The last visit for Vandy to Oxford was a three-game sweep for Ole Miss in 2008.
It’s another weekend of two heavyweight college baseball programs as No. 2 Vanderbilt arrives to face No. 16 Ole Miss. Vandy is atop the Southeastern Conference standings, along with LSU, at 8-1. Overall the Commodores are 26-4.
The Rebels, meanwhile, are trying to bounce back from two series losses in a row – to Texas A&M and Florida. Ole Miss is 4-5 in conference play and 23-6.
In the RPI department Friday, Ole Miss is 14 and Vanderbilt two, according to Warren Nolan. In Boyd’s World, Ole Miss is 15 and Vandy second.
“We’re ready,” said Ole Miss junior shortstop Austin Anderson. “We’re going to go at ‘em and compete a lot harder than we have.”
It seems to be the evaluation that at Florida, at least the final two days of that series which were 7-0 and 4-0 losses to the Gators, the Rebels didn’t compete at the highest level. We’ve heard that or been alluded to that by coaches and players.
Therefore there was an admitted attitude adjustment for the players since Florida.
“It’s a long season,” Anderson said. “It’s human nature to come out flat one game. It’s unacceptable, and we need to keep the energy up and know that any SEC game could be the difference in winning the SEC or not making the SEC Tournament.”
Anderson speaks from a standpoint of experience when he makes those comments.
“It happened my freshman year two years ago,” said Anderson, remembering the final weekend of the 2011 season at Arkansas. “We were one game from winning the (SEC) West, but we lost and we didn’t make the SEC Tournament or a (NCAA) Regional.”
So they’ve had all week to pick themselves up, with some encouragement from their coaches, and get ready for arguably the biggest weekend of the season so far, and one of the biggest in the country. Anderson said they’re ready.
“We should have the mindset of win this pitch, win this next pitch, and every game counts,” he said.
Certainly with national contender Vandy coming to Oxford, that needs to be the case all weekend.
Ole Miss-Vanderbilt game notes (from Bill Bunting of Ole Miss athletics media relations)
Times: 6:30 p.m. Friday/4:00 p.m. Saturday/1:30 p.m. Sunday
Series: Ole Miss leads 59-52-2
In Oxford: Ole Miss leads 30-17
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
Internet Broadcast: ESPN3 (Entire Series)
Announcers: Eli Savoie & David Dellucci
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
FRIDAY, 6:30 PM (ESPN3)
VU - Kevin Ziomek, Jr, LHP (5-1, 1.89 ERA)
Ole Miss - Bobby Wahl, Jr., RHP
• Wahl makes his eighth start on the season Friday night and holds a 6-0 record with a 1.80 ERA through 45.0 IP.
• The Rebels are undefeated when Wahl starts this season, despite him taking no decision last weekend at Florida.
• In the start at UF, Wahl worked 7.1 IP, allowing 3 runs - 2 earned - with two walks and a strikeout on seven hits.
• Wahl has posted a team-leading 37 strikeouts and has walked only 19 batters in his time on the mound.
• The right-hander has held opponents to a .213 batting average this season.
SATURDAY, 4:00 PM (ESPN3)
VU - Tyler Beede, So., RHP (7-0, 0.99)
Ole Miss - Mike Mayers, Jr., RHP
• Mayers makes eighth start of the season when he takes the mound vs. Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon.
• Through seven starts, Mayers holds a 2-3 record and a pair of no decisions against Rhode Island and #12 TCU.
• Mayers holds a 3.35 ERA with 29 strikeouts and 15 walks through 40.1 innings of work this season.
• The RHP has four quality starts through his seven outings this season as the Saturday starter.
SUNDAY, 1:30 PM (ESPN3)
VU - TBA
Ole Miss - Sam Smith, Soph., RHP
• Smith makes his seventh start of the season when he takes the mound against Vanderbilt on Sunday afternoon.
• The right-hander moved into the weekend rotation in week two and started six consecutive weekends.
• Smith last made a weekend start in game two of a Sunday doubleheader against Texas A&M.
• The sophomore holds a 2-0 record with a 3.51 ERA and has 13 strikeouts with seven walks in 25.2 IP.