Following Matt Smith’s first season on the field for the Ole Miss Diamond Rebels it became obvious that if he stuck around long enough he’d have a good chance at setting two career marks — strikeouts and home runs.
As a free-swinging redshirt freshman, Smith finished the 2008 season second on the team with 14 home runs and led the nation with 80 strikeouts, 19 shy of the national record.(For comparison, Cody Overbeck had a team high 17 home runs and was second on the Rebels with 44 strikeouts.)
Since then, Smith has made a conscious effort to become more of a complete hitter so that he could be counted on in the middle of Ole Miss’ lineup.
That effort has paid off.
Heading into this weekend’s three-game series against Tulane, the senior has put himself into position to make a run at most of the Rebels’ career marks, including runs scored, RBIs, home runs, walks, total bases and hits. (March 4, 2011, Page 7A)