Baseball Heads West to Take on Long Beach State
SATURDAY - 4 p.m. CT SATURDAY - 45mins after Game 1 SUNDAY - 1:30 p.m.
Ole Miss: LHP Ryan Rolison 
2-0, 0.90 ERA, 10.0 IP
LBSU: LHP Zak Baayoun
2-0, 1.26 ERA, 14.1 IP
Ole Miss: RHP Brady Feigl
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 12.0 IP
LBSU: LHP Clayton Andrews
0-2, 3.27 ERA, 11.0 IP
Ole Miss: RHP James McArthur 
0-0, 0.87 ERA, 10.1 IP

GAMES 9-11
Dates: Mar. 3-4, 2018
First Pitch: Sat: 4 p.m. CT | Sat: 45 minutes after Game 1 | Sun: 1:30 p.m. CT
Location: Long Beach, Calif.
Venue: Blair Field (3,000)
Dimensions: L-335, C-393, R-330
TV: Beach Vision
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
    Eli Savoie, Play-by-Play
    Keith Kessinger, Analyst
Series: Tied 1-1
Last Meeting: May 28, 1999

• No. 8 Ole Miss travels to Long Beach for its first road trip of the 2018 season.
• The Rebels and Dirtbags have met just twice before, in 1997 and during the 1999 postseason.
• Ole Miss is coming off a midweek thriller--a 7-6 walk-off win over Murray State.
• The 8-0 start marks the fifth time in Ole Miss history and the third time under head coach Mike Bianco.
• Through eight games, the Rebels have outscored their opponents 53-25 with a .306 team batting average and a 2.25 ERA.
• Ole Miss' weekend rotation of Ryan Rolison, Brady Feigl, and James McArthur thus far have combined for a .188 average against with only two earned runs allowed, 22 hits, and a 43-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 32.1 combined innings of work.
• Rolison, Friday's projected starter, currently leads the SEC and is second in the NCAA with 18.9 strikeouts per nine innings, and is tied for the most strikeouts in the league with 21.
• Ole Miss pitchers have allowed just 19 walks on the year, third fewest in the SEC.
• The combined efforts of Cooper Johnson and Nick Fortes at the catcher position have allowed opposing base runners just one stolen base, fewest in the SEC.
• Sophomore Grae Kessinger continues his hot start at the plate with a .452 clip and four extra-base hits, just three off tying his season total from 2017. The shortstop is tied for eleventh in the SEC in batting average.
• 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 this week.
• The Rebels are going for their ninth straight win on Friday to tie for the best start since '08.
• A win on Friday would be Ole Miss' third season to open with nine consecutive wins, the other one coming in 2004 when Bianco's team went 11-0 to open the year.

• SEC Pitcher of the Week (Feb. 19)
• Struck out a career high 12 in the season opener vs. Winthrop
• 12 Ks were the most in an opener since Lance Lynn had 12 back in 2008
• Has allowed just four hits in two appearances this season
• Struck out nine last Friday against Tulane
• Averaging 18.9 strikeouts per nine innings this season
• Tied for SEC lead with 21 strikeouts
• Second SEC weekly honor for Rolison after he earned Freshman of the Week honors last April 24
• Named Preseason All-American by four different outlets
• USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Watch List
• No. 2 2018 MLB Draft prospect according to D1Baseball
• 2017 Freshman All-American (Collegiate Baseball)
• Four different outlets have him No. 12 or higher in 2018 MLB Draft projections

• Threw six scoreless in the middle game of the Winthrop series
• Struck out six, allowed only one walk and six hits
• Threw six scoreless innings, striking out six once again against Tulane
• Selected in 35th round of 2017 MLB Draft by L.A. Angels
• Team captain for 2018
• Freshman All-American (Louisville Slugger) in 2016

• Threw 5.1 innings, allowing just one earned run in a Rebel victory over Tulane
• Threw five innings in the Winthrop finale with only one unearned run allowed
• Struck out seven and walked three in that contest
• Returns as the pitcher with the most starts from 2017 (12)
• Ranked ninth in the SEC in opponent average (.209) a year ago
• Freshman All-American (Louisville Slugger) in 2016

Long Beach State is 3-6 on the year, having opened the season with a pair of series' vs. Saint Mary's and at No. 7 TCU. The Dirtbags are led by Head Coach Troy Buckley in his eighth season, and are coming off a memorable 2017 campaign that saw them host both a regional and a super regional as a national seed, having earned the bid behind a 40-20-1 record. The Dirtbags were picked to finish second in the Big West during the preseason, behind the arm of junior reliever Chris Rivera, who was tabbed as a Preseason All-American closer by the NCBWA.

The Dirtbags opened their 2018 season with an impressive slate of opponents, beginning with a series against Saint Mary's at their home stadium. Long Beach State opened with a victory, before losing the back end and dropping the series. The Dirtbags dropped a midweek game vs. in-state foe USC, 5-1, before jetting off to face No. 7 TCU. Long Beach State started on a high note with a 3-2 victory over the Horned Frogs, before again losing two out of the last three to close the series. Before facing the Rebels, the Dirtbags had a two-game midweek stretch vs. Arizona State, losing the first 1-0, but exploding for 16 runs in the second for their third victory of the year.

Ole Miss and Long Beach State have met just twice before, both before the arrival of head coach Mike Bianco. In the most recent meeting, the Dirtbags edged the Rebels 4-3 in 10 innings in Game 1 of the College Station Regional. The first meeting between the teams took place in 1997, when the Rebels topped the Dirtbags 5-4 in Long Beach as part of a 2-1 weekend at the Beach Baseball Classic.

The Rebels are off to its best start (8-0) since 2008 when Ole Miss started the season 9-0. A win on Friday would be Ole Miss' third season to open with nine consecutive wins, the other one coming in 2004 when Bianco's team went 11-0 to open the year. Mike Bianco also got off to a fast start in 2013 and 2017 when the Rebels opened up the season 7-0.

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 will play at least nine games on national television in 2018. The Rebels will play on SEC Network five times, and three times on ESPNU, with one other game featured on SEC Network's Bases Loaded Coverage. Five games away from Swayze Field will be on national TV, and the Rebels' premier facility will be featured a trio of times to a national audience. In addition, all other home games will be available through WatchESPN and the ESPN app as part of the SEC Network + digital steaming platform.

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 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.

Ole Miss was picked to finish third in the SEC Western Division according to the league's head coaches. The Rebels received one first-place vote and totaled a point total of 62 in the poll, checking in behind only Arkansas and Texas A&M.

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.

Name any preseason All-America team or preseason watch list and junior RHP Dallas Woolfolk and sophomore LHP Ryan Rolison were probably on it. The duo combined for eight different preseason All-America selections, and both landed on preseason watch lists for a pair of prestigious awards.

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.

It's no secret that sophomore LHP Ryan Rolison is highly touted in the 2018 MLB Draft conversations, and the publications have proved it, slotting the Freshman All-American very high in draft projections. D1Baseball tabbed Rolison the No. 2 overall draft prospect, while Perfect Game ranked him No. 7.

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.






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