Ole Miss Rotation Making WavesColumns
OXFORD, Miss. — In the moments following his team’s 8-6 win over UNC Wilmington on Sunday, Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said that while his team has a lot to improve on and a long way to go, it would be tough to imagine a better start for his young team through seven games – six of which have come against ranked opponents.
The Rebels followed up their opening weekend sweep of East Carolina by taking all three games from a Seahawk team that boasts one of the nation’s elite offenses. UNCW returned seven of nine starters from a 2016 team whose batting average was .320 and averaged 8.4 runs per game.
Among the returners were junior catcher and designated hitter Nick Feight and junior second baseman Brian Mims. Feight hit 21 homers a season ago and drove in 91 while Mims homered 14 times and compiled 64 RBIs. Toss in first baseman Mason Berne and the heart of the Seahawk order remained intact and powerful heading into this season.
“They are good and going to win a lot of games,” Bianco said. “They have a tough lineup and with Feight and Mims they all have a chance to hit it out. So, when you look at the righthanders and even Berne it is scary, big swings and a scary, physical lineup.”
Ole Miss’ nucleus of young hitters continued to produce at the plate this past weekend, and that was certainly helpful. But the Rebels won this series largely because of their rotation yielding just four runs on eight hits in 17 innings of work against the hard-hitting Seahawks.
It began with junior lefty David Parkinson’s seven innings of two-run ball on Friday night. He flashed four pitches, and had strong command of his fastball. He filled up the zone on both sides of the plate, and the Seahawks were off balance, especially in the first five innings.
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