#9 Ole Miss (21-5, 4-2 SEC) at Alabama (16-8, 3-3 SEC)
Date: March 28-30, 2014 Location: Tuscaloosa, Ala. Venue: Sewell-Thomas Stadium Capacity: 6,571 Surface: Grass Series: Alabama leads 191-145-2 Last Series: UM swept in Oxford in 2013 Radio: Ole Miss Baseball Network Television: CSS (Saturday) Announcers: Matt Stewart & Joe Beckwith Live Video:ESPN 3 (Saturday) Live Stats: OleMissSports.com Live Video:Watch RebelVision (Friday/Sunday) Twitter Updates: @OleMissBSB
• Ole Miss continued to rise in the rankings after a sweep of Missouri, topping out at No. 9 in the latest rankings. • The Rebels are second in the SEC in batting (.303), second in home runs (19) and seventh in scoring (147 runs). • Ole Miss is fifth in ERA as a staff (2.15) and is tied for the league lead in wins this season with 21 to date. • Three Rebels rank in the top five in the SEC in hits: Bousfield (T1st - 39), Allen (T3rd - 35) and Anderson (T5th - 34). • Bousfield ranks in the top 10 in the SEC in hits (T1st), average (9th), Runs (T10th) and on total bases (T2nd). • Will Allen is tied for the league lead in RBI (33) and is tied for fifth in the league in home runs (4) this season. • Sikes Orvis is second in the SEC in home runs (6) and has produced nine of his 14 RBI from home runs. • Chris Ellis ranks third in the SEC in ERA (0.67) while Christian Trent is seventh in the SEC in strikeouts (35). • Ole Miss is now 8-1 in one-run games this season and has posted nine come-from-behind wins.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS FRIDAY, 6:30 PM UA - Spencer Turnbull, Jr., RHP OLE MISS - Chris Ellis, Jr., RHP NOTING ELLIS: • Ellis has settled in as the anchor for the Rebels’ weekend, moving into the Friday role his junior 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 in five of six starts this season, the only ones coming at #1 USC. • The junior has allowed 15 walks with 27 strikeouts and holds opponents to a .197 batting average.
SATURDAY 6:00 PM (CSS) UA - Justin Kamplain, Jr., LHP OLE MISS - Christian Trent, So., LHP NOTING TRENT: • Trent makes his seventh start of the season when he takes the mound against Alabama Saturday. • The LHP has allowed only four walks through 37.0 innings of work and six starts in the 2014 season. • Trent is 3-0 on the season with wins against Stetson, Georgia State and Missouri in his six starts. • The sophomore holds a .211 batting average against and his 35 strikeouts is seventh in the SEC.
SUNDAY, 1:00 PM UA - Jon Keller, Jr., LHP 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 10 runs in six starts while working 35.1 innings in those outings. • Smith has only taken three losses in his last 25 starts for the Rebels across the last three seasons. • The RHP has quality starts in four consecutive outings including a pair of wins, a loss and no decision.
A LOOK AT ALABAMA The Crimson Tide of Alabama enters the weekend series after a midweek win over Troy in Pensacola, Fla., and are coming off a series loss to Arkansas last weekend in Fayetteville. • Alabama is 16-8 on the season and 3-3 in conference play heading into the weekend series. • The Crimson Tide hits at a .273 clip with 16 home runs and 124 RBI through six weeks of play. • Austen Smith leads Alabama at the plate with a .377 average, three home runs and 21 RBI. • UA pitchers hold a 2.20 ERA with 79 walks, 187 strikeouts and a .195 opponent batting average. • Spencer Turnbull holds a 0.28 ERA with 18 walks, 27 strikeouts and has allowed three total runs. • Ben Moore is the top base stealer on the path, going 5-for-6 for the Crimson Tide this season.
REBELS vs. ALABAMA The Rebels and Crimson Tide have faced each other 338 times with the Rebels trailing 145-191-2 in the all-time series with Alabama. • The two teams first met in the 1895 season with the Rebels dropping both games to Alabama. • The series is the second most-played for the Rebels behind only Mississippi State (445 games). • Ole Miss swept last year’s series 3-0 in Oxford, but fell to Alabama at the SEC Tournament. • The Rebels lead the series with Alabama 25-20 in the Mike Bianco era.
THROUGH 26 GAMES IN 2013 Through 26 games a year ago, the Rebels had posted a 22-4 record and were coming off a midweek win over Arkansas State and heading to Florida for a weekend series. Ole Miss was hitting at a .302 clip with 10 home runs and 154 RBI, while going 29-of-46 in steal attempts. The Rebel pitching staff was holding to a 2.70 ERA and a .234 opponent’s batting average. Pitchers had allowed 83 walks with 212 strikeouts in 233.0 innings.
REBELS BEST WHEN SCORING EARLY Ole Miss has been best when scoring early this season, posting a 15-2 record when scoring first and a 10-2 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 50-to-16 through the first three innings. The Rebels have scored an impressive 27 runs in the first inning this season.
REBEL PITCHERS LIMIT OPPORTUNITIES Ole Miss’ pitching staff turned in a solid opening weekend, holding the Stetson Hatters to three runs on the weekend series and limiting offensive opportunities for the Hatters. Rebel pitchers allowed only 14 hits on the weekend and posted the first shutout of the season on opening day with a 7-0 victory. The Rebel pitching staff also struck out 24 batters through the three-game series with only seven walks.
Through six weeks of play, the Rebels have allowed 68 runs (2.1 runs a game) in 238.1 innings of work. In that time, the Rebels have posted three shutouts and five games with only one run allowed.
SOLID BULLPEN WORK LEADS TO SUCCESS Ole Miss’ bullpen has been incredibly efficient through the first six weeks of the season, continuing to hold teams in check down the stretch. Through 90.0 innings of relief work this season, the Rebel bullpen holds a 2.00 ERA as those pitchers have combined to allow only 20 earned runs in that time. The staff has kept runs from scoring, inheriting 51 runners and allowing only nine to score this year.
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