No. 4 Baseball Welcomes No. 5 Arkansas for Key SEC Series

THURSDAY - 6:30 p.m. CT FRIDAY - 6:30 p.m. CT SATURDAY - 1:30 p.m. CT
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: LHP Ryan Rolison 
3-2, 2.88 ERA, 33.1 IP
Arkansas: RHP Blaine Knight
4-0, 1.83 ERA, 34.1 IP
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: RHP Brady Feigl
5-1, 2.08 ERA, 39.0 IP
Arkansas: LHP Evan Lee
1-1, 5.19 ERA, 8.2 IP
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: RHP James McArthur 
3-0, 1.93 ERA, 28.0 IP
Arkansas: LHP Kacey Murphy
3-1, 2.28 ERA, 27.2 IP

Games 27-29
Date: March 29-31, 2018
First Pitch: Thurs./Fri: 6:30 p.m. | Sat: 1:30 p.m.
Location: Oxford, Mississippi
Venue: Swayze Field (10,715)
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: 46-42, Arkansas
Last Meeting: April 27-28, 2017

QUICK HITS
• No. 4 Ole Miss notched its 10th come-from-behind win this season on Tuesday, defeating Southern Miss, 7-6.
• Ole Miss remains the winningest team in college baseball this season as the only team with 23 wins.
• The Rebels now turn their attention to No. 5 Arkansas. The Razorbacks are coming off a close series defeat at No. 2 Florida.
• For their midweek test, the Razorbacks traveled to Memphis, where they came away with an 8-7 win over the Tigers.
• Arkansas holds the all-time series lead at 46-42. Head coach Mike Bianco is 32-26 against the Razorbacks.
• The Razorbacks are 2nd in the NCAA and first in the SEC with 47 home runs on the season.
• The Ole Miss pitching staff remains No. 1 in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.83).
• The Rebel offense is sixth in the nation with 61 doubles on the season.
• Ole Miss is up to as high as No. 4 (Perfect Game, D1 Baseball, and ESPN/USA Today) in this week's national rankings. The Rebels are now ranked in the Top 10 of every major poll and are third in RPI.
• Ole Miss is No. 5 in the nation with 61 doubles on the year. The Rebels are 16th with 30 home runs and 12th in slugging (.487).
• Sophomore reliever Will Ethridge was one of several key performers out of the Rebel bullpen against Texas A&M. In two appearances, the Lilburn, Georgia, native went: 5.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 8 K.
• Center fielder Will Golsan was named a 2018 Senior CLASS Award Candidate last week. He backed it up with a big week on the field, including a triple against New Orleans and tremendous G3 at TAMU: 3-for-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI. He leads Ole Miss with 13 2-out RBI.
• Sophomore 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 seven on the 2018 campaign. He's on a 15-game hitting streak heading into the series.
• Sophomore Parker Caracci has emerged as yet another dominant arm out of the Rebel bullpen. He boasts an astronomical strikeout-to-walk ratio of 34-to-2. He's averaging just shy of 19 strikeouts per nine innings.

PROBABLE STARTERS
Thursday • 6:30 p.m. 
LHP Ryan Rolison (Ole Miss) | 3-2, 2.88 ERA, 34.1 IP
RHP Blaine Knight (Arkansas) | 4-0, 1.83 ERA, 34.1 IP

ROLISON NOTES
• Ranks 41st in NCAA, fifth in SEC with 46 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 • 6:30 p.m. 
RHP Brady Feigl (Ole Miss) | 5-1, 2.08 ERA, 39.0 IP
LHP Evan Lee (Arkansas) | 1-1, 5.19 ERA, 8.2 IP

FEIGL NOTES
• Tied for second in the NCAA and first in the SEC with five wins on the season
• Sixth in the SEC and 80th in the NCAA in K/BB ratio at 5.43 | No. 10 in the SEC in ERA, No. 106 in the NCAA
• 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 • 1:30 p.m.
RHP James McArthur (Ole Miss) | 3-0, 1.93 ERA, 28.0 IP
LHP Kacey Murphy (Arkansas) | 3-1, 2.28 ERA, 27.2 IP

McARTHUR NOTES
• McArthur ranks  86th in the NCAA and eighth in the SEC in ERA at 1.93.
• 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 for third straight win
• 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 ARKANSAS
• Arkansas brings one of the nation's most potent offenses to Oxford. The Razorbacks rank 13th in the nation and second in the SEC with .311 batting average.
• The Razorbacks are second in the country and first in the SEC with 47 home runs, averaging 1.88/game.
• Arkansas is sixth in the country in on-base percentage (.422) and fourth in slugging (.537).
• Five Hogs rank in the Top 100 in the nation in home runs hit, led by Casey Martin's seven.
• Six of Arkansas' everyday starters are hitting over .300 this season, led by freshman outfielder Heston Kjrestad at .395. 
• Nine different Hog hitters have tallied three or more home runs this season, including four with six or more.
• Arkansas' regular Saturday/Game 2 starter, Isaiah Campbell, is out this weekend with elbow inflammation.
• The Razorbacks' top starter this season has been Blaine Knight, who is scheduled to throw Thursday against the Rebels. Knight is 4-0 with a 1.83 ERA with 35 strikeouts and nine walks on the season.
• Reliever Matt Cronin has tallied a team-best four saves for Arkansas this year, striking out 22 and walking three while allowing five earned runs in 19.0 innings of work.
• Arkansas opened SEC play with a sweep of then-No. 4 Kentucky, scoring 9 or more runs in all three games.
• The Razorbacks are coming off a tough series defeat at No. 2 Florida. Arkansas won Game 1, 6-3, before falling 17-2 in Game 2. The Gators took the rubber match 5-4.
• This week, Arkansas traveled to Memphis, where it came away with an 8-7 victory.

SERIES HISTORY
• Arkansas leads the all-time series with Ole Miss at a slight 42-46 edge. 
• Head coach Mike Bianco is 32-26 against the Razorbacks. 
• The Rebels took two from the 10th-ranked Razorbacks in Fayetteville last season, taking the first two games by a combined score of 13-2. 
• Ole Miss swept No. 21 Arkansas when the two last met in Oxford in 2016. The Rebels have won three straight series over the Hogs at Swayze Field.

ON THE RECORD
• Ole Miss is the winningest team in college baseball this season at 23-3.
• Ole Miss enters the weekend with the best win percentage in the SEC (.885), third-best in the NCAA.
• Rebels are one of three teams with three losses or fewer, joined by Oregon State (20-2), Stanford (18-2)
• Rebels, Beavers and Cardinal are only three teams with a win percentage greater than .850

DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
Of the Rebels' 23 wins this season, 10 have been come-from-behind victories. 

MIDWEEK WINNERS
Ole Miss is a perfect 8-0 in midweek games this season, including two road midweek wins.

RIGHTIES BEWARE
The Rebels are a perfect 17-0 against right-handed starters.

CLOSE CONTESTS
All three of the Rebels' losses this season have come by two runs or fewer. Ole Miss' three defeats have come by a combined four runs. 

SHUT IT DOWN
Ole Miss is undefeated at 16-0 when leading after six innings. That number improves to 18-0 after seven and 19-0 after eight innings. 

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 3.83. 

The Ole Miss staff is 11th in the nation in team ERA at 2.64. That mark is good for second in the Southeastern Conference. The Rebs also enter the weekend at seventh in the country and first in the SEC in walks per nine innings at 2.68. 

The Rebels are No. 12 in the NCAA and No. 2 in the SEC in WHIP at just 1.16. Ole Miss ranks 12th nationally in strikeouts per nine innings at 10.2--good for No. 2 in the conference. Additionally, the Rebels are allowing just 7.7 hits per nine innings, good for 43rd in the country and 7th in the SEC.

DOUBLE OR NOTHING
Ole Miss is No. 6 in the nation with 63 doubles on the year. The Rebels are No. 2 the SEC in that category behind Kentucky (65). They're No. 13 in the nation and second in the league with 2.42 doubles per game.

Will Golsan, Grae Kessinger and Ryan Olenek are tied for the team lead with nine doubles apiece on the season. That mark is good for No. 49 in the country and fourth in the SEC.

CRANKING OUT THE HITS
The Ole Miss offense is hitting .300 as a group this season, now up to No. 22 in the NCAA and No. 3 in the SEC. 

With 257 hits on the season, the Rebel offense is 24th in the country. With 33 hits on the year, Grae Kessinger leads the Rebels and is just outside the top 100 nationally.

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 54th in the country and fourth in the SEC with 32 stolen bases on the season.

BOMBS AWAY
After tallying four home runs at Texas A&M and another on Tuesday against Southern Miss, Ole Miss is 14th nationally with 31 homers on the year. That mark is good for 5th in the SEC. The Rebels average 1.2 home runs per game, good for No. 21 in the nation and No. 5 in the conference. Ole Miss is also 13th in the country in slugging at .487.

Three Rebels--Nick Fortes (Memphis), Thomas Dillard (Austin Peay) and Chase Cockrell (Eastern Illinois) boast multi-home-run games this season. Twelve different Rebels have hit a home run this season, seven of whom have hit two or more. Dillard holds the team lead with seven on the year, while Nick Fortes and Cole Zabowski are on his heels with five apiece.

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 seven on the year.

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.

His latest home run was a clutch game-winning blast in the seventh inning against Southern Miss. The sophomore out of Oxford sent the ball just shy of 400 feet over the left field wall. It left his bat at 103.1 mph. It was the switch hitter's first home run of the season hitting right-handed.

With that blast, Dillard move to 28th in the NCAA and eighth in the SEC with seven home runs on the season. Dillard also checked into the top 25 in the country in runs scored, ranking 24th with 28 on the year. That is good enough for sixth among SEC hitters. Dillard is on a 15-game hitting streak going into the weekend.

CAPTAIN CLUTCH
Senior Will Golsan was named a 2018 Senior CLASS Award Candidate last week.

Golsan is coming off a tremendous week: .353/.706/.389, 4 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 4 R, 4 RBI. He hit his third-career triple as part of a 2-for-4 day last Tuesday against New Orleans. His Game 3 at Texas A&M was outstanding, as he fueled a Rebel rally. Golsan went 3-for-5 with 2 2B, 2 R and 2 RBI. He knocked in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and scored what would be the game-deciding run moments later.

Golsan is 3-for-4 with the bases loaded this year. He's also hitting .385 with RISP, and his 13-for-27 (.481) with two outs. He leads Ole Miss in two-out RBI with 13. 

The selfless Rebel center fielder is No. 13 in the nation and is tied for first in the SEC with four sacrifice flies on the season. As a result, he boasts 20 RBI, third on the team. 

CARDIAC CARACCI
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 34 strikeouts and just two walks in eight appearances this season (17.0 K/BB ratio). The Jackson, MS, native is averaging 2.04 strikeouts per inning or 18.4 per nine innings. He has tallied four successful save opportunities in a row.

Caracci was critical to the Rebels' series win at Texas A&M, earning saves in both wins. The Rebel reliever struck out five in a six-out save in Game 1. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth before retiring the side and striking out two in the ninth. In Game 3, he faced the top of the Aggie order and fanned the Aggies' top offensive threat, and the go-ahead run, Logan Foster, on a full count to end the series.

Caracci has been dynamite with two outs, allowing just three hits in 21 at-bats (.143). Caracci's 1.08 ERA is the best among Rebels who have thrown 12 or more innings.

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 a week ago 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. 

Adams has been an outstanding situational hitter for the Rebels. He is hitting .421 with runners on base and .545 with runners in scoring position. He's 7-for-14 with two outs. 

POWER BLUES
Ole Miss is a perfect 5-0 on #EnergySunday this season, as well as 1-0 on the rare #EnergySaturday. The Rebels are also a perfect 6-0 in their customary Sunday powder blue uniforms.

AIN'T IT GRAND?
In Game 2 against Texas A&M, junior Michael Fitzsimmons came in to pinch hit in the eighth inning and blasted a grand slam, the Rebels' first since Colby Bortles knocked in four on April 15, 2015. The pinch-hit blast brought the Rebels within one run, though they couldn't quite complete the rally in a 7-6 defeat.

Ole Miss is hitting .579 (11-for-19) with the bases loaded this season.

RALLY ON TWO
Ole Miss has had a knack for two-out hitting this season. Of the Rebels' 166 RBI, 71 have come with two outs. By comparison, the Rebel pitching staff has allowed just 28 two-out RBI.

The Rebels are hitting .325 with two outs, as well as .319 with runners in scoring position. 


 

 

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