No. 9 Ole Miss, Tulane Set for Showdown at Swayze
FRIDAY - 4 p.m. SATURDAY - 3 p.m. SUNDAY - 1:30 p.m.
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: LHP Ryan Rolison 
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5.0 IP
Tulane: RHP Kaleb Roper
0-0, 1.80 ERA, 5.0 IP
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: RHP Brady Feigl
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 6.0 IP
Tulane: LHP Ross Massey
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3.0 IP
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: RHP James McArthur 
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 5.0 IP
Tulane: RHP Keagan Giles
0-0, 7.71 ERA, 4.2 IP

Games 5-7
Tulane (3-0, 0-0 AAC) vs. No. 9 Ole Miss (4-0, 0-0 SEC)
Dates: February 23-25, 2018
First Pitch: Friday: 4 p.m. CT | Saturday: 3 p.m. | Sunday: 1:30 p.m.
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Venue: O-U Stadium/Swayze Field
TV: Friday: SECN+ | Saturday: SECN+ | Sunday: SECN+
     Richard Cross/Will Kollmeyer, play-by-play
     David Dellucci, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
     David Kellum, play-by-play
     Keith Kessinger, analyst
Series: Ole Miss leads 84-38-2
Last Meeting: June 4, 2016 (NCAA Oxford Regional)
     Tulane won 6-5

PROMOTIONS
Friday, February 23
- #RebsBSB schedule magnet giveaway
- Ryan Olenek poster giveaway

Saturday, February 25
- Dallas Woolfolk poster giveaway 

Sunday, February 26
- Meet the Rebels poster giveaway
- Kids Run the Bases presented by Belles and Beaus
     - Kids are invited to head down to the field following the completion of the game

LEADING OFF

  • No. 9 Ole Miss continues its eight-game homestand this weekend hosting Tulane at O-U Stadium/Swayze Field.
  • Friday's series opener marks the 125th meeting all-time between the Rebels and Green Wave, with Ole Miss leading the series overall, 84-38-2.
  • Ole Miss and Tulane last met as part of the 2016 NCAA Oxford Regional, where the Green Wave walked away with a 6-5 victory.
  • The Rebels are coming off an 8-6 win over Memphis on Tuesday, a game that saw a combined 25 hits and 11 pitchers used.
  • Ole Miss is looking for its third 7-0 start in the past six years after the 2013 squad and last year's team began 7-0.
  • With the second release of the national polls, Ole Miss remained as high as No. 9 (D1Baseball), with four of the major polls slotting the Rebels No. 16 or better.
  • Pitching was the key to success last weekend vs. Winthrop, as the Rebels allowed only one earned run and struck out 39.
  • The Rebels' three starters -- Ryan Rolison, Brady Feigl and James McArthur -- combined for only 11 hits surrendered and 25 Ks with one run (unearned) allowed in 16 innings.
  • On the back end of the staff, junior closer Dallas Woolfolk has two saves already which leads the league and is third nationally.
  • Woolfolk is up to sixth on Ole Miss' all-time career saves list, one off tying for fifth place with Jake Morgan.
  • Rolison is coming off SEC Pitcher of the Week honors after striking out a career-high 12 with only one hit allowed in five innings. It marked the most strikeouts in a Rebel opener since Lance Lynn had 12 back in the 2008 opener.
  • Rolison enters the weekend tied for the league lead in Ks and is third in opposing batting average (.063).
  • Senior Will Stokes is up to a tie for fifth on the Ole Miss career appearances list with 74 after making two relief outings thus far.
  • As a team Ole Miss is fourth in the SEC in ERA (1.75), T-3rd in Ks (51) and fourth in walks allowed (12).
  • The Rebels capitalized in clutch situations last weekend, going 10-for-16 in two-out RBI.
  • Through four games, nine players have made their Rebel debuts, with four of those earning starts across the infield.

SCOUTING REPORT
Tulane heads into the weekend at 3-0 coming off a series with Wright State, a tough Horizon League team that won 38 games a year ago. The Green Wave are under the direction of second year head coach Travis Jewett. a graduate of Washington State. Tulane is coming off a 27-31 season in 2017 where they went 13-11 in AAC play. The Green Wave return just two position starters from that team and only one starting pitcher, welcoming in a total of 18 newcomers in 2018, nine of which are transfers.

Tulane has two opponents from the SEC on its schedule this season in Ole Miss and LSU (home-and-home). The Rebels and Green Wave share five common opponents in Southern Miss, Long Beach State, LSU, New Orleans and Memphis. Similar to the Rebels, the Green Wave have 33 games on its schedule against 13 teams that participated in the NCAA Tournament within the last two years.

At the plate Tulane is led by junior OF Grant Witherspoon, a preseason All-AAC selection that hit .299 in 2017 with 36 RBI and 67 hits. Sal Gozzo leads the squad through three games with a .444 clip and two RBI. Matt Rowland powered six RBI off one home run in opening weekend as the Green Wave hit .260 as a team against Wright State. A season ago Tulane hit .266 with a .437 slugging clip and .349 OBP. Tulane lost its top three hitters from a season ago, all of which hit above .300. Last weekend the Green Wave were 7-for-8 in steals after going 46-of-69 on the base paths a year ago.

Of the five pitchers from a year ago that started at least eight games, Tulane returns three, while losing its two primary starters who combined for 11 of the wins. RHP Chase Solesky returns with the top ERA among starters from 2017, but came out of the bullpen last weekend. The rotation against Wright State included two newcomers in RHP Kaleb Roper (Friday's starter) and RHP Ben White, who is not expected to start this weekend. Another newcomer in last weekend's rotation, and the expected starter for this Sunday, is RHP Keagan Gillies. LHP Ross Massey is the lone returner in this weekend's projected rotation. As a staff the Green Wave totaled a 4.18 ERA with 16 strikeouts and 16 walks. Opposing hitters hit .208 against them with 20 hits in 28 IP.

SERIES HISTORY
Ole Miss and Tulane have met 124 times heading into the weekend with the Rebels leading the series 84-38-2. The series began way back in 1898 with the last matchup coming two seasons ago in the NCAA Oxford Regional. The Green Wave came back to win that game in the ninth and end the Rebels' postseason run, the only matchup since 2011, when the two teams last played in a three-game series. Those games also were played in Oxford, with the Rebels winning game one before dropping the final two and the series.

WOOLFOLK TABBED PRESEASON ALL-SEC
The Rebels' junior closer earned a spot on the Preseason All-SEC Team, the lone Rebel on the list. The Southaven, Mississippi, native is coming off a dominant 2017 campaign in which he finished one off the school's single-season record in saves with 12. He led the team in appearances with 26, all in relief, totaling a 2.15 ERA and 3-2 record on the mound. The righty struck out 41 and held opposing hitters to a .200 clip in 37.2 innings of action. 

WOOLFOLK NAMED TO STOPPER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST
This marks the third-straight year for a Rebel to be on the list for the award given annually to the top relief pitcher in Division I Baseball. Woolfolk enters his junior campaign as one of the top relievers nationally, therefore landing him a spot on the prestigious watch list. He is one of 52 players on the list and one of eight from the Southeastern Conference. The Southaven, Mississippi, native is the third Rebel in as many years to appear on the watch list after now senior Will Stokes was on it last year. In 2016, southpaw Wyatt Short made the preseason and midseason lists' as the closer.

ROLISON NAMED TO USA BASEBALL GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD WATCH LIST
Rolison is the first Rebel to earn the preseason honor since Christian Trent in 2015.Rolison is one of 55 players on the preseason list, and is one of 15 players from the SEC. Of those, nine are pitchers, including Rolison. He joins a strong list of Rebel greats who also landed on the prestigious watch list, including Trent, Bobby Wahl (Oakland A's), Drew Pomeranz (Boston Red Sox), Scott Bittle, Lance Lynn (St. Louis Cardinals) and Cody Satterwhite.

AYE AYE, CAPTAIN
Senior Will Golsan and redshirt junior Brady Feigl were chosen as team captains for the 2018 season. Feigl, an experienced righty, enters his fourth spring as a member of the program, while Golsan has played literally everywhere on the field in his four-year career, and will look to anchor the Rebels from the outfield in 2018.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
The Rebels welcome a crop of 14 newcomers in 2018 including four JUCO transfers and 10 freshmen. Jacob Adams (Jr. - Crowder College) has been a name thrown around for the second base job, while RHP Austin Miller's name has been tossed around for relief out of the bullpen. Of the 10 freshman, Anthony Servideo (Jupiter, Fla.) is also a name to watch at second base, while both Tyler Keenan (Clayton, N.C.) and Tim Elko (Lutz, Fla.) are competing for starting jobs at the hot corner. Back on the mound, LHP Jordan Fowler's name has been consistently mentioned after he was drafted by the Texas Rangers last summer. Other newcomers to watch include LHP Emanuel Fernandez (Fr. - Lake Worth, Fla.), OF Michael Spears (Fr. - Winter Park, Fla.), RHP Max Cioffi (Fr. - Chicago, Ill.), RHP Colin Coates (Jr. - Southaven, Miss.), UT Golston Gillespie (Fr. - Ila, Ga.), LHP Pierce Smith (Jr. - Marietta, Ga.), OF Carl Gindl (Fr. - Cantonment, Fla.), and RHP Matt Myers (Fr. - Jackson, Miss.).

NATIONALLY RANKED
Ole Miss remains ranked as high as No. 9 (D1Baseball) in the national polls. The Rebels are top-16 in four of the major polls, including No. 11 in Perfect Game, No. 14 in NCBWA, and No. 16 in Baseball America. USA Today/ESPN has Ole Miss slotted No. 19, while Collegiate Baseball has them No. 29. 2018 marks the first year in program history the Rebels were ranked 16th or higher in the top three national preseason polls.

TWO CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS ON THE DOCKET
Of the first three weekends of play, Ole Miss will face multiple tough tests with the likes of Winthrop, Tulane and Long Beach State. Both the Eagles and Dirtbags are coming off conference championships, with Winthrop claiming the Big South regular season title, and Long Beach State earning Big West Championship accolades. On top of that, the Rebels also welcome Tulane to town for week two, a program that last visited in 2016 as part of the NCAA Oxford Regional winning 41 games.

ROLISON NAMED SEC PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Following his dominating performance on opening night, Rebel Baseball LHP Ryan Rolison was named SEC Pitcher of the Week. The southpaw threw 5.0 scoreless innings with a career-high 12 strikeouts in a 7-3 season-opening win. He led all SEC pitchers on the weekend with his 12 strikeouts, which were the most for any Ole Miss pitcher in the past two years, and the most in a season-opener since 2008 (Lance Lynn). The conference honor marks the second of Rolison's young career, after he picked up SEC Freshman of the Week honors on April 24 last season. He's the third pitcher in the last two seasons to earn pitcher of the week, after David Parkinson (March 13) and James McArthur (May 1) did it in 2017.

"VOICE OF THE REBELS" CELEBRATING 40TH SEASON OF CALLING #REBSBSB
David Kellum's journey as Ole Miss' radio play-by-play announcer began way back in 1977. Then, he was a senior at Lafayette High School in Oxford. His first experience included calling a 9-7 Ole Miss win over Vanderbilt in the inaugural SEC Tournament, and he has since earned the tag `Voice of the Rebels' as the primary voice for baseball, football and men's basketball. The 2018 baseball season marks his 40th on the airwaves for Rebel baseball, and minus a one-year hiatus in 1985, he's been there every step of the way since. DK is tied for the second-longest tenured pxp voice in the country behind only Dave Nitz of Louisiana Tech (44 years), and three of the top six voices with at least 37 years' experience are all from The Magnolia State (Jim Ellis -- Mississippi State, John Cox -- Southern Miss).

REBELS SWEEP WINTHROP TO OPEN 2018
The Rebels were as advertised in opening weekend, sweeping Winthrop behind the arms of a strong pitching staff, and scattered production at the plate from old and new faces alike. At the plate, Ole Miss tallied 17 runs on 30 hits as nine different Rebels had multiple hits on the weekend. Eight of the 30 were extra-base knocks, all of which came from eight different players.

On the mound, the Rebels were charged with only one earned run allowing only 16 hits and five total runs. Starters Ryan Rolison, Brady Feigl and James McArthur combined for no earned runs allowed and 25 strikeouts, allowing only 11 hits in the three combined starts. The bullpen was effective as well, combining for 14 Ks in 11 innings with only five hits surrendered.

OLE MISS OUTLASTS MEMPHIS IN FIRST MIDWEEK
Behind big outings from Nick Fortes and Grae Kessinger, the Rebels survived a ninth inning scare to take down Memphis, 8-6, in their first midweek of the season. The duo combined for seven of the team's 13 hits, highlighted by Fortes' two home runs and six RBI. Kessinger had a career high four-hit performance.

Houston Roth garnered his first career start on the mound and earned the victory, while Austin Miller, Greer Holston, Will Stokes and Dallas Woolfolk finished it out to hold of the Tigers' three runs over the final two frames.

ON DECK
After the weekend tilt with Tulane, the Rebels close out the eight-home homestand hosting Murray State next Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 4 p.m.

For all Ole Miss Softball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball, on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball and on Instagram at Instagram.com/olemisssoftball. Fans can also follow head coach Mike Smith on Twitter at @msmithsb16. Additionally fans can get a behind the scenes look at Ole Miss Athletics on Snapchat under the handle, @WeAreOleMiss.


 

 

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