Feb. 26, 2018
Ole Miss Notes - Murray State
Murray State (3-3, 0-0 OVC) vs. No. 8 Ole Miss (7-0, 0-0 SEC)
Date: February 27, 2018
First Pitch: 4 p.m. CT
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Venue: O-U Stadium/Swayze Field
TV: SEC Network +
Will Kollmeyer, play-by-play
David Dellucci, analyst
Mobile: ESPN App
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
David Kellum, play-by-play
Keith Kessinger, analyst
Live Audio/Stats: OleMissSports.com
Series: Ole Miss leads 19-3-1
Last Meeting: April 20, 2016
Ole Miss won 8-3
Twitter Updates: @OleMissBSB
- $1 Hot Dogs
- Kids get in free
- No. 8 Ole Miss closes its eight-game homestand Tuesday at O-U Stadium/Swayze Field with a matchup against Murray State.
- The Rebels and Racers will meet for the 24th time on Tuesday with Ole Miss leading the series 19-3-1.
- Murray State and Ole Miss last met in 2016 in Oxford, an 8-3 victory for the Rebels.
- The Rebels are coming off another weekend sweep in which they outscored Tulane a combined 20-8.
- The 7-0 start marks the second straight and third in the past six years.
- Combined in week two, the Rebels outscored their opponents 28-14 with a .303 team average and 3.00 ERA.
- Starting pitching continues to be the key for the Diamond Rebs; Ole Miss’ four starters thus far have combined for a .194 average against with only four earned runs allowed, 25 hits, and a 49-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
- RHP Houston Roth, Tuesday’s projected starter, went 4.0 IP in his start against Memphis last week with six Ks and three hits.
- Sophomore Grae Kessinger continues his hot start at the plate with a .464 clip and four extra-base hits, just three off tying his season total from 2017. The shortstop is fourth in the SEC and 37th nationally in hits (13).
- Ole Miss is up to as high as No. 8 (Perfect Game) in this week’s national rankings, and is top 12 in three of the four that have been released as of Monday afternoon.
- The Rebels are going for their eighth win on Tuesday, and first 8-0 start since 2008 (9-0). The 2018 squad is already just one of nine teams in school history to start at least 7-0, and the fifth in the Mike Bianco era.
- Junior closer Dallas Woolfolk is a perfect 4-for-4 in save opportunities early on, and is tied for the NCAA lead with four saves.
- Woolfolk is already up to fifth on the school’s all-time saves list (17), and is one off tying Scott Bittle for fourth.
- Senior Will Stokes has moved up to fifth on the school’s all-time appearances list (76), just one off fourth place.
- At the plate, the Rebels have five players at a .300 clip or better and have six players with multiple XBHs, led by four each from Kessinger and Nick Fortes.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Tuesday • 4 p.m.
RHP Houston Roth (Ole Miss) | 1-0, 2.57 ERA, 7.0 IP
LHP Luke Brown (Murray State) | 0-1, 27.00 ERA, 1.0 IP
- Went 4.0 IP with six Ks in his first collegiate start last Tuesday against Memphis
- Allowed two runs off three hits in the start earning his first win of 2018
- 2017 Freshman All-American (Collegiate Baseball)
- Held the lowest ERA on the team a year ago (1.57) to go along with a perfect 3-0 record
- Recorded 41 strikeouts and walked only eight in 28.2 IP
- Allowed only five earned runs all season
Murray State is 3-3 on the year with a Monday game against Western Illinois still on the docket. The Racers are led by fourth year head coach Kevin Moulder, and went 29-30 in 2017. Murray State returns 15 letterwinners from a year ago and three position starters, while returning six pitchers from last season’s squad. The Racers have 16 newcomers on their 2018 team, including 12 freshmen.
The Racers opened the 2018 campaign at Big 12 foe Kansas, where they claimed the middle game, 10-5, and dropped the other two contests, 5-3 and 4-1. Murray followed that up with a trip to Huntsville, Alabama, where they lost 4-1 to Alabama A&M, before returning to Illinois to host Western Illinois. The two teams played a doubleheader on Sunday, with the Racers winning both (11-5 and 5-4), with game three of the series set for 1 p.m. Monday. Ole Miss is one of two teams on the Racers’ schedule, as they have a home-and-home with Kentucky scheduled.
Through six games, the Racers are hitting .234 as a team led by two players with a .300 clip or better. Ramsey Scott leads the club with a .333 average, and he and Davis Sims are tied for the team lead in hits with seven. Sims also has a team high seven RBI, while Scott has two of the team’s three home runs. MSU has been an aggressive and successful team on the base paths thus far, going 12-for-12 in steal attempts. The Racers have 18 extra-base hits this season including 15 doubles.
Murray State carries a 4.59 team ERA heading into Monday’s tilt with a .289 average against and 26 earned runs allowed off 57 hits. The Racers have a 42-19 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and have allowed 10 batters to reach via hit by pitch. Tuesday’s projected starter, Luke Brown, is 0-1 in one appearance with a 27.00 ERA in 1.0 IP. In that appearance he allowed three runs off three hits and one walk in a start.
Tuesday’s matchup will mark the 24th meeting between the two programs, with Ole Miss leading the series 19-3-1. The Racers and Rebels first met back in 1964, a 15-1 victory for Ole Miss. The most recent meeting came two years ago when the Rebels won 8-3, with the most recent matchup before that coming in 2014, which resulted in an 8-5 victory for Ole Miss.
- Murray State assistant coach Joe Migliaccio has recent experience in the SEC, joining the Racers prior to this season from Missouri, where he was a graduate assistant in Columbia.
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.).
Ole Miss is up to as high as No. 8 (Perfect Game) in the national polls. Baseball America bumped the Rebels from No. 16 up to No. 12 in the week three poll, while Collegiate Baseball now has the Rebs firmly placed in the top 25 at No. 20. Ole Miss remained No. 9 in D1Baseball’s top 25, with the ESPN.com and NCBWA polls still yet to be released for week three. 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).
ONE SAVE AFTER ANOTHER
Redshirt junior closer Dallas Woolfolk has quickly tallied four saves on the year in four opportunities, and is tied for the NCAA lead in that category. He entered the year seventh on the school’s career saves list, but is quickly up to fifth, just one off tying Scott Bittle for fourth. The Southaven native has seven Ks and only three hits allowed in his four outings in 2018.
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.
DIAMOND REBS SWEEP TULANE, REMAIN PERFECT
The Rebels kept their perfect season alive with a 3-0, weather-affected weekend against Tulane. The two sides got to the fifth in Friday’s opener before rain set in and pushed the resumption of that game to Saturday, forcing a doubleheader. The Rebels outscored the Green Wave 20-8, and used a bevy of strong performances to do so.
Starter Ryan Rolison picked up where he left off from a week ago with a nine strikeout performance as the bullpen held off a late 3-run rally in the eighth to seal a 5-4 victory. In game two, Brady Feigl was solid with six Ks in six innings, as Grae Kessinger and Ryan Olenek led the way from the top of the order with a combined four RBI. In Sunday’s finale that was also played under overcast skies and chilly temperatures, James McArthur was once again efficient with just one earned run allowed off 5.1 IP, but freshman Jordan Fowler was again the beneficiary earning his second victory in relief. At the plate Thomas Dillard and Cooper Johnson both went yard, while Will Golsan drove in a pair in a big at-bat to start a rally in the sixth.
Ole Miss hits the road this weekend for the first time all season, headed West to California for a three-game set at perennial powerhouse Long Beach State.
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.