, "Kiper: Mock 4.0 goes two rounds"

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