Baseball Takes on No. 11 Texas A&M in First SEC Road Series
THURSDAY - 6 p.m. CT FRIDAY - 6 p.m. CT SATURDAY - 2 p.m. CT
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: LHP Ryan Rolison 
3-2, 2.37 ERA, 30.1 IP
Texas A&M: RHP Stephen Kolek
3-2, 1.50 ERA, 30.0 IP
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: RHP Brady Feigl
5-0, 1.10 ERA, 32.2 IP
Texas A&M: LHP John Doxakis
3-0, 1.65 ERA, 27.1 IP
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: RHP James McArthur 
3-0, 1.35 ERA, 26.2 IP
Texas A&M: RHP Mitchell Kilkenny
5-0, 1.32 ERA, 34.0 IP

Games 23-25
Date: March 22-24, 2018
First Pitch: Thurs./Fri: 6 p.m. CT | Sat: 2 p.m. CT
Location: College Station, Texas
Venue: Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park (6,100)
Dimensions: 330-375-400-375-330
TV: Thurs./Fri: SEC Network
     Saturday: SEC Network +
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: 12-9, Texas A&M
Last Meeting: May 12-14, 2017

QUICK HITS
• No. 5 Ole Miss defeated New Orleans 9-4 on Tuesday to become the first team in college baseball to 20 wins this season.
• The Rebels will do battle with Texas A&M for the 22nd, 23rd and 24th times in the programs' histories.
• The Aggies lead the all-time series 12-9. Head coach Mike Bianco is 8-8 all-time against the Aggies. 
• Ole Miss took two of three from Texas A&M last year in Oxford, winning the second and third games of the series.
• The Rebels last won a series in College Station in 2014, taking two of three in their final regular-season stop before making a run to the College World Series.
• Ole Miss and Texas A&M are very similar squads on paper--both squads are hitting exactly .300, each with 159 runs scored and team ERAs among the best in the nation at 2.19 (Ole Miss) and 2.32 (Texas A&M).
• The Ole Miss pitching staff remains No. 1 in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.22). The Rebels are also first in the SEC in ERA (2.19) and walks per nine innings (2.47). Ole Miss is 2nd in the SEC in WHIP (1.07) and K/9 (10.4).
• Ole Miss is up to as high as No. 5 (Perfect Game, D1 Baseball, NCBWA and ESPN/USA Today) in this week's national rankings. The Rebels are now ranked in the Top 10 of every major poll.
• Ole Miss is one of just two teams (Vanderbilt) in the nation to rank in the Top 30 nationally in team ERA (3rd), batting average (27th) and fielding percentage (12th).
• Junior 2B Jacob Adams is coming off a breakthrough week for the Rebels. The junior college transfer hit .636/1.182/.733 last week with two doubles and his second career HR. He posted a 6-for-10 mark in his first SEC series.
• Sophomore OF Thomas Dillard has become a feared power hitter early this season, taking just 21 games to eclipse his HR total from all of last season, now with six on the 2018 campaign. He hit his sixth on Tuesday against New Orleans.
• Sophomore RHP Parker Caracci has emerged as yet another dominant arm out of the Rebel bullpen. He boasts an astronomical strikeout-to-walk ratio of 26-to-1.

PROBABLE STARTERS
Thursday • 6 p.m.

LHP Ryan Rolison (Ole Miss) | 3-2, 2.37
ERA, 30.1 IP
RHP Stephen Kolek (Texas A&M) | 3-2, 1.50
ERA, 30.0 IP

ROLISON NOTES
• Ranks 18th in NCAA, third in SEC with 43 strikeouts on the season
• 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

Friday • 6 p.m.
RHP Brady Feigl (Ole Miss) | 5-0, 1.10
ERA, 32.2 IP
LHP John Doxakis (Texas A&M) | 3-0, 1.65
ERA, 27.1 IP

FEIGL NOTES
• Tied for 1st in NCAA with five wins | Top 25 in NCAA in K/BB and BB/9 | 27th in NCAA in ERA
• Tied for 1st in SEC with five wins|3rd in SEC in K/BB (11.3) and BB/9 (0.83) | 2nd in SEC in ERA (1.10)
• Threw 6.1 innings, allowing just one run on four hits with nine strikeouts and one walk to beat Tennessee
• 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
• Selected in 35th round of 2017 MLB Draft by L.A. Angels
• Team captain for 2018
• Freshman All-American (Louisville Slugger) in 2016

Saturday • 2 p.m.
RHP James McArthur (Ole Miss) | 3-0, 1.35
ERA, 26.2 IP
RHP Mitchell Kilkenny (Texas A&M) | 5-0, 1.32
ERA, 34.0 IP

McARTHUR NOTES
• Three straight wins after no-decisions in first two starts
• Combined with reliever Parker Caracci to 
throw four-hit shutout in Sunday win over Tennessee
• Went 6.0 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, striking out four to beat Volunteers
• 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 TEXAS A&M
• Ole Miss and Texas A&M are very similar squads on paper--both squads are hitting exactly .300, each with 159 runs scored and team ERAs among the best in the nation at 2.19 (Ole Miss) and 2.32 (Texas A&M).
• The Aggies boast a strong three-man rotation, each with ERAs below 2.00 and a combined record of 11-2
• Texas A&M ranks second in the SEC behind Ole Miss in team ERA. 
• Texas A&M has seen impressive offensive outputs from several players, led by Michael Helman, hitting .394 in 22 starts with a team-high 37 hits and six doubles. Helman is fifth in the nation and first in the SEC in hits.
• The top power-hitting Aggie this season has been Logan Foster, slugging at a .658 clip with six home runs and 27 RBI in 22 starts.
• Two-time SEC Freshman of the Week Zach DeLoach has been effective for A&M as well. DeLoach leads the SEC and is second in the nation with five triples on the year.
• Texas A&M ranks first in the SEC and seventh in the country with 23 double plays turned on the year.

SERIES HISTORY
• Texas A&M leads the all-time series at 12-9.
• Coach Mike Bianco is 8-8 all-time against the Aggies.
• The Rebels and Aggies met last season in Oxford, where Ole Miss took two of three from No. 19 Texas A&M.
• Ole Miss last won a series in College Station in 2014, the Rebels' last regular-season stop before they played their way to the College World Series.
• Ole Miss and Texas A&M have 
postseason history as well, highlighted by the Rebels' 6-3 win over the Aggies in the 2012 College Station Regional, the year before Texas A&M joined the SEC.

ON THE RECORD
• Tuesday's win over New Orleans made Ole Miss the first team college baseball to reach 20 wins this season. 
• Ole Miss enters the weekend with the best win percentage in the SEC (.908), second-best in the NCAA.
• There are two 19-win teams as of March 21: Auburn and UNLV, each at 19-3.
• Ole Miss and Oregon State (18-1) are the only two teams in the country with a win percentage above .900.
• The Rebels, Beavers
 Stanford (14-2) are the only teams with two losses or fewer.

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 4.22. 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 228 batters while walking just 54. 

The Ole Miss staff is 5th in the nation in team ERA at 2.19. That mark is good for 1st in the conference, and it's the nation's best among Power 5 conferences. The Rebs also enter the weekend at 2nd in the country and 1st in the SEC in walks per nine innings at 2.47. 

The Rebels are No. 7 in the NCAA and No. 2 in the SEC in WHIP at just 1.07. Ole Miss ranks 12th nationally in strikeouts per nine innings at 10.4--good for No. 2 in the conference. Additionally, the Rebels are allowing just 7.13 hits per nine innings, good for 18th in the country and 5th in the SEC.

TRIPLE THREAT
Ole Miss and Vanderbilt are the only two teams in college baseball to rank in the Top 30 nationally in team ERA, batting average
and fielding percentage. The Rebels are fifth in ERA, 27th in batting average and 12th in fielding percentage. The Commodores are 18th in ERA, 23rd in batting average and third in fielding percentage.

DOUBLING UP
Ole Miss is No. 7 in the nation and No. 2 in the SEC in doubles with 52 on the year. The Rebels are also second in the conference and 20th nationally in doubles per game with 2.43 per contest. Among Power 5 programs, only Kentucky (55) boasts more doubles than Ole Miss.

Grae Kessinger leads the Rebels with eight doubles on the year, slotting him 48th in the nation and 4th in the SEC. Ryan Olenek also holds real estate in the Top 100 with seven doubles on the season.

CRANKING OUT THE HITS
The Ole Miss offense is hitting .300 as a group this season, now up to No. 27 in the NCAA and No. 5 in the SEC. 

In addition to ranking in the Top 10 in doubles, the Rebels are 14th with 26 home runs. They're also 20th in runs scored (159) and are 14th in slugging percentage at .488.

EARNING THE GREEN SHIRT
Ole Miss doles out its green "game changer" shirt to players who make things happen on the basepaths. The Rebels are 30th in the country and second in the SEC with 31 stolen bases on the season.

FEIGL FOR THE WIN
starts, five 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 five starts. He's one of just eight players in college baseball with a 5-0 record, five of which call the SEC home.
Five

Feigl stifled Tennessee in his first SEC start of the season last week, going 6.1 innings and truly making just one mistake all day, a solo home run that represented the Vols' only run of the game. Feigl allowed just four hits and struck out nine while walking only one. He's gone at least 6.0 innings in each of his five starts in 2018.

Feigl is one of the top players in the nation at hitting the strike zone. He's 17th nationally and third in the SEC in K-to-BB ratio at 11.3. He's also 24th in the country and third in the league in walks-per-nine at just 0.83. Feigl's 1.10 ERA is 27th in the NCAA, and it's the second-best in the SEC behind LSU's Ma'Khail Hilliard (0.77).

CARACCI WITH THE Ks
Redshirt sophomore Parker Caracci has been outstanding out of the bullpen lately, asserting himself as one of several key pieces to the Rebel relief crew. Caracci boasts 26 strikeouts and just one walk in eight appearances this season. The Jackson, MS, native is averaging 2.13 strikeouts per inning or 19.2 per nine innings.

Caracci combined with starter James McArthur for a four-hit shutout on Sunday against Tennessee. Caracci went a full three innings, allowing just 2 H, 0 BB while striking out seven to earn his first career save.

ADAMS' EMERGENCE
A junior college transfer for 2018, second baseman Jacob Adams has been a difference maker for the Rebels this season. Adams has shined in the field since joining the SEC ranks, but only recently has he settled in at the plate.

Adams was 7-for-11 at the dish last week with an incredible line: .636/1.182/.733. He belted his second-career home run, a leadoff blast to open Game 3 against Tennessee. Adams also ripped two doubles down the right field line in Game 2 against the Volunteers and doubled his RBI total, knocking in three runs. 

The junior out of Conway, Arkansas, led Ole Miss in nearly every offensive category last week. He's now hitting .359 on the year and slugging .590 with a team-best on-base percentage of .490. Adams has struck out just five times, the lowest total among Rebels with at least 15 games played on the season.

DILLY, DILLY!
Thomas Dillard is hitting the cover off the baseball this season. It took Dillard, who was a regular starter in 2017 as well, just 21 games to eclipse his home run total from all of last season, now with six on the year.

Dillard cranked his sixth homer Tuesday against New Orleans. His biggest blast of the year came against Eastern Illinois. It traveled an estimated 435 feet with an astounding exit velocity of 111.7 mph--the hardest-hit ball at Swayze Field this season.

Dillard leads the Rebels in several statistical categories. He's also 35th in the nation and ninth in the SEC with six homers. He's 24th in the country and sixth in the conference with 24 runs scored. He's also among the top 100 in the nation in RBI, slugging percentage (55th), stolen bases (44th) and total bases (45th).

WOOLFOLK LEADING THE PACK
Junior closer Dallas Woolfolk earned his sixth save of the season last 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 didn't have a save opportunity over the weekend against Tennessee, so he made an appearance Tuesday to seal the deal against New Orleans. Woolfolk gave up his first run of the season on a solo shot over the left field wall, hit on his first pitch of the afternoon. However, he promptly struck out three batters to end the game.

Woolfolk has gone 8.2 IP in eight appearances, giving up eight hits and walking four. He has struck out 10 batters along the way to posting an SEC-leading six saves--good for eighth in the NCAA.

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. 8 in the nation and is tied for first in the SEC with four sacrifice flies on the season. As a result, he boasts 16 RBI, third on the team. Golsan tallied three sacrifice flies last 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. Ole Miss is No. 12 in the NCAA in sacrifice flies with 14. The Rebels trail only LSU (15) among SEC teams.

This week, Golsan was named a 2018 Senior CLASS Award Candidate.

BOMBS AWAY
After tallying three home runs in 
two midweek meetings with Georgia State, Ole Miss added four more over the weekend against Tennessee and another against New Orleans to vault to 14th nationally with 26 homers on the year. That mark is good for 5th in the SEC. The Rebels average 1.19 home runs per game, good for No. 20 in the nation 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, six of whom have hit two or more. Dillard holds the team lead with six on the year, while Nick Fortes and Cole Zabowski are on his heels with four apiece.

ENERGY SUNDAY
Ole Miss is a perfect 5-0 on #EnergySunday this season. The Rebels boast one of the best Sunday starters in the country in James McArthur. McArthur ranks in the top 50 nationally with an ERA of 1.35. The Rebels are also a perfect 5-0 in their customary Sunday powder blue uniforms.

REBS TOP NEW ORLEANS FOR 20TH WIN
Ole Miss beat New Orleans 9-4 to become the first team in the NCAA with 20 wins on the season. The Rebels got another solid outing from sophomore Houston Roth, who struck out seven to improve to 3-0 on the season.

Meanwhile, the Rebel offense got big days out of its No. 4 and 5 hitters. Thomas Dillard ripped his sixth home run of the season over the right field wall. He and Will Golsan tallied the first and second triples of the season for the Rebels. Golsan finished up 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and two runs scored while Dillard was 2-for-4 with a triple, a homer, three runs scored and 4 RBI.

REBS TAKE FIRST SEC SERIES FROM TENNESSEE
Ole Miss won its first Southeastern Conference series of the season over Tennessee.

The Rebels fell 8-6 in a wild, windy Game 1. Both offenses benefitted from wind-blown pop-ups and fly balls. Tennessee exploded for six runs in the eighth inning to take a commanding 8-2 lead. Ole Miss battled back with four runs in the bottom half, but it was too little, too late in an 8-6 defeat.

Saturday and Sunday, however, were all Ole Miss. The Rebels got another brilliant start out of Brady Feigl, who went 6.1 innings, allowing just four hits and one run to set the foundation for the 7-1 win. Junior second baseman Jacob Adams was 3-for-3 with two doubles and three RBI to fuel the Rebel offense. On Sunday, starter James McArthur and reliever Parker Caracci combined to throw a four-hit shutout as Caracci earned his first career save. Adams blasted his second-career home run to lead off the bottom of the first inning for Ole Miss, and that was all the Rebels needed in a 5-0 win. They added more anyway as Cole Zabowski and Thomas Dillard both went deep to add insurance in the series-clinching victory at Swayze Field.

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, the 
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 vehemently 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.

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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