No. 6 Ole Miss Baseball Opens SEC Play at Home vs. Tennessee
FRIDAY - 7 p.m. CT SATURDAY - 1:30 p.m. CT SUNDAY - 1:30 p.m. CT
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: LHP Ryan Rolison 
3-1, 2.28 ERA, 23.2 IP
Tennessee: LHP Garrett Crochet
1-2, 3.57 ERA, 22.2 IP
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: RHP Brady Feigl
4-0, 1.03 ERA, 26.1 IP
Tennessee: RHP Garrett Stallings
3-0, 2.45 ERA, 29.1 IP
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: RHP James McArthur 
2-0, 1.74 ERA, 20.2 IP
Tennessee:RHP Will Neely
2-0, 3.86 ERA, 23.1 IP

Games 19-21
Date: March 16-18, 2018
First Pitch: Fri: 7 p.m. | Sat/Sun: 1:30 p.m.
Location: Oxford, Mississippi
Venue: Swayze Field
Dimensions: LF-330, CF-390, RF-330
TV: SEC Network +
     Richard Cross, Play-by-Play
     Brady Bramlett, Analyst
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
     David Kellum, Play-by-Play
     Keith Kessinger, Analyst
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com
Live Stats: OleMissSports.com
Twitter Updates: @OleMissBSB
Series: 47-37, Ole Miss
Last Meeting: Mar. 18-20, 2016

QUICK HITS
• Ole Miss opens Southeastern Conference play against Tennessee for the second time in the past three seasons.
• The Rebels and Volunteers last met in the 2016 SEC opener in Knoxville, where the Rebels took the series, 2-1.
• The 2018 Rebels are tied for the third-best start in school history at 17-1. Only two teams have ever done better to open the season: 2013 (19-1) and 2004 (18-1).
• No. 6 Ole Miss enters conference play tied for the best record and win percentage (.944) in college baseball. The Rebels are one of four one-loss teams remaining in the country.
• The Ole Miss pitching staff brings the nation's No. 1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.26) into SEC play, having struck out 183 and walked just 43 through 18 games this season.
• Ole Miss is up to as high as No. 6 (Perfect Game) in this week's national rankings, and is top 10 in five of the major rankings, including No. 8 according to D1Baseball.com and USA Today/ESPN, as well as 10th in the RPI.
• The Rebel offense has had a knack for finding the outfield gaps this year, tallying 43 doubles so far, good for No. 10 in the nation.
• Junior Chase Cockrell has had the hottest bat on the team of late. His slash line is a team-best .486/.886/.513, and he's coming off a two-home-run outing in Game 3 against Eastern Illinois last weekend.
• Sophomore Thomas Dillard has become a feared power hitter early this season, taking just 14 games to match his HR total from all of last season thanks to a two-homer game against Austin Peay. He drew five walks, including one intentional, this past weekend against Eastern Illinois.
• Senior captain Will Golsan hasn't had the batting average mark he'd like early in the season, but he's finding ways to contribute. In addition to great defensive play in CF, Golsan is No. 4 in the NCAA, T1st in the SEC with four sacrifice flies on the year.
• Sophomore Will Ethridge has found his stride out of the Ole Miss bullpen. The Rebel reliever has gone 8.2 IP, allowing zero runs on just one hit and two walks, striking out 10 with two saves in his last five appearances.

PROBABLE STARTERS
Friday • 7 p.m. 
LHP Ryan Rolison (Ole Miss) | 3-1, 2.28 ERA, 23.2 IP
LHP Garrett Crochet (Tennessee) | 1-2, 3.57 ERA, 22.2 IP

ROLISON NOTES: 
• Top 50 in NCAA, seventh in SEC with 32 strikeouts on the season
• Tied for 22nd in NCAA, seventh in SEC with three wins
• Went season-high 7.0 IP, allowed 6 H, 2 R, struck out eight in Game 1 win over Eastern Illinois
• 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
• Struck out nine on Friday night against Tulane
• Named Preseason All-American by four different outlets | 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

Saturday • 1:30 p.m. 
RHP Brady Feigl | 4-0, 1.03 ERA, 26.1 IP
RHP Garrett Stallings | 3-0, 2.45 ERA, 29.1 IP

FEIGL NOTES: 
• Tied for 1st in NCAA with four wins | Top 20 in NCAA in K/BB and BB/9 | Top 50 in NCAA in ERA
• Tied for 1st in SEC with four wins|3rd in SEC in K/BB (12.5) and BB/9 (0.68) || 5th in SEC in ERA (1.03)
• Went 7.0 scoreless innings, striking out seven and walking zero to beat Eastern Illinois
• Registered five three-up, three-down innings in Game 2 win at Long Beach State
• Threw six scoreless innings, striking out six once again against Tulane
•  Threw six scoreless in the middle game of the Winthrop series; Struck out six, allowed one walk and six hits
•  Selected in 35th round of 2017 MLB Draft by L.A. Angels
•  Team captain for 2018
•  Freshman All-American (Louisville Slugger) in 2016

Sunday • 1:30 p.m.
RHP James McArthur | 2-0, 1.74 ERA, 20.2 IP
RHP Will Neely | 2-0, 3.86 ERA, 23.1 IP

McARTHUR NOTES: 
• Back-to-back wins after no-decisions in first two starts
• Turned in a brilliant effort on Sunday at Long Beach State: 5.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 5 K
• 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
•  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

SCOUTING TENNESSEE
• Tennessee enters SEC play at 12-6 and at the bottom of the SEC East standings.
• After a rocky start to 2018, the Vols have rattled of four straight wins, including a road sweep at Cincinnati.
• Friday night starter Garrett Crochet is a freshman out of Ocean Springs, Miss.
• Crochet is coming off a strong start of 8.0 IP, allowing 5 H and 1 ER, striking out 8 in a 3-2 UT win.
• Saturday night starter Garrett Stallings has tallied back-to-back starts of 8.0 IP or more.
• Stallings went a full nine, allowing just three hits and one run, striking out five to beat Memphis.
• In his last outing, Stallings threw 8.0 innings, giving up eight hits and 3 ER in a 7-5 win at Cincinnati.
• Stallings is 17th nationally, 2nd in the SEC  in BB/9 at 0.61 (Just ahead of Feigl at 0.68)
• Sunday starter Will Neely is 2-0 on the year and most recently threw a five-hit complete game, allowing 1 ER.
• The Vol offense boasts three players batting over .300--Wyatt Stapp, Andre Lipcius and Benito Santiago.
• Santiago leads the UT offense, hitting .394 with 10 doubles on the season--1st in the SEC, T1st in NCAA.
Lipcius is tied for the team lead with three home runs and boasts a team-best 19 RBI.
• Thanks to 15 walks drawn this season, Stapp leads the UT offense in on-base percentage at .467.
• UT is No. 12 in the nation, second in the SEC in double plays turned with 18 on the year

SERIES HISTORY
• Ole Miss holds the all-time series record over Tennessee at 47-37 in 85 meetings.
• The Rebels and Volunteers last met in the 2016 SEC opener. UT took Game 1 but the Rebels claimed the series 2-1.
• The last time the Vols came to Oxford, in 2015, they left with a 2-1 series win.
• The Rebels swept the Vols in 2012 in Oxford and 2013 in Knoxville.
• Coach Bianco is 26-16 all-time against the Volunteers.

BEST RECORD IN COLLEGE BASEBALL
Through 18 games, Ole Miss is 17-1, tied for the best record in college baseball. Ranking No. 1 in the NCAA in win percentage at .944, the Rebels are one of four one-loss teams remaining in NCAA Division I alongside Auburn (17-1), Clemson (16-1) and Oregon State (15-1).

REBS ARE RUNNIN'
The 2018 Rebels are off to one of the best starts in school history at 17-1, tying the third-best start in school history, a 17-1 mark put down by the 2016 squad. Only two teams have ever done better to open the season: 2013 (19-1) and 2004 (18-1).

STELLAR STAFF
Without a doubt, Ole Miss has established itself as one of the very best pitching staffs in college baseball. Pitching coach Carl Lafferty's staff stands at No. 1 in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 4.26. The Rebel pitching staff is the only one in NCAA Division I with a ratio greater than 4.0. 

Collectively, Ole Miss has struck out 183 batters while walking just 43. The Rebs come in at 5th in the country and 1st in the SEC in walks per nine innings at 2.40. The Ole Miss hurlers are 10th in the nation in team ERA at 2.29. That mark is good for 3rd in the conference.

The Rebels are No. 10 in the NCAA and No. 4 in the SEC in WHIP at just 1.06. Ole Miss ranks 22nd in strikeouts per nine innings at 10.2--good for No. 3 in the conference.

DOUBLING UP
Ole Miss is No. 10 in the nation and No. 4 in the SEC in doubles with 43 on the year. The Rebels are 23rd in doubles per game with 2.39 per contest.

Ryan Olenek, Grae Kessinger and Thomas Dillard each have six doubles to their name this season, putting them each just outside the Top 100 nationally and at No. 10 in the SEC.

DILLY, DILLY!
Thomas Dillard is hitting the cover off the baseball of late. During last week's doubleheader against Eastern Illinois, the sophomore out of Oxford High went 2-for-3, drew five walks--one intentional--scored four runs and hit the hardest ball at Swayze Field this season: a blast that exited his bat at 111.7 mph and easily cleared the fence in the deepest part of the ballpark just to the right of the batter's eye in dead center at an estimated 435 feet, per @OMBSBAnalytics. 

It took Dillard, who was a regular starter in 2017 as well, just 14 games to match his home run total from last season at four. Dillard is among the top 50 players in the nation in runs scored and is seventh in the SEC in that category, leading Ole Miss with 19. That comes much thanks to his team-high eight stolen bases, good for second in the conference and 41st in the nation entering the weekend.

After a tremendous week, Dillard is looking every bit like the elite bat the Rebels need in the clean-up slot. His slash line is impressive: .350/.650/.487, and he boasts four homers, six doubles, 15 RBI and 14 BB through 18 games.

COCKRELLED AND LOADED
Chase Cockrell's mammoth blast that cleared the entire facility at Long Beach State was just the beginning. The junior out of Bastrop, Louisiana, is coming off an outstanding week--four games, 8-for-11 (.727 AVG), four runs, two home runs, two doubles, 16 total bases (1.454 SLG) , 4 RBI, one walk, one hit-by-pitch and one sacrifice fly (.714 OBP)--including two 3-for-3 games and a multi-homer performance in Game 3 Sunday against Eastern Illinois.

Cockrell is staking his claim to the Rebels' DH slot. He's played in 12 of the Rebels' 16 games, starting 10. He leads Ole Miss in batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage with a ludicrous slash line of .486/.886/.513. Cockrell cleared the bases with a double in the first inning of Game 2 at Georgia State to spark a 16-run explosion by the Rebels.

FEIGL FOR THE WIN
Four starts, four wins for Brady Feigl. The redshirt junior out of Chesterfield, Missouri, has been as successful as any pitcher in the country, winning each of his first four starts. He's one of six players to do so in the SEC and one of 21 in NCAA Division I with four wins so far this season.

Feigl is looking every bit like the workhorse the Rebels need him to be through four starts. He put together the two longest starts of his Rebel career back-to-back, beginning with a gutsy 7.1-inning performance featuring five 3-up, 3-down innings on the road in Game 2 at Long Beach State.

The goggle-wearing Rebel hurler turned around and mowed down Eastern Illinois in Game 2 of a Friday doubleheader, going seven innings, allowing no runs on eight hits while striking out seven and walking zero before giving way to Will Ethridge, who carried on the shutout in a 4-0 win. 

Feigl is one of the top players in the nation at hitting the strike zone. He's 18th nationally and third in the SEC in K-to-BB ratio at 12.5. He's also 20th in the country and third in the league in walks-per-nine at just 0.68. Feigl's 1.03 ERA is good for No. 42 in the NCAA and No. 5 in the SEC.

WOOLFOLK LEADING THE PACK
Junior closer Dallas Woolfolk earned his sixth save of the season on Tuesday against Georgia State. The Southaven native entered in the 9th with a two-run lead, one man on and the tying run at the plate. After a walk and a bunt single, Woolfolk found himself with the bases loaded and no outs, but he navigated the jam, pitching into a fielder's choice out at the plate for the first out, and a double-play ball (3-2-3) to end the game.

Woolfolk still hasn't allowed a run this season, going 7.2 innings, giving up six hits and walking four. He has struck out seven batters along the way to posting an SEC-leading six saves--good for sixth in the NCAA.

GO GO GODZILLA
When Blue Oyster Cult's Gozilla comes on the loud speakers at Swayze Field, it's on. Will Ethridge has been been dominant out of the bullpen of late. In his last five appearances, the 6-foot-5 sophomore out of Lilburn, Georgia, has gone 8.2 IP, allowing zero runs on just one hit and two walks, striking out 10. 

Ethridge went two perfect innings, striking out a season-high four to preserve a narrow 5-3 win in Game 1 against Georgia State. He has filled up the strike zone as well as any Rebel this season, leading the team with a strike percentage of 71.4.

Along the way, he has earned a pair of two-out saves--and he's the only player on the Rebel roster not named Dallas Woolfolk with a save this season. 

MAN OF THE PEOPLE
Senior Will Golsan was elected captain by his teammates, and how he's paying it forward.

The Rebel center fielder is No. 4 in the nation and is tied for first in the SEC with four sacrifice flies on the season. As a result, he boasts 15 RBI, second on the team. Golsan tallied three sacrifice flies this week. Against Little Rock, he drove home Kessinger. He then scored Olenek on a fly ball in Game 1 against Eastern Illinois before knocking home Dillard in Game 3. As a result, Ole Miss is No. 6 in the NCAA in sacrifice flies with 12. The Rebels trail only LSU (13) among SEC teams.

BOMBS AWAY
After tallying three home runs in two midweek meetings with Georgia State, Ole Miss vaulted to 16th nationally with 21 homers on the year. That mark is good for 5th in the SEC. The Rebels average 1.17 home runs per game, good for No. 20 in the nationa and No. 5 in the conference.

Three Rebels--Nick Fortes (Memphis), Thomas Dillard (Austin Peay) and Chase Cockrell (Eastern Illinois) boast multi-home-run games this season. Ten different Rebels have hit a home run this season, five of which have hit two or more. Thomas Dillard and Nick Fortes are tied for the team lead with four apiece, while Chase Cockrell and Cole Zabowski have each hit three.

ROAD REBS TAKE TWO IN ATLANTA
Ole Miss passed its final road test of the 2018 non-conference slate and clinched an NCAA-best 17-1 record going into the Southeastern Conference schedule.

The Rebels were tested vehemently in Game 1 by Georgia State, leaning on a nerve-wracking bases-loaded, no-out save by Dallas Woolfolk to escape with a 5-3 win. The Panthers jumped on the board early with two runs in the second. Ole Miss used a Nick Fortes home run, as well as a combined four hits and three RBI by Thomas Dillard and Grae Kessinger to gain the edge. In addition to Woolfolk's save, the Rebels got a great start out of Houston Roth (5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) and a perfect two innings of relief from Will Ethridge

In contrast, Game 2 was never close. The Rebels tacked on four runs in the first inning, never looked back and never stopped scoring. Cole Zabowski smashed his third home run of the year, and Tim Elko hit the first of his career. Zabowski and Ryan Olenek each tallied three-hit days, while Zabowski, Elko, Cockrell, Fortes and Dillard each had multiple RBI. Not to be lost in the blowout, Jordan Fowler turned in a five-inning gem in his second career start, allowing zero runs on just one hit and one walk.

REBELS SWEEP EASTERN ILLINOIS
The Legion of Broom rides again. Ole Miss picked up its third sweep of the season, outscoring Eastern Illinois 18-5 in the process. 

The Rebels and Panthers played a doubleheader Friday, and the Rebels opened things up with a 7-2 win behind  a great outing from Ryan Rolison and home runs off the bats of Jacob Adams and Thomas Dillard. Ole Miss then leaned on a scoreless seven innings by Brady Feigl in the nightcap. Finally, the Rebel bats awoke once more in Game 3 as a two-home-run game by Chase Cockrell, and more outstanding pitching by the Rebel bullpen, sealed a 7-3 win. 

REBELS RUN AWAY LATE VS. LITTLE ROCK
The Little Rock Trojans were giving the Rebels all they could handle Wednesday night at Swayze Field, but right when the visitors made their first critical mistake, home team made them pay. Little Rock had a tailor-made double-play ball that would've sent the game to the eighth at a 2-2 tie, but an errant throw kept the inning alive. Ole Miss responded with a four-run seventh and a four-run eighth to bury the Trojans in a 10-2 blowout.

Freshman pitcher Jordan Fowler made a brilliant debut, allowing zero runs and just four hits, striking out seven in 5.0 innings of work. Redshirt-sophomore Parker Caracci recorded his second career win as he kept his perfect 0.00 ERA intact. 

REBEL BATS BURY GOVS
Ole Miss entered the eighth inning in a tight battle with Austin Peay on Tuesday night, but by the end of that inning, the Rebels had the game. Ole Miss exploded for six runs in the eighth inning, including the first career home run for freshman Tyler Keenan. It was one of three home runs hit by the No. 8 Rebels on the day, including two off the bat of sophomore Thomas Dillard, one of which cleared the entire student section in right field. That blast was so well-hit, that the Austin Peay right fielder didn't even turn around to watch it soar over the fence.

Rebel starter Houston Roth turned in a strong performance through 4.2 innings, until the offensive-minded Governors found their timing with five consecutive base hits. Will Stokes came on in relief, allowing just one hit in 2.1 innings, as well as zero runs. Will Ethridge came on to preserve a 5-4 lead in the eighth inning and ended up with a perfect two-inning save, retiring six straight batters to become the first Rebel not named Dallas Woolfolk to earn a save this season.

OLE MISS GRABS 3RD SERIES WIN IN LONG BEACH
The Rebels flew all the way across the country for their toughest test yet at 2017 NCAA Regional host and defending Big West Champion Long Beach State, and they came out with their third series win of the year.

It was hard enough even getting out to Long Beach. After bussing to Memphis and flying to Atlanta, Ole Miss was delayed sitting on the tarmac for more than two hours at the ATL airport. A four-and-a-half-hour flight followed making for a day of travel approaching 16 hours.

Then Game 1 was rained out on Friday as part of an uncharacteristically cold and rainy weekend in Southern California. When Ole Miss final got going, it was out of sorts, falling victim to the Dirtbags' aggressive baserunning and scrappy small-ball style of play, falling 4-3. The Rebels were challenged vehementley yet again in Game 2, but behind outstanding pitching performances from Brady Feigl and Dallas Woolfolk, they flipped the script in a 4-3 victory.

In Game 3, the Rebel bats finally came alive, exploding for 12 runs on 14 hits in an overwhelming 12-1 victory to improve to 10-1 on the year and secure a third consecutive series victory to start the 2018 campaign.

WALK IT OFF: REBS TOP RACERS IN 9TH
Murray State stunned Ole Miss early, but the Rebels spoke the final word on Tuesday night.

The Racers jumped out to a four-run lead thanks to a first-inning home run at Swayze Field. From there, starter Houston Roth settled in and kept the Racers off the board for the next four innings. 

Ole Miss plated one run in the fourth before exploding for four runs in the fifth to take the lead. Sophomore Thomas Dillard ripped one down the right field line to clear the loaded bases and tie the game at four. Chase Cockrell then sent Dillard home on a single to right to give the Rebels the lead.

Murray State tied it up in the seventh and reclaimed the lead in the eighth. A Ryan Olenek single scored Grae Kessinger in the bottom half of the eighth, setting up for a thrilling finale. Dillard singled to start the inning before the Racers loaded the bases on a pair of walks. Coach Mike Bianco sent Anthony Servideo on to pinch hit, but the freshman didn't have to swing the bat, as a wild pitch allowed Dillard to score the game-winning run, 7-6, and push Ole Miss to 8-0 for the fifth time in school history.

Diamond Rebs Sweep Tulane, Remain Perfect
The Rebels kept their perfect season alive with a 3-0, weather-affected weekend against Tulane. The two sides got to the fifth in Friday's opener before rain set in and pushed the resumption of that game to Saturday, forcing a doubleheader. The Rebels outscored the Green Wave 20-8, and used a bevy of strong performances to do so. 

Starter Ryan Rolison picked up where he left off from a week ago with a nine-strikeout performance as the bullpen held off a late 3-run rally in the eighth to seal a 5-4 victory. In game two, Brady Feigl was solid with six Ks in six innings, as Grae Kessinger and Ryan Olenek led the way from the top of the order with a combined four RBI. In Sunday's finale that was also played under overcast skies and chilly temperatures, James McArthur was once again efficient with just one earned run allowed off 5.1 IP, but freshman Jordan Fowler was again the beneficiary earning his second victory in relief. At the plate Thomas Dillard and Cooper Johnson both went yard, while Will Golsan drove in a pair in a big at-bat to start a rally in the sixth.

Ole Miss Outlasts Memphis in First Midweek
Behind big outings from Nick Fortes and Grae Kessinger, the Rebels survived a ninth-inning scare to take down Memphis, 8-6, in their first midweek of the season. The duo combined for seven of the team's 13 hits, highlighted by Fortes' two home runs and six RBI. Kessinger had a career-high four-hit performance. Houston Roth garnered his first career start on the mound and earned the victory, while Austin Miller, Greer Holston, Will Stokes and Dallas Woolfolk finished it out to hold of the Tigers' three runs over the last two frames.

Rolison Named SEC Pitcher of the Week
Following his dominating performance on opening night, Rebel Baseball LHP Ryan Rolison was named SEC Pitcher of the Week. The southpaw threw 5.0 scoreless innings with a career-high 12 strikeouts in a 7-3 season-opening win. He led all SEC pitchers on the weekend with his 12 strikeouts, which were the most for any Ole Miss pitcher in the past two years, and the most in a season-opener since 2008 (Lance Lynn). The conference honor marks the second of Rolison's young career, after he picked up SEC Freshman of the Week honors on April 24 last season. He's the third pitcher in the last two seasons to earn pitcher of the week, after David Parkinson (March 13) and James McArthur (May 1) did it in 2017.

Rebels Sweep Winthrop To Open 2018
The Rebels were as advertised in opening weekend, sweeping Winthrop behind the arms of a strong pitching staff, and scattered production at the plate from old and new faces alike. At the plate, Ole Miss tallied 17 runs on 30 hits as nine different Rebels had multiple hits on the weekend. Eight of the 30 were extra-base knocks, all of which came from eight different players.

On the mound, the Rebels were charged with only one earned run allowing only 16 hits and five total runs. Starters Ryan Rolison, Brady Feigl and James McArthur combined for no earned runs allowed and 25 strikeouts, allowing only 11 hits in the three combined starts. The bullpen was effective as well, combining for 14 Ks in 11 innings with only five hits surrendered.


For all Ole Miss Baseball news and information, visit the official athletics site OleMissSports.com. For more social media updates, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissBSB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Baseball and on Instagram at olemissbsb.


 

 

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