OXFORD – It seems strange to write that the Ole Miss baseball team concluded its season with an impressive postseason showing. But, simply put, strange is in keeping the theme of the season.
Finishing second in a regional hosted by the No. 1 seed isn’t how most folks thought the Rebels would bow out, especially given the preseason expectations, but a lot happened between January and June.
Through the course of 2008, there were pitching, defense and hitting issues with this team.
Other than that, everything was fine.
Considering that three weeks ago Ole Miss was down to one final chance to even reach the postseason, eliminating No. 12 Missouri from the Coral Gables Regional was a nice parting shot.
The Rebels were once ranked 10 spots higher than that, but did not handle the pressure that accompanies attention and showed a lack of toughness at times during the second half of the season.
Rallying against Missouri’s second-best pitcher made a nice statement, that this team was better on offense the last four weeks.
That improvement coincided with the return of center fielder Michael Guerrero. This is a guy who could have provided 20 home runs if he’d played a full season.