Baseball Heads to Houston for Prestigious Tournament
March 1, 2017

Complete Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Dates: March 3-5, 2017
Location: Houston, Texas
Venue: Minute Maid Park
Capacity: 40,963
Television: Fox Sports (Regional)
    Brett Dolan, play-by-play
    Pat Combs, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
    David Kellum, play-by-play
    Keith Kessinger, analyst
Live Audio:
Series vs. Baylor: Baylor leads 4-1
Last Series: March 7-8, 2000
        Baylor won both games.
Series vs. Texas Tech: Ole Miss leads 1-0
Last Game: June 17, 2014 (CWS)
        Ole Miss won 2-1 in Omaha.
Series vs. TCU: Ole Miss leads 9-8
Last Game: June 19, 2014 (CWS)
        Ole Miss won 6-4 in Omaha.

SCHEDULE (Home team listed second)
Friday, March 3
#8 Ole Miss vs. Baylor    12 p.m.
#10 Texas Tech vs. #11 Texas A&M    3:30 p.m.
#1 TCU vs. #2 LSU        7 p.m.

Saturday, March 4
#10 Texas Tech vs. #8 Ole Miss    12 p.m.
Baylor vs. #2 LSU        3:30 p.m.
#11 Texas A&M vs. #1 TCU    7 p.m.

Sunday, March 5
#2 LSU vs. #10 Texas Tech    10 a.m.
#1 TCU vs. #8 Ole Miss    1:30 p.m.
#11 Texas A&M vs. Baylor    5 p.m.

All three of the Rebels' games will be carried regionally on select FOX Sports Regional Networks and streamed on Fox Sports GO. Fans are asked to check local listings for more information. Games on FOX Sports GO can be streamed live on or on the FOX Sports GO app, which can be downloaded from iTunes, Google Play, Amazon App Store and Windows Store. Streaming on FOX Sports GO is now available on several connected devices, including Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Xbox One, Android TV and Fire TV.

- Ole Miss’ opponents at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Classic are a combined 25-1.
- The Rebels went 7-1 during their season-opening eight-game homestand and are coming off their first loss of the season (9-6 to Memphis) on Tuesday.
- Ole Miss averaged 9,237 fans per game at Swayze Field during the homestand, ranking second nationally in average attendance.
- The Rebels are competing in a regular season tournament in Houston for the third time in program history (2003 Crowne Plaza/Rice Invitational, 2005 Coca Cola Classic).
- Ole Miss leads the SEC in runners picked off (defensively).
- 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 pitching didn’t allow a hit in innings 1-4 last weekend.
- Sophomore Dallas Woolfolk leads the SEC in saves (3) and ranks fourth nationally.
- With 637 victories at Ole Miss, head coach Mike Bianco is seventh on the SEC’s all-time wins list.

Baylor - Nick Lewis, Sr., RHP, 2-0, 2.25 ERA, 12.0 IP
Ole Miss - David Parkinson, Jr., LHP, 2-0, 2.77 ERA, 13.0 IP
- Last week against No. 23 UNCW, retired the first 12 hitters he faced and finished his night allowing one earned run on three hits with six strikeouts.
- Earned the win on Opening Day versus No. 6 East Carolina, allowing three runs on six hits while tying career highs for innings pitched (7.0) and strikeouts (6)
- Held the lowest ERA among Rebel starting pitchers in 2016
- Made 22 appearances, including nine starts, and logged 68.0 innings last season
- Transferred to Ole Miss in 2016 after spending one season at Florence-Darlington Technical School

Texas Tech - Steven Gingery, So., LHP, 2-0, 1.29 ERA, 14.0 IP
Ole Miss - James McArthur, So., RHP, 0-0, 2.61 ERA, 10.1 IP
- Against No. 23 UNCW, recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts and did not allow a hit until the sixth inning; pitched 6.0 innings and allowed just one run on two hits and one walk (no decision)
- Allowed two runs on three hits versus No. 6 ECU (no decision)
- 2016 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American (Collegiate Baseball)
- Pitched in 15 games, making 12 starts last year (primarily in midweek games)
- Tied with Sean Johnson as the tallest person on the team (6’7”)

SUNDAY, 1:30 P.M.
TCU - Jared Janczak, R-So., RHP, 2-0, 2.77 ERA, 13.0 IP
Ole Miss - Brady Feigl, R-So., RHP, 1-0, 4.50 ERA, 10.0 IP
- Earned a win over No. 23 UNCW, his second career start; allowed one run on three hits and two walks without surrendering a hit until the fifth inning
- 2016 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American (Collegiate Baseball)
- Made 26 appearances out of the bullpen in his debut season, the second-most outings on the team and most by a freshman; his 39 strikeouts ranked second among Rebel relievers in 2016
- Career-long outing is 5.1 innings of relief against Mississippi State (April 2, 2016)
- Redshirted the 2015 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery

The Bears enter the weekend just one of eight remaining undefeated teams in Division I baseball. With a 9-0 record, they are off to their best start since 1984. Baylor is coming off a 17-3 thumping of Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Tuesday, a team the Rebels will play later this season. Sophomore Richard Cunningham has been a spark plug to the BU offense, hitting .407 with eight of his 11 hits going for extra bases. On the mound, Baylor will give the ball to senior Nick Lewis to face Ole Miss. The righty has earned wins in both of his starts this year. Steve Rodriguez is in his second year as Baylor’s head coach after leading the squad to a 24-29 mark in his first season.

In a battle of top-10 teams, the Rebels and Red Raiders will meet on the diamond for the second time in history Saturday afternoon. Ole Miss won the only other matchup between the two, winning a tight 2-1 battle in the 2014 College World Series. Texas Tech is 9-1 to start the 2017 campaign after a 7-2 win over New Mexico Tuesday. The Red Raiders are an explosive squad, averaging 8.4 runs per game and 10.4 hits per game; both marks lead the Big 12 and rank in the top 10 nationally. Hunter Hargrove paces the Texas Tech offense as the conference leader in hits (17), doubles (6) and RBI (17). The senior joins the nation’s leaders by ranking third in RBI, fourth in doubles and sixth in hits. Tim Tadlock manages the Red Raiders for the fifth straight season, which includes a trip to the College World Series last year.

The consensus No. 1 team in the country since the start of the season, TCU is 7-1 with a veteran cast back following a trip to Omaha in 2016. The Horned Frogs are riding a three-game winning streak after defeating Rice in a midweek matchup Tuesday. TCU has used its power and speed to prove its top ranking, leading the Big 12 in home runs (11) and stolen bases (18). Redshirt-sophomore Jared Janczak plans to start in Sunday’s contest, boasting a 2-0 record with a 2.77 ERA. Ole Miss leads the all-time series 9-8, including a victory in the last meeting that took place in the 2014 College World Series. The Rebels also swept the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth to open up the 2013 season. Veteran coach Jim Schlossnagle is in his 14th season leading the TCU program.

When the Rebels and Horned Frogs take the field Sunday, two coaches that shared a dugout at one time will be squaring off against one another. Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco and TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle served on the USA Baseball staff together in 2013. Schlossnagle was the head coach of the college national team, while Bianco was the team’s pitching coach.

As a participant in the 2017 Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic, the Rebels are playing in a regular season tournament for the second straight year. Last season, Ole Miss swept the Chanticleer Classic with wins over Ball State, Cincinnati and Coastal Carolina, defeating the eventual national champion on its home field. Under head coach Mike Bianco, Ole Miss has played in a total of six regular season tournaments, including two in Houston. In the two Houston tournaments, Ole Miss went a combined 3-3. The Rebels hosted the Ole Miss Invitational in Bianco’s first season, before hitting the road for the other regular season tournaments.
    Ole Miss in Regular Season Tournaments (Bianco Era)
                2001 - Ole Miss Invitational (Oxford, Miss.)
                2003 - Crowne Plaza/Rice Invitational (Houston, Texas)
                2005 - Coca Cola Classic (Houston Texas)
                2007 - Dairy Queen Classic (Minneapolis, Minn.)
                2009 - Coca Cola Classic (Mobile, Ala.)
                2016 - Chanticleer Classic (Conway, S.C.)

For the third straight weekend, Ole Miss will play multiple games against ranked opponents. The Rebels already have a nation-best six wins over ranked foes after sweeping both No. 6 East Carolina and No. 23 UNCW in three-game series at Swayze Field. Last season, the Rebels won 12 games against ranked teams which included series victories over No. 2 Louisville, No. 8 LSU and No. 21 Arkansas. Ole Miss also topped No. 2 Texas A&M, No. 4 South Carolina, No. 5 Mississippi State and No. 18 Coastal Carolina, which went on to win the national championship, in games last year. In 2015, the Rebels made the NCAA Tournament after having the nation’s No. 1 strength of schedule.

Facing two more top-10 teams this weekend, the Rebels are no stranger to facing the nation’s best competition. Ole Miss has won 23 games against top-10 teams over the last three-plus seasons, including series victories over No. 1 Louisiana-Lafayette (2014 Super Regional), No. 1 Florida (2015), No. 1 Vanderbilt (2015), No. 2 Louisville (2016), No. 8 LSU (2016) and No. 6 East Carolina (2017).

With 15 freshmen as part of the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class, some of the newest young Rebels are making an impact right away. Ole Miss has started four freshmen in the majority of the early games: Thomas Dillard (LF), Cooper Johnson (C), Grae Kessinger (SS) and Cole Zabowski (1B). Dillard and Zabowski boast the top-two batting averages on the team at .500 and .417, respectively. Meanwhile, Johnson and Kessinger have provided great defense at two of the most important positions on the field.

Three Rebels hail from the Lone Star State: freshman IF Bryce Blaum (Sugar Land, Texas), sophomore RHP James McArthur (New Braunfels, Texas) and freshman OF Bryan Seamster (Roanoke, Texas).

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 fourth nationally. Stokes is right behind with two saves as well, and the Rebels’ five saves lead the conference.

Junior Will Golsan has gotten off to a fast start this season, leading the team in hits (11), runs (9) and doubles (4). He is the only Rebel with a hit in all eight games thus far. The Columbus, Mississippi, native ranks sixth in the SEC in doubles as well as 12th 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.  

After falling behind in all three games during opening weekend, Ole Miss struck first in all four games last week. While credit the offense for putting runs on the board, the Rebel starting pitchers kept 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.

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.

After a weekend away from home, the Rebels will return to the friendly confines of Swayze Field for five games in a six-day span. First, Georgia State makes the trip to Oxford for a pair of midweek games (March 7-8). Following an off day Thursday, Ole Miss will host Furman in the final non-conference weekend series before the start of SEC play (March 10-12). All five games will be broadcast live on SECN+ and can be heard on the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.






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