OMAHA, Neb. – So they’ll meet again.
Ole Miss Baseball will face Arkansas for the second time in three days and the fifth time in less than two months on Wednesday (6 p.m., ESPN). The rebels need victory to eliminate the Razorbacks and move for the first time in the history of the program to the College World Series. The Razorbacks need a win to avoid relegation and force a win-win match between Ole Miss and Arkansas on Thursday.
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Rebels easily defeated the Razorbacks on Monday after rookie Hunter Elliot’s early attack and dominant blow. On Wednesday, however, things could be very different as the rebels venture into untested waters with their attacks and Arkansas’ top weapons are still available.
Here is Clarion Ledger’s intelligence report and prediction for Wednesday’s game.
Be Miss pitching vs Arkansas attack
Ole Missi’s coach Mike Bianco has not named the thrower who started Wednesday. The first candidates are the younger right-handers Derek Diamond and Jack Washburn and the older left-hander John Gaddis.
Gaddis hasn’t started since April 9, but Elliott’s left-wing success against the Arkansas lineup with Gaddis’ 2.31 ERA on May 1 could make him a compelling candidate. Diamond has been Rebels’ regular No. 3 season this season, but his high ERA (6.89) and WHIP (1.44) have made it out of lineup for the second time thanks to a 0.26 stroke average and his repeated struggle.
Washburn has been playing well lately and has restricted restrictions on walking after returning after a minor injury in April.
No matter where the rebels start, they should have their entire crate available. Ole Missi’s facilitators have promised only two well-earned races in eight games after the SEC tournament.
The Arkansas attack caused Elliottis stress at the beginning of Monday, but it got cold in the middle of the game, allowing Elliotis to settle down. It was the only time anyone had succeeded against the Razorbacks lineup in Arkansas. 17 races against Stanford and 11 races against Auburn.
Advantage: It’s hard to say without knowing who Ole Miss will start with. The depth of Ole Missi’s oxen is a strength, but given Diamond’s and Gaddis’ starting records this year, it gives the ardent Razorbacks an advantage.
Arkansas pitching vs Ole Miss attack
The good news for Arkansas is that Tuesday starter Will McEntire got it long, so almost all of its dealership should be available. Left-handed Hagen Smith and right-wing Brady Tygart have not thrown in Omaha yet. The first three throwers used by the Razorbacks on Monday – Zack Morris, Kole Ramage and Evan Taylor – all scored less than 25 throws and should be able to make one or two shifts.
The big question is the availability of an ace Connor Noland. Noland threw 79 courts with 7⅔ innings on Saturday and is missing a regular Premier League holiday one day. It is conceivable that he can be used with his fingertips.
But like the Arkansas attack, Ole Missi’s attack is hot. The rebels already beat Morris, Ramage and Taylor and won the game against Noland six weeks ago. Ole Miss has proven that he can score against American-style throwers in the Coral Gables Regional and the Hattiesburg Superregion, and has the added advantage of an extra day off in Arkansas.
Advantage: As long as Ole Missi’s attack is hot, it is difficult to choose against them. But Arkansas has many weapons at its disposal. Hagen and Tygart in particular played very well against Rebels during the regular season and could have had a tough match.
Prediction: Ole Miss will win the slugfest
Both of these offenses are really good. Of course, many of the best reliefs are available in Arkansas, and Ole Missi’s season has been hot all afternoon. However, by the time teams reach this part of the College World Series, the quality of the start tends to decline.
Both teams should be able to score goals early. Both teams should be able to pull it out at the end. But because Ole Miss has a day off and the confidence of his seven-game winning streak, it’s hard to decide that Rebels will come out on edge.
Contact Nick Suss at 601-408-2674 or [email protected] Follow @nicksuss on Twitter.
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