OXFORD Somehow, among 10,000 hog calls at Baum Stadium, Ole Miss players expect to find peace and contentment.

The Rebels won’t be at Swayze Field for this weekend’s super regional against Arkansas, but they also won’t feel like they’re chained in a dungeon.

They’ll take a piece of home – Swayze Field – with them.

After a six-game losing streak late in the season threatened to take their goals off the table, the Rebels have won eight of their last 10, including three straight in the Oxford Regional.

They’re at the doorstep of the College World Series, playing in a super regional for the first time since 2014.

Ole Miss (40-25) is the only visiting team in the last two seasons to win a series at Baum Stadium.

The Razorbacks (44-17) are 28-6 there this season, a third of the losses coming when Ole Miss back-ended the series with a 4-3 win in Game 2 and a 10-5 win in Game 3. Arkansas won the opener 5-3.

With a split at the SEC Tournament, Ole Miss has won three of five this season against the Razorbacks, the No. 5 national seed.

Arkansas has ranked in the top five in attendance the last 14 seasons. The Ole Miss series March 29-31 attracted 10,251 for Game 1, 9,642 for Game 2 and 8,433 for Game 3.

“Those 10,000 will be against us,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “They’ll be wearing a different shade of red, and I don’t think there will be showers in left field if we hit a home run.”

Bianco’s players concede that point but say the similarly-sized crowds that Swayze Field attracts helps them at Baum and other such environments.

“I think playing at Swayze helps us play there just because there are so many people that come out at Swayze and pack it out all the time. We see the big crowds. We’re not intimidated by it, we’re used to it,” junior first baseman Cole Zabowski said. “Baum will be similar to Swayze. They won’t be rooting for us, but we can handle it

Ole Miss is 25-9 at home this season, 10-13 away. They lost SEC home series against Kentucky and Mississippi State but won road series at LSU as well as Arkansas.

Some players are motivated by the closeness that comes from leaving comfortable surroundings.

“We’re locked into every pitch. We love the atmosphere. We love the ‘Everybody against us,’” shortstop Grae Kessinger said. “I think we come together, and we play well.”

parrish.alford@journalinc.com Twitter: @parrishalford

Tags

Recommended for you

comments powered by Disqus