Date: Feb. 26, 2013 Times: 4 p.m. Location: Oxford, Miss. Venue: Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field Capacity: 10,323 Surface: Grass Series: Ole Miss leads 89-48 Last Season: Split series 1-1 Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network (Local Only) Television: None Live Stats: OleMissSports.com Twitter Updates: @OleMissBSB
OLE MISS QUICK HITS Ole Miss held steady in most rankings after a week two sweep of Rhode Island and inched up in a few other polls. The Rebels are ranked as high as No. 8 (Baseball America) and are also ranked 14th (Perfect Game), 16th (Collegiate Baseball), 17th ESPN/USAToday and 18th (NCBWA). Ole Miss is coming off a 15-2 win over UT-Martin on Wednesday night and a series sweep of Rhode Island over the weekend. Six Rebels made their season debut against the Skyhawks, while four made their Rebel debuts. With the sweep of the Rams, the Rebels have now swept back-to-back weekends to open the season for the first time since the 2008 campaign. The 7-0 start is also the most consecutive wins to open the season since that same season when Ole Miss started the year 9-0 before dropping a game to Arkansas State in the midweek. Senior RHP Brett Huber stood out among pitchers on the weekend, picking up the win on Saturday in a 1-0 victory before coming back to the mound for the save in the sweep clinching win on Sunday. Austin Knight delivered a big two-out, walk-off hit as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning Saturday to clinch the series. Rebel relievers have allowed only four runs through a combined 30.2 innings of work to date.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP TUESDAY, 4:00 PM MEM - Michael Wills, Sr., LHP OLE MISS - Josh Laxer, Soph., RHP NOTING LAXER: Laxer makes his first start of the season when he takes the mound against the Tigers on Tuesday. Through two appearances, Laxer holds a 1.80 ERA through 5.0 innings of work to date. It will be the first appearance for Laxer against Memphis as he did not take the mound against the Tigers in his freshman season. Laxer's two appearances this season came with 2.0 IP against #12 TCU (2/17) in the series finale and 3.0 IP against Rhode Island (2/22) in the series opener.
REBELS vs. MEMPHIS Ole Miss continues a nine-game homestand to open the 2013 season with a Tuesday afternoon showdown with the Memphis Tigers at 4 p.m. It's the first game against the Tigers in a home-and-home series that is played between the two teams each season. Memphis enters the Tuesday night contest with an overall record of 4-3 and is coming off a sweep of Missouri. The Tigers' Michael Wills is slated to start the contest. He enters the game with no decision in one start this year. He worked 4.2 innings with two walks, six strikeouts and allowed five hits in the outing. Wills faced the Rebels in both games last season, taking the loss in game one and the win in game two. Carter White leasds the Tigers at the plate with a .500 average and two RBI.
PROMOTIONS ABOUND AT SWAYZE FIELD IN 2013 Visitors to Oxford-University Stadium this season will have plenty to look forward to besides just some of the most exciting baseball in the country. Ole Miss Marketing has gameday promotions lined up throughout the course of the season that are sure to please the crowds. The pair of midweek games against Memphis and Arkansas-Pine Bluff will be Kid's Night and Dollar Dog Night at the ballpark. All kids under 12 will get in free and hot dogs will cost only $1.
REBELS ENJOY HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE UNDER BIANCO Ole Miss has enjoyed success on the home field under head coach Mike Bianco over the course of 13 seasons. The excitement and energy generated by Rebel fans has helped the squad post a record of 315-116-1 at Swayze Field for a .730 winning percentage in that time.
BIANCO CLOSING IN ON 500 WINS Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco is closing in on a milestone with the Rebels this season. Bianco enters the season sitting on 478 wins as the Rebel skipper and is 22 shy of 500 wins as head coach at Ole Miss. For his coaching career, Bianco holds 578 wins after picking up 100 victories in three seasons as head coach at McNeese State prior to taking over at Ole Miss for the 2001 season.
TOP OF THE REBEL COACHING RANKS While he is closing in on the 500 win mark at Ole Miss, Bianco will hit another milestone on his way to the 500-win mark. With his 478 wins, Bianco is eight wins away from taking over the top spot as winningest coach in Ole Miss baseball history. Jake Gibbs (1972-1990) is the current leader with 485 career victories.
REBELS SWEEP BACK-TO-BACK TO OPEN SEASON When the Rebels picked up a series sweep over Rhode Island on Sunday, February 24, it gave the Rebels series sweeps in back-to-back weekends to open the season. It's the first time the Rebels have opened the year with back-to-back series sweeps since the 2008 season when the Rebels swept Minnesota and Indiana State to open the season.
TURNER DOMINANT BEHIND THE PLATE Opposing base runners will start to think twice when Stuart Turner is behind the plate, if they haven't started doing so already. Through seven games, Turner has thrown out 7-of-8 runners attempting to steal bases - the eighth steal was one in which Turner didn't make a throw. That gives him a .875 success rate in throwing out base runners on steal attempts this season.
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