Five-Game Road Trip Begins for Ole Miss Baseball
March 14, 2016

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The Last Meeting
Ole Miss1(7)
March 24, 2015
Oxford, Miss.
Rebels Drop Doubleheader to UAB
Ole Miss Baseball hosted School Day at Swayze, but the Rebels fell in both contests, 6-1 and 3-1

No. 8 Ole Miss (15-1) at UAB (6-9)
Date: March 15-16, 2016
Location: Birmingham, Ala.
Venue: Regions Field
Capacity: 8,500
Television: None
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
    David Kellum, play-by-play
    Keith Kessinger, analyst
Live Audio:
Series: Series tied 11-11

Last Series: March 24, 2015
    Oxford, Miss.
    UAB won 2-of-2
    Game 1: 1-6 (7)
    Game 2: 1-3 (7)

- Ole Miss plays five road games in six days this week, its longest road trip of the season.
- Ole Miss is 15-1 for the third time in school history and the second under Mike Bianco.
- Head coach Mike Bianco earned his 700th career victory and 600th at Ole Miss Friday night versus Grambling; Bianco is now one of nine coaches in history to win 600 games at an SEC school.
- The Rebels are riding a 10-game winning streak, its longest since the 2013 season (12 games).
- During the winning streak, Ole Miss is hitting .310 and holding a 1.99 ERA.
- The Ole Miss bullpen holds a combined ERA of 1.40 with an SEC-leading seven saves this season.
- Ole Miss is 9-0 when scoring in the first inning, outscoring the opposition 26-6.
- The Rebels are hitting .349 with runners in scoring position, including .370 with the bases loaded.
- Ole Miss ace Brady Bramlett leads the SEC with 17 strikeouts looking.
- The Rebels are ranked in the top 10 for the first time since making the 2014 College World Series.
- The series with UAB will be played at Regions Field, home of the Birmingham Barons, Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.

TUESDAY, 6:30 P.M.
UAB - Adam Lamar, R-Jr., LHP, 2-0, 0.96 ERA, 18.2 IP
Ole Miss - Andy Pagnozzi, Fr., RHP, 2-0, 1.38 ERA, 13.0 IP
- Made his first career start Wednesday versus Southeast Missouri, pitching four innings without allowing an earned run
- Both of his victories have been out of the bullpen (vs. FIU, 2/20; vs. Memphis (3/2)
- Struck out five in 3.0 innings of relief against Arkansas State
- Drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 2015 MLB Draft
- 2015 Louisville Slugger High School First Team All-America
- Son of Tom Pagnozzi, who played 12 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals

UAB - Stephen Baggett, Sr., LHP, 2-0, 12.27 ERA, 7.1 IP
Ole Miss - James McArthur, Fr., RHP, 1-0, 7.94 ERA, 11.1 IP
- Has started three midweek games for Ole Miss
- Earned his first career win, allowing two runs over five innings against Southeast Missouri (3/8)
- Struck out a career-high six hitters in his victory over the Redhawks
- Made his Rebel debut vs. FIU, tossing 1.0 inning of relief
- Is one of the tallest Rebels on the team, standing 6’7” alongside Sean Johnson
- Joins Cameron Dishon as the only two Rebels from the state of Texas

UAB begins a six-game homestand with a 6-9 record on the season. The Blazers are coming off a weekend in which they were swept Creighton at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, site of the College World Series. Redshirt-senior Griffin Gum leads UAB with a .286 average at the plate, and Brewton Hicklen holds team highs in runs (13) and steals (8). As a team, the Blazers are hitting at a .223 clip. UAB will go with southpaw Adam Lamar in game one, who is the team’s best pitcher statistically. Lamar is 2-0 on the season in six appearances, including three starts. He boasts a 0.96 ERA over 18.2 innings and is holding opposing hitters to just a .136 average at the plate. The Blazers are coached by Brian Shoop, who enters his 10th season at the helm of the program.

When the Rebels head to Birmingham, they’ll look to avenge last season’s series against the Blazers. After Ole Miss took two-of-three from then-No. 1 Florida, UAB held the Rebels to two runs in a pair of seven-inning games, sweeping the midweek doubleheader at Swayze Field. The all-time series between Ole Miss and UAB is tied 11-11.

Heading into the season, Ole Miss was only ranked in one top-25 poll. However, starting the season 15-1 and going 3-1 against ranked teams thus far, the Rebels have risen up the rankings. This week, Ole Miss cracked the top 10 in several polls, including its highest ranking of eighth by Collegiate Baseball. D1Baseball moved the Rebels up four spots to No. 9, while the ESPN/USA TODAY coaches poll tabbed them at 10th in the nation. Perfect Game agreed with the coaches, sliding the Rebels up to the No. 10 spot. Baseball America, the only publication listing Ole Miss in its top 25 all season long, ranks the Rebels at No. 12.

Ole Miss has put together big innings throughout the first quarter of the 2016 campaign. Five time this season, the Rebels have scored at least five runs in an inning. Ole Miss scored a season-high nine runs in the first inning versus FIU. Against Memphis, the Rebs used a seven-run third inning to rally from an early 6-0 deficit. At the Chanticleer Classic, six runs in the second helped Ole Miss roll to a 7-1 win over Cincinnati. This past weekend, the Rebels had a pair of five-run innings to cruise past Grambling in a weekend sweep.

Head coach Mike Bianco, the winningest coach in Ole Miss Baseball history, collected his 700th career victory Friday night as Ole Miss cruised to a 15-2 win over Grambling. The win was also Bianco’s 600th as head coach of the Rebels. With the milestone victory, Bianco became just the ninth coach in NCAA Baseball history to earn at least 600 wins at an SEC school. Ole Miss has reached the 30-win plateau in each of Bianco’s previous 15 seasons, proving that the Rebels reload their roster, not rebuild. With 13 postseason appearances in 15 years, five Super Regional appearances over the last 11 years and a College World Series appearance in 2014, Ole Miss has continued to rank among the nation’s elite each season under Bianco. This season, the Rebels are off to a fast start, winning 15 of their first 16 games for the third time in school history and second under Bianco.

The Rebels have broken out the brooms this season, earning three-game sweeps in three of the first four weekends of the season. Ole Miss swept 2015 NCAA Tournament team FIU to start the 2016 season. Two weeks later, the Rebels won all three games at the Chanticleer Classic in Conway, South Carolina. Over the weekend, Ole Miss swept Grambling by outscoring the Tigers a combined 28-6 during the series. In their only midweek series of the season, the Rebels took down Southeast Missouri in a pair of games at Swayze Field.

The tradition of great catchers at Ole Miss is well known, especially over recent history. Stuart Turner was a Johnny Bench Award winner and Will Allen was an All-American. Last year, Austin Knight threw out 17 baserunners. This season, a pair of Rebel catchers have combined in the effort to keep up the reputation. Opposing baserunners are just 5-for-12 in stealing bases against Ole Miss catchers in 2016. Junior Henri Lartigue has thrown out four runners on six attempts, while freshman Nick Fortes has caught three stealing.  

Junior Colby Bortles had a monster week at the plate for Ole Miss. In five games, the Rebels’ third baseman hit .529 (9-for-17) with four doubles and one home run. In Sunday’s doubleheader versus Grambling, Bortles recorded five hits, including his second homer of the season. He also showed some speed by beating out a bunt base hit. This season, Bortles is batting at a .346 clip with a team-high seven doubles as the team’s clean-up hitter.

Ole Miss has won its past 10 games, reaching double digits in a win streak for the first time since 2013. The Rebel bats are averaging nearly seven runs and 10 hits per game. Hitting .310 as a team during the streak, Ole Miss has increased its season batting average a whopping 57 points. On the mound, the pitching staff holds a 1.99 ERA with 81 strikeouts during the 10-game stretch. The combination of hot bats and solid pitching has kept the Rebels on the victorious side of the scoreboard.

The Ole Miss bullpen has been a reliable force throughout the start of the 2016 campaign. As a group, the staff boasts a 5-0 record to go along with an SEC-best seven saves and a combined 1.40 ERA in relief appearances. Four Rebel relievers have a 0.00 ERA, including closer Wyatt Short, who ranks second in the SEC with four saves on the season. Freshman Andy Pagnozzi is 2-0 out of the bullpen with a 1.38 ERA, the only Ole Miss reliever earning more than one victory at this point. Brady Feigl and David Parkinson have made seven appearances apiece out of the ‘pen, and both Rebels post an impressive 0.96 ERA.  The excellent relief pitching has helped the Rebels get off to a 15-1 start and ride a 10-game winning streak.

Ole Miss wastes no time striking first, outscoring the opposition 26-6 in the first inning. The Rebels have scored in the opening frame nine times this season, winning each one of those ballgames. The Rebels tallied 13 runs in the first inning on opening weekend, including nine in the series finale. The fast start gave the Rebels momentum in each game, helping lead to the series sweep of FIU. In the series opener versus No. 2 Louisville, junior J.B. Woodman belted a two-run homer to right field in the first, giving Ole Miss the early lead that it kept throughout the contest to hand the top-ranked Cardinals their first loss of the season. Facing another ranked team in No. 18 Coastal Carolina, the Rebels tallied three runs in the first inning to cruise to an 8-2 win on the road. In three of its five games last week, Ole Miss recorded runs in the first inning to grab control right from the start.

A major factor to the Rebels’ 15-1 start can be credited to clutch hitting. With a runner on third and less than two outs, Ole Miss has knocked the runner in 42 out of 61 chances (.689). The Rebels are hitting at a .349 clip with runners in scoring position and .370 (10-for-27) with the bases loaded. Tate Blackman and J.B. Woodman lead the Ole Miss bats in clutch situations with nine hits apiece. Woodman is hitting .600 with runners in scoring position, while seniors Connor Cloyd (4-for-7) and Holt Perdzock (6-of-12) deliver as well.

After the two midweek games, the Rebels will open up Southeastern Conference play with a three-game tilt against Tennessee, March 18-20. The conference opener is set for Friday night at 6 p.m. CT. Ole Miss will battle the Volunteers in game two of the series Saturday at 3 p.m. CT before wrapping things up on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. All three games will be broadcast on SECN+ and can also be heard on the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.  






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