Sideline View 02/27/20By DALE MCKEE,
Ole Miss and Southern Mississippi are 6-1 on the young college baseball season while Mississippi State is 5-1 entering this week’s action. Ole Miss outscored Xavier 35-3 over the weekend as the Rebels’ pitchers shut out the visitors in the opening two games of the series. Three Rebels pitchers combined for a no-hitter on Friday night. The Rebels struggled in a mid-week game against in-state rival Alcorn as the Rebels had to have a walk-off home run to escape with a 9-8 win. Mississippi State won two of three contests from Oregon State while USM also downed pesky Central Arkansas. This week Ole Miss was scheduled to host USM on Tuesday night in Oxford before heading to Greenville, South Carolina, to take on High Point, East Carolina, and Indiana. MSU will host Texas Southern and Alcorn before heading to Long Beach State in California this weekend. USM, after their battle with Ole Miss, will head to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to meet Valparaiso in a single game and McNeese State in a two-game set. Circle your calendar for the March 4 USM-MSU matchup in Pearl at Trustmark Park.
Former USM star Brian Dozier has signed a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres. Dozier played for the World Champion Washington Nationals last season.
Last week I thought the addition of more teams to the Major League Baseball post-season was not a great idea. This past week the news broke that the National Football League is considering adding two teams to their current playoff series. The league is also proposing in their contract talks with the Players’ Union that the league would like two more regular season games added in 2021 to the 16-game schedule and one more playoff team in the AFC and NFC. That would leave only the team with the best overall record in each conference receiving a bye. My question is will this keep the playoffs meaningful or will it dilute the post-season? The one negative for the players is that the season will not end for the final two Super Bowl teams until the third Sunday of February. One thought is the NFL would eventually like to sell an eight-game season ticket in London. Also the plans are to stage neutral site games in Hawaii, San Diego and maybe college campuses.
Mississippi State (17-10, 8-6) split two games this week while Ole Miss (13-14, 4-10) dropped two games. MSU will host Alabama and travel to Missouri on Saturday while the Rebels will travel to Auburn and host Vanderbilt on Saturday. Rebels coach Kermit Davis was tossed for the third time in his career as a head coach in their embarrassing 25-point home loss to Alabama. The good news is that Mary Ann Wakefield, an 84-year old Rebel fan, sank a 94-foot putt during one of the timeouts to win a 2020 Nissan Altima. Down in Hattiesburg, the Golden Eagles (9-19, 5-10) lost to Middle Tennessee in a key C-USA battle. Now the Eagles must travel to UTEP this Saturday in hopes of playing in the C-USA tournament.
The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (11-3, 23-5) are going through some growing pains this season. The Lady Bulldogs had to battle to escape second division Auburn last week and then were upset by Alabama. Ole Miss is still winless in SEC play while USM is 6-9 in C-USA play and 14-12 overall.
Brock was on the point
Delta State Lady Statesman Debbie Brock will be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame this June. At only 4’ 11” she was the point guard on three National Champion DSU teams from 1975-77 and was a two-time All-American. She helped the DSU ladies to a 110-9 record during her career.
Dale is a Waynesboro native who has been writing sports in Mississippi since 1973.