Date: March 7-9, 2014 Location: Oxford, Miss. Venue: Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field Capacity: 10,323 Surface: Grass Series: Ole Miss leads 13-4 Last Meeting: Ole Miss fell 9-6 in 2010 Radio: Ole Miss Baseball Network Television: None Live Stats: OleMissSports.com Live Video: www.WatchRebelVision.com www.ESPN3.com (Friday & Saturday) Announcers: David Dellucci & Eli Savoie (Fri.) David Dellucici & Richard Cross (Sat.) Twitter Updates: @OleMissBSB
QUICK HITS Ole Miss broke into the national rankings of four of five polling services, topping out at No. 15 in the coaches' poll. The Rebels posted four consecutive walk-off wins last week on the way to a 5-0 week at home agianst ULM, UCF. Will Allen posted two of the Rebels' walk-off last week with a bases-loaded single vs. ULM and solo home run vs. UCF. Freshman LHP Wyatt Short went 2-0 in three relief appearances last week, working 3.0 innings with five strikeouts. The Rebels are looking to win a fourth straight weekend series this weekend, hosting the UALR Trojans. Ole Miss is the second-ranked offense in the SEC (.319) and is the sixth-ranked scoring offense (76 runs scored). The Rebel pitching staff is the fifth-ranked staff in the league, holding a 1.99 ERA through the first 13 games. Auston Bousfield enters the weekend second in the SEC in hits (24) and fourth in batting average (.429). Will Allen is second in the SEC in RBI (19) and also in the top 10 in hits (8th) and slugging percentage (8th).
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS FRIDAY, 6:30 PM UALR - Travis McDonald, Sr., LHP OLE MISS - Chris Ellis, Jr., RHP NOTING ELLIS: Ellis has settled in as the anchor for the Rebels' weekend, making his fourth start of the 2014 season. The RHP has three quality starts on the year, including two shutouts and a complete-game vs. GSU. Ellis has not allowed an earned run through three starts and only one run has scored in 22.0 innings. The junior has six walks and 13 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .147 batting average.
SATURDAY 4:00 PM UALR - Ethan Schlecte, Sr., RHP OLE MISS - Christian Trent, So., LHP NOTING TRENT: Trent makes his fourth Saturday start of the season when he takes the mound vs. UALR this weekend. The LHP has not allowed a walk through three starts and 20.1 innings of work in the 2014 season. Trent has allowed only six runs in his first three starts, picking up wins over Stetson and Ga. State. The sophomore holds a .169 batting average against and holds 19 strikeouts in his three starts.
SUNDAY, 1:30 PM UALR - Cameron Allen, Jr., RHP OLE MISS - Sam Smith, Jr., RHP NOTING SMITH: Smith continues to anchor the final spot in the weekend rotation for the Rebels in his junior season. The right-hander has allowed three runs in three starts while working 16.1 innings in those outings. Smith has only taken one loss in his last 19 starts for the Rebels across the last two seasons. The RHP worked 6.0 scoreless innings and picked up the win last week in the finale vs. UCF.
A LOOK AT UALR The Torjans of UALR enter the weekend with an overall record of 8-2 and are coming off a pair of wins at a round-robin weekend hosted by the Trojans that saw UALR down UIC and IPFW. Sunday's finale against SEC foe Missouri did not get played. UALR hits at a .235 clip as a team with six home runs, 51 RBI and 55 runs scored through 10 games. Justin Steelmon leads UALR with a .344 average and is one of four hitting above the .300 mark. Tanner Rockwell is the top run producer with two home runs and holds a team-leading 12 RBI. UALR holds a 2.13 ERA with 36 walks and 80 strikeouts while limiting teams to a .222 average. Travis McDonald is 2-0 on the season with a 1.72 ERA, eight walks and 16 strikeouts in three starts. Brent Mason is the top reliever with a 1.80 ERA and three saves in four appearances this season.
REBELS vs. UALR The Rebels and Trojans have faced off 17 times in the history of the programs with the Rebels holding a 13-4 lead in the all-time series. The two teams last faced each other in the 2010 season with Ole Miss falling 9-6 in Oxford. The squads first faced off in 1978 with the Rebels grabbing a pair of wins in a two-game set. Ole Miss is 2-2 against ULAR in the Bianco era, picking up a 2-1 series win in 2001. In the last meeting, UALR had a five-run seventh inning with a pair of home runs to rally for the win.
MULTIPLE-HIT, MULTIPLE-RBI GAMES Will Allen and Auston Bousfield have paced the Rebel offense through the early part of the season, leading the squad in both multiple-hit games and multiple-RBI games. Bousfield leads with eight, while Allen has seven multiple-hit games on the year. Allen has tallied four multiple-RBI games and Bousfield has added two multiple-RBI games.
HIT STREAKS ON THE LINE The Rebels have several players with active hit streaks of more than two games heading into the weekend with UALR, the longest held by junior Auston Bousfield with a six-game hit streak. Preston Overbey (5), Will Jamison (4) and Austin Knight also have hit safely in two straight games or more heading into the matchup with the Trojans.
FINDING A WAY ON BASE The Rebels also have several players who keep finding a way to get on base, no matter the method. Austin Anderson leads the way with a streak of 12 consecutive games reaching base, while Errol Robinson is behind him with a streak of 11 games. Auston Bousfield (8), Will Jamison (7) and Preston Overbey (5) also have extended streaks of games reaching base.
REBELS BEST WHEN SCORING EARLY Ole Miss has been best when scoring early this season, posting a 8-0 record when scoring first and a 5-1 mark when scoring in the first inning. The Rebels have also been proficient at the plate while starting pitching holds opponents down. Ole Miss is outscoring opponents 24-to-10 through the first three innings.
SECOND TIME THROUGH THE LINEUP EVEN DEADLIER Ole Miss has been even more efficient the second time through the lineup this season. In the middle innings of games, the Rebels have outscored opponents at a rate of 31-to-7 that includes explosions of 15 runs in the fifth inning and 10 runs in the sixth inning through 13 games this season.
UPDATE: Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.Here are more of Coach Freeze's interviews in Bristol. Scroll down to the earlier post to hear him on Ivan Maisel's podcast. Listen: Freeze on the Paul Finebaum Show Listen: Freeze on the Freddie Coleman Show... read more
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