Feb. 27, 2017
The Last Meeting
April 19, 2016
Three Homers Blast No. 14 Ole Miss Past Memphis
Three home runs combined with a masterful performance by freshman starting pitcher James McArthur led No. 14 Ole Miss to a 7-0 victory over Memphis Tuesday evening at AutoZone Park. McArthur pitched a career-high seven scoreless innings, while the Rebel bats did the rest to earn the midweek victory.
Matchup: No. 8 Ole Miss (7-0) vs. Memphis (4-2)
Date: Feb. 28
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Venue: Swayze Field
Will Kollmeyer play-by-play
David Dellucci, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
David Kellum, play-by-play
Keith Kessinger, analyst
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com
Series: Ole Miss leads 93-52
Last Game: April 19, 2016
Ole Miss won 7-0
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- Ole Miss is 7-0 for the eighth time in program history (fourth under head coach Mike Bianco) and first since 2013.
- Six of the Rebels’ seven wins have come against ranked opponents (three vs. No. 6 ECU and three vs. No. 23 UNCW), the only team in the nation to accomplish the feat.
- Ole Miss swept Memphis in a home-and-home series last year.
- The Rebels are just one of two remaining unbeaten teams in the SEC (Arkansas is the other).
- Ole Miss pitching didn’t allow a hit in innings 1-4 over the weekend.
- The Rebels struck out 54 opposing hitters last week and rank second in the conference with 82 strikeouts on the season.
- Tuesday’s game will mark the end of an eight-game homestand to start the season.
- Ole Miss is averaging 9,532 fans per game at Swayze Field, ranking second in the country.
- Sophomore Dallas Woolfolk leads the SEC in saves (3) and ranks third nationally.
- With 637 victories at Ole Miss, head coach Mike Bianco is seventh on the SEC’s all-time wins list.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
TUESDAY, 4 P.M.
Memphis - James Muse, So., RHP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4.1 IP
Ole Miss - Will Ethridge, Fr., RHP, 1-0, 3.00 ERA, 6.0 IP
- Earned the victory in his first game as a Rebel, striking out 10 over 5.0 innings vs. Arkansas State
- His 10 strikeouts were the most by an Ole Miss freshman since 2007 and the most by a Rebel in a debut this century
- Pitched a perfect ninth inning vs. No. 23 UCNW on Saturday, striking out a pair of Seahawks
- Rated as the No. 33 freshman prospect in the nation (D1Baseball.com)
- 2016 Louisville Slugger first team High School All-American (Collegiate Baseball)
- Posted a 23-5 record with a 1.65 ERA, 119 strikeouts and 21 walks in 148.0 innings throughout his high school career
- Drafted in the 35th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners
The Tigers are 4-2 following a pair of weekend series to start the season. Memphis is riding a three-game win streak coming into Tuesday’s matchup after sweeping Illinois State. The sweep was possible thanks to a miraculous comeback on Saturday, when the Tigers trailed 11-0 before rallying to win in 11 innings, 12-11. All three games were decided by three runs or less. Tyler Webb is the team’s leading hitter to start off the season, posting a .292 average at the plate. On the mound, Memphis plans to start sophomore James Muse, who has not allowed a run in 4.1 innings over two relief appearances. Daron Schoenrock is in his 15th season at the helm of the program.
A TIGHT SERIES
Separated by just 70 miles, Ole Miss and Memphis have played a home-and-home series in each of the past seven seasons. In five of those seasons, the series was split with each team earning one victory over the other, providing competitive battles during recent years. However, the Rebels won both games last year, first winning a 9-7 contest at Swayze Field (March 2, 2016) before shutting out the Tigers 7-0 at AutoZone Park (April 19, 2016). Overall, Ole Miss has dominated the all-time series; the two teams have met on the diamond 145 times with the Rebels holding a 93-52 advantage. Mike Bianco is 23-9 against Memphis in 16 years as the Rebels’ head coach.
LAST TIME WE MET
Last year, the Rebels swept the Tigers in the season series for the first time since 2008. The last time Ole Miss and Memphis squared off on the diamond, three home runs combined with a masterful performance by James McArthur led the Rebels to a 7-0 victory at AutoZone Park. McArthur pitched a career-high seven scoreless innings, while the Rebel bats did the rest to earn the midweek victory. Will Golsan and Michael Fitzsimmons hit back-to-back homers as part of a four-run sixth inning. Colby Bortles also left the yard in the eighth inning. Along with the three homers, the Rebels racked up 10 hits throughout the night. Earlier in the year, the Rebels came from six runs down to win 9-7 at Swayze Field.
LUCKY NUMBER 7
Facing two ranked teams that made the postseason in 2016 along with having a young team on paper, it looked as if life would be tough for the Rebels through the first two weeks of the season. While it hasn’t been easy, Ole Miss has taken care of business in every game thus far to jump out to a 7-0 record for the eighth time in program history. The last time the Rebels were 7-0 was in 2013 when Memphis handed them their first loss of the season. Under Mike Bianco, Ole Miss also started 2004 and 2008 winning at least the first seven games of the year. The Rebels claimed the first nine games of the 2008 campaign, while winning a school-record 11 straight to begin the 2004 season.
OFF TO A GOOD START
After falling behind in all three games during opening weekend, Ole Miss struck first in all four games last week. While the offense gets credit for putting runs on the board, the Rebel starting pitchers get credit for keeping the opposing bats at bay. The four starters allowed only five earned runs combined and tallied 33 strikeouts as a group. Moreover, the weekend starters kept No. 23 UNCW, a team known for its offensive prowess heading into the season, without a hit through the first four innings of each game. The dominating performances on the mound allowed Ole Miss to grab early leads en route to another perfect weekend.
TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE
Last year, Ole Miss had the luxury of having two closers in lefty Wyatt Short and right-hander Will Stokes. The duo combined for 18 saves in 2016 with Short in the primary role closing 11 games. After drafted by the Chicago Cubs, Short took his talents to the professional level, and it appeared as if Stokes would become the lone closer on the staff in 2017. However, another Rebel has emerged to join Stokes in the back end of the bullpen. Sophomore Dallas Woolfolk, who’s fastball ranges from 93-95 mph, has been un-hittable late in games this year. The Southaven, Mississippi, native has allowed just one baserunner in 6.1 innings spanning four appearances. Along with tallying 10 strikeouts, Woolfolk also boasts an SEC-best three saves that also ranks third nationally. Stokes is right behind with two saves as well, and the Rebels’ five saves lead the conference.
In the first midweek game of the season, four freshmen dazzled on the mound in a 16-4 thumping of Arkansas State Tuesday night at Swayze Field. The young quartet of Will Ethridge, Houston Roth, Ryan Rolison and Greer Holston combined for 19 strikeouts, the most by an Ole Miss pitching staff since April 10, 2015 (6-5 win in a 16-inning game at No. 1 Vanderbilt) and the most in a nine-inning game since Feb. 22, 2008 (school record 21 vs. Minnesota). Making his debut, Ethridge mowed down the Red Wolves. He recorded 10 strikeouts, the most by an Ole Miss freshman since Justin Cryer accomplished the feat in 2007 and the most in an Ole Miss debut this century. Roth, another freshman making his first appearance as a Rebel, struck out five over 2.0 scoreless innings of work. Rolison and Holston closed out the contest with one inning apiece, keeping ASU off the scoreboard.
GOLSAN GETS GOING
Junior Will Golsan has gotten off to a fast start this season, leading the team in hits (11), runs (9) and doubles (4). The Columbus, Mississippi, native ranks fourth in the SEC in doubles as well as 10th in runs scored. He’s shown his versatility in the field as well, starting in his third different position in as many seasons. Golsan won the starting nod at second base following the beginning of his freshman season before moving to first base last year. This season, Golsan has found his home in right field to better showcase his athleticism.
THE 17TH SEASON OF THE BIANCO ERA
The 2017 season is the 17th year of Ole Miss Baseball led by Mike Bianco, the program’s all-time wins leader. With 637 wins at Ole Miss over the past 16+ seasons, Bianco is the winningest and longest active coach in the Southeastern Conference. He ranks seventh on the SEC’s all-time wins list, passing longtime Auburn coach Hal Baird over the weekend. Bianco is also on pace to leapfrog former Vanderbilt coach Roy Mewbourne, who sits in sixth, this season; Mewbourne produced 655 wins in 24 seasons.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
Swayze Field provides the best atmosphere and some of the biggest crowds across the country for college baseball games. The Rebels have won over 70 percent of their home games throughout the past 28 seasons. The combination of winning baseball plus an electric fan base makes Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field a bucket list item for any sports fan. A 2016 survey conducted by D1Baseball.com proved it as Division I baseball coaches ranked Swayze Field top 10 nationally in six different categories, including prettiest setting, best traditions, best overall stadium and most intimidating cracking the top five. Last year, the Rebels averaged 8,502 fans per game, including five contests with the attendance over 10,000, to rank second nationally. In total, 291,714 fans watched Ole Miss Baseball at Swayze Field, which was also the third-highest total attendance in the country. Both marks set season attendance records. With single-game and series records already broken this season, Ole Miss has averaged 9,532 per game to rank second in the nation.
ON THE HORIZON
Following the midweek contest, Ole Miss will hit the road for the first time this season to participate in the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic (March 3-5). Competing in one of the most prestigious regular season tournaments in the country, the Rebels will face three Big 12 teams in Baylor (March 3), No. 10 Texas Tech (March 4) and No. 1 TCU (March 5) at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.