Notes: Rebels vault to top spot in Baseball America top 25
A major poll has Ole Miss baseball No. 1 nationally for the first time in school history.
On the strength of a 16-game winning streak last season and wins over TCU (7-3) and Texas Tech (5-4) in the State Farm College Baseball Showdown, the Rebels vaulted up three spots to the top of the Baseball America Top 25 on Monday.
Ole Miss finishes its weekend in Arlington, Texas, at 2:30 p.m. against Texas. The Rebels host Arkansas State on Tuesday and UCF Friday to Sunday.
Ole Miss had been as high as No. 2 nationally, most recently with Baseball America on March 3, 2008. Other polls have had Ole Miss No. 2 as recently as 2018.
“Ole Miss this weekend passed a pair of big tests and showed it can win in multiple ways,” Baseball America’s Teddy Cahill wrote on Monday. “That’s got the Rebels to a new height and will make them dangerous all season long.”
The Rebels’ 18-game win streak is a school record.
Florida, UCLA and Texas Tech -- the top three teams in the Baseball America preseason top 25 -- all lost twice this past weekend.
LONGHORNS STRUGGLING OFFENSIVELY IN ARLINGTON
Texas is 0-2 so far on the season, falling to Mississippi State 8-3 and Arkansas 4-0 during its first two appearances at Globe Life Field.
The Longhorns have been poor offensively, striking out 33 times in the two games. Texas had only two hits against the Razorbacks on Sunday.
“No, I don't feel like our bats have been very quality. There's always a concern hitting and scoring kind of comes and goes, but approach has to be better. I think we have some length in our swings that's probably caused by some tension," said Texas coach David Pierce to Orangebloods.com.
"And I think we have faced really good quality pitching out of the gates. And so, you know, you combine those three things together, and it's kind of a nightmare for us right now. But I still have confidence in what we're doing. I have confidence in our kids, and we played two games and they're going to learn from it, and we’ll get better.”
The Longhorns turn to third-year right-hander Kolby Kubichek to salvage the weekend. He had a 2.79 ERA in 9.2 innings (8 strikeouts, 5 walks) last season, with opponents hitting .279 against him.
As a freshman in 2019, Kubichek appeared in 14 games (two starts) and had a 6.50 ERA in 18 innings with 15 strikeouts, 12 walks and opponents hit .296.
Kubichek is in the low 90s with his four-seam fastball that shows late life and some sink. The main secondary offering is reportedly a slider in the 80s, and he relies on a hard changeup in the mid 80s. He threw a curveball as a freshman.
Kubichek has only pitched more than three innings once in his career — four shutout frames against Abilene Christian last year.
Missouri got to him for three hits and four runs in 0.1 innings last March.
It’s the first meeting between the two teams since the Longhorns won the Oxford Super Regional in 2005.