College Baseball Fans Melt Down After Ole Miss Game Cancelled In Fourth Inning On Account Of Poor Sod

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Ole Miss and Southern Miss baseball met on the diamond in Pearl, Mississippi on Tuesday night. The game was played on Trustmark Field, home of the Mississippi Braves, the Southern League Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.

Technically, though, it never happened. The college baseball game was declared a no contest in the middle of the fourth inning on account of poor sod.

The Golden Eagles were up 2-1 in the bottom half with no outs and no one on when junior Matthew Etzel laid down a bunt down the third base line. Although the ball stayed fair and Etzel reached base, it may have been because the Rebels pitcher could not field the ground ball.

Brayden Jones stepped off of the mound as soon as Etzel put his bat on the ball and immediately ate it. His left foot caught the grass at a funny angle, pulled it from its roots, and slipped.

As soon as the play came to a conclusion, the Sun Belt Conference umpiring crew called both head coaches to the plate for a discussion. And after a moment of deliberation, a decision was made to end the game as a no contest due to unsafe playing conditions.

It will not be rescheduled.

Trustmark Park’s newly-laid sod on the infield had not taken well. The poor field conditions were evident in pregame, but neither team used the infield grass for a significant portion of its warmups, so the extent of the issues was not clear until the game got underway.

Umpire crew chief Javerro January met with the coaches in the third inning to recommend giving the grounds crew one inning to address the issue. Jones’ slip in the fourth inning was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Baseball fans across the state of Mississippi and across the SEC immediately melted down.

Tuesday was not the first midweek game that Ole Miss had called early this season. The Rebels were losing at the time both decisions.

In turn, there was a lot of fingers being pointed toward head coach Mike Bianco and Ole Miss. Mississippi State and Arkansas fans were especially angry, as per usual.

As angry as they may have been, the decision was made by the umpiring crew. Both head coaches had to agree on the decision to stop play.

It’s the right thing. It’s disappointing, obviously, for both teams to come all this way, to get this deep into the game, have this many fans here and not play. So, obviously, there’s a lot of disappointment around for everybody. But at the end of the day, it’s the right thing. Nobody wants to lose a player midseason to bad field conditions.

— Ole Miss head baseball coach Mike Bianco

Southern Miss head coach Scott Berry echoed Bianco’s sentiments.

Although the cancellation of an important midweek, in-state matchup is unfortunate, there is a bigger issue at Trustmark Park. The Mississippi Braves are only a few weeks away from Opening Day.

Will the field be ready?! The grounds crew is doing everything it can.

Ole Miss and Southern Miss are both right outside of the Top 25. The cancellation was unfortunate, but player safety comes first!

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

One Comment

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  1. I’m not a huge fan of the University of Mississippi. The way they handled the LA Tech game was pretty awful. That being said, the right move was taken here.
    MSState played Southern Miss several weeks ago in Pearl. The field wasn’t in the condition we saw last night, but it wasn’t great.
    I can’t believe the Atlanta Braves would allow their AA affiliate players play on that field.

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