• 73°
franklin county times

Sports Column: State-Ole Miss matchup an important one

By Staff
The scenario at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville this weekend will be a pretty cut-and-dried one.
For Mississippi State to have a chance at making the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament which is set for Hoover Metropolitan Stadium near Birmingham on May 22-26 the Bulldogs have to sweep the Ole Miss Rebels.
Now that makes a storied rivalry even more interesting.
Top it off with the fact that the Ole Miss Rebels enter the three-game set, which begins today at 6:30 p.m., with a little something to prove, and it is easy to see why this should be a fun weekend on the campus of Mississippi State.
Would it be more fun if both of the teams were fighting for the SEC Western Division championship? Sure.
But does this series still have a lot of meaning? absolutely.
But, let's be honest. If the two teams were winless in conference play this one would still mean something. There is just too much baseball history at both of the two schools to ignore.
And although this regular-season ending series may not have had the drama many had hoped for before the season began, it still has drama plenty of it.
Tonight's game will be followed by a 3 p.m. showdown on Saturday and and a 1:30 p.m. meeting on Sunday.
Going into the series, Ole Miss is tied with Auburn for third in the West with a 14-13 mark, while Mississippi State is last at 11-15, a game behind Arkansas.
Alabama leads the West at 20-7, while LSU is second at 16-10 and Arkansas which swept Ole Miss in Oxford last weekend is 11-13.
Should MSU somehow pull off the sweep, then it would be the 16th consecutive trip to the SEC Tournament for the Bulldogs. Only the top eight teams in the SEC East Division and West Division combined qualify for the tournament.
The Bulldogs have now lost seven straight SEC games, and things are certainly looking grim. The slide began with a Sunday loss to Vanderbilt, followed by being swept by Florida at Dudy Noble and then Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Ole Miss has struggled a little as of late, and going into Tuesday night's win over McNeese State, the Rebels had only won three times in their last 10 games.
But, the Rebs, who are 35-16 overall, are looking to finish strong and solid a spot in the NCAA Tournament when the bids are announced followed the SEC Tournament.
The sweep by Arkansas was the first time a team had come into Swayze Field and swept a three-game set from the Rebels since South Carolina turned the trick in 1999.
South Carolina leads the SEC East with an 18-8 league mark, while Florida is next at 17-10, followed by Georgia at 15-12 and Tennessee at 10-17.
In other SEC action this weekend, Alabama is at LSU, Auburn visits Arkansas, Florida travels to Kentucky, Georgia hosts South Carolina and Vanderbilt travels to Tennessee.
The top seed in the SEC Tournament will be giving to the divisional champion with the highest conference winning percentage, while the number two seed will be the other divisional champion. The other seeds 1-8, will be determined solely by conference winning percentage.
If the season were over today, Alabama would be the top seed, while South Carolina would be second.
The five teams who have clinched spots in the SEC Tournament field are Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, LSU and Georgia.
Ole Miss and Auburn need just one win each to get in the tournament, leaving the final spot up for grabs. Arkansas is the front runner for that spot now, need any combination of three wins or MSU losses to put the Razorbacks in.

News

Russellville Parks and Rec adult softball league grows interest

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Thomas Randall Miller

Franklin County

Community Spirit Bank announces promotion

Franklin County

Police search underway for man wanted in three states

Franklin County

Local students earn collegiate honors

East Franklin

PHOTOS: East Franklin Junior High awards honors

News

Traveling band makes stop at Phil Campbell High School

News

Russellville Parks and Rec holds adult sandlot softball game

Galleries

PHOTOS: Community celebrates Fourth of July with annual Jam on Sloss Lake

News

Second Canadian Phil greeted by town

Franklin County

Franklin County Schools lead nurse school nurse named administrator of the year

News

Former Russellville resident performs in ‘Miracle Worker’

Galleries

PHOTOS: Russellville, Red Bay public libraries enjoy summer reading program events

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight: Robbie Richardson

News

University of Mississippi announces spring Chancellor’s Honor Roll

News

PHOTOS: Community turns out for Phil Campbell Festival

Franklin County

University of Alabama announces spring graduates

Franklin County

Dean’s, president’s lists students named for UA spring term

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Hugh Plott

Galleries

PHOTOS: Inaugural downtown Russellville Art Crawl winners

Galleries

PHOTOS: Russellville Public Library holds princess, pirates bounce party

Franklin County

Northwest Shoals Community College signs 24 students in FAME class

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Tony Chard

News

Car show benefit helps raise needed funds

x