Rebels look to stay on track against Arkansas

Published 12:00 pm Friday, April 8, 2016

After a five-game losing streak, the Ole Miss baseball team appears to be trending upward again with another key Southeastern Conference series beginning tonight with Arkansas (20-9, 4-5 SEC) at Oxford-University Stadium (6:30 p.m., SEC Network+).

A series-salvaging win at Mississippi State on Sunday was followed up by a rare victory over Southern Mississippi at Trustmark Park in Pearl on Tuesday.

Not only are the wins coming back, but so is a steady offense. The No. 14 Rebels (22-7, 3-6) scored 14 runs in those two games after being held to nine runs total during their losing skid.

“We couldn’t have been as bad as our previous five games, and I think our guys know that,” Ole Miss hitting coach Mike Clement said. “I think our guys are a representation of those first 22 games as opposed to those five games … Granted we faced some pretty good arms in those games, but to win this league and to be where we want to be, you have to beat the good arms.”

Shaking things up
On Monday, Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said he and pitching coach Carl Lafferty might change up the weekend rotation after recent results.

That is exactly what they did.

Brady Bramlett will still be on the mound tonight as the regular Friday starter, but Chad Smith and possibly Sean Johnson will not be toeing the rubber. Bianco named David Parkinson the Saturday starter and listed Sunday as to be announced.

This will be Parkinson’s first career start as the sophomore has an earned run average of 1.54 and his longest outing was a 4.1-inning stint against South Carolina where he gave up one run.

“I think he’s the best guy to win the game,” Bianco said of starting Parkinson. “He’s the guy that gives us the best chance to win on Saturday. He was recruited to do this. … He’s pitched really well in all of his stints. He’ll go as long as he can.”