04 Apr

peaks and valleys

There could be a gold rush at Trustmark Park tonight, when Southern Miss plays Ole Miss in the second installment of the three-game College Series. It’s certainly a good time to be a Southern Miss fan. The Golden Eagles are ranked in all the major polls. They’re 24-5 with a six-game win streak. They’re hitting. They’re pitching. Taylor Braley is doing a lot of both. He is batting .343 with eight home runs and is 3-0 with a 4.05 ERA on the bump. He’s scheduled to start tonight. Scott Berry’s club also has seen star turns taken by Nick Sandlin (0.00 ERA in 24 innings), Matt Wallner (nine homers), Dylan Burdeaux (30 RBIs), Mason Irby (30 runs), Kirk McCarty and Hayden Roberts (four wins each) and on and on. Ole Miss fans will surely turn out tonight, too, but these are troubling times for the Hotty Toddy crowd. The Rebels have fallen out of the polls. They’re 16-12 and coming off three tough losses at home to Mississippi State. They’ve pitched well, but they can’t hit: .241 as a team. Colby Bortles (.278, four homers, 18 RBIs) looks like the only threat in the lineup. And then there’s this: USM leads the TeePee series 7-4 and has beaten Ole Miss 10 of the last 12 times they’ve played. It’s always a big deal when USM and UM get together for any kind of game. But tonight’s has a special feel.

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