Yes, there is a big game in Starkville tonight, but if you can keep an eye on – or an ear tuned to – one big league game, make it Tampa Bay-Chicago White Sox (7:10 CDT) at Guaranteed Rate Field. Lance Lynn, the grizzled vet out of Ole Miss, will pitch for the White Sox against rising star Tyler Glasnow of the Rays. It’s a matchup of division leaders who own the two best records in MLB. Lynn, never better even at age 34, is 7-1 with a 1.23 ERA. He leads the American League in ERA and is fourth in WHIP (0.88). He has one complete game (nine innings) and is averaging six innings a start, admirable by today’s standards. Lynn is 111-72 career, needing one more W to tie for 499th place on all-time list. That’s no mean feat. Only one Ole Miss product has ever won more: Jeff Fassero racked up 121 wins over 16 seasons. Lynn faces quite the challenge tonight. The Rays are on a 23-5 tear with a plus-86 run differential in the stretch. But Lynn will have the full-throated support of ChiSox fans, who have taken to the big man’s emotions-on-his-sleeve personality. “I’m going to give it everything I have to help the team win,” Lynn told the Chicago Sun-Times in a recent interview. “I’ve had that since I was a little kid.”
Ole Miss is a good hitting team. The Rebels ran into a better one in Arizona. In a Game 3 that kinda figured to be a slugfest, the host Wildcats slugged best, ending the Rebels’ season with a 16-3 blowout in the Tucson Super Regional. A seven-run fourth inning effectively crushed the Rebels. “I think this is the best offense in Pac-12 history,” Arizona coach Jay Johnson told tucson.com. “I’m not a historian, so I can’t validate that. But if there’s one that’s equal, I’d like to see what that looked like.” Arizona leads the nation in hits and runs. The Wildcats put up 28 runs in the three games at Hi Corbett Field. Even in their Game 2 loss, they put 10 runners on base and scored twice against Rebels ace Doug Nikhazy in 5 1/3 innings. In Sunday’s clincher, the Wildcats piled up 20 hits and scored at least once against each of the five pitchers UM trotted out. The Rebels, who rank first in the SEC in hits and second in runs, managed just five and three on Sunday. Even if this Arizona team is “the best offense in Pac-12 history,” that’s no consolation to Rebel Nation, which has seen coach Mike Bianco win more than 800 games in his 21 seasons but manage just one trip to the College World Series.