Rivalry Week Continues as No. 3 Baseball Heads to Starkville

SATURDAY - Noon CT SATURDAY - 45 minutes after Game 1 SUNDAY - 1 p.m. CT
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: RHP Brady Feigl
6-1, 2.23 ERA, 44.1 IP
Mississippi State: LHP Konnor Pilkington
1-4, 2.61 ERA, 41.1 IP
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: LHP Ryan Rolison 
3-3, 3.63 ERA, 39.2 IP
Mississippi State: LHP Ethan Small
2-2, 2.41 ERA, 41.0 IP
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: RHP James McArthur 
4-0, 2.38 ERA, 34.0 IP
Mississippi State: RHP Jacob Billingsley
2-2, 3.73 ERA, 31.1 IP

GAMES 31-33
Date: April 7-8, 2018
First Pitch: Sat: Noon | Sat: 45 minutes after Game 1| Sun: 1 p.m.
Location: Starkville, Mississippi
Venue: Dudy Noble Field (10,767)
Dimensions: LF-330, CF-390, RF-326 
TV: 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: MSU leads 244-212-5
Last Meeting: April 25, 2018
Last Series: Mar. 30-Apr. 1, 2017

QUICK HITS
• After its 12-0 win over Memphis on Wednesday, the No. 3 Ole Miss baseball team is off to the best 30-game start in program history at 26-4.
• Ole Miss remains the winningest team in college baseball, tied with Florida and Duke (26-5) for the most victories in the nation. The Rebels boast the SEC's best win percentage (.867), good for second in the country behind Stanford (.880).
• Ole Miss is the only team in college baseball to rank in the top 20 in the nation in ERA, batting average and fielding percentage.
• Ole Miss has tallied 77 two-out RBI this season. The Rebels totaled 95 all of last year and had just 47 through 30 games.
• The Rebels are almost unanimously ranked No. 3 in the nation, holding the third spot in the ESPN/USA Today, D1 Baseball, Baseball America, Perfect Game and NCBWA rankings. Ole Miss appears in the top five in every poll, including fifth in RPI.
• Sophomore RHP Parker Caracci was named SEC Pitcher of the Week after a tremendous stretch on the mound for Ole Miss. Caracci earned the save in all three of the Rebels' wins last week, including saves in back-to-back games against the Razorbacks. Caracci also earned Midseason All-American Honors from Perfect Game and D1Baseball.
• Third baseman Tyler Keenan was named SEC co-Freshman of the Week after hitting the game-winning home run in Game 3 against the Hogs. Keenan slashed a team-best .583/.833/.615 over the past week.
• The Ole Miss pitching staff remains No. 1 in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.65). The Rebels are the only team in the country with a K/BB ratio over 3.6. Their 299 total strikeouts are the most in the SEC, while their 82 walks issues are the fewest.
• The Rebel offense ranks 10th in the nation and second in the SEC in doubles with 67 on the season. Ryan Olenek leads the team with 12, good for first in the SEC and 25th in the country. 
• With a 2-for-4 day Wednesday night against Memphis, Ryan Olenek extended his team-best hitting streak to eight games. He has reached base in 10 straight games, also a team-high.

PROBABLE STARTERS
Saturday • Noon 
RHP Brady Feigl (Ole Miss) | 6-1, 2.23 ERA, 44.1 IP
LHP Konnor Pilkington (Mississippi State) | 1-4, 2.61 ERA, 41.1 IP

FEIGL NOTES
• Will make first Game 1 start of season after filling Saturday/Game 2 role prior to this weekend.
• Tied for second in the NCAA and first in the SEC with six wins on the season
• 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 • 45 minutes after Game 1 
LHP Ryan Rolison (Ole Miss) | 3-3, 3.63 ERA, 39.2 IP
LHP Ethan Small (Mississippi State) | 2-2, 2.41 ERA, 41.0 IP

ROLISON NOTES
• Making first Game 2 start of season after filling Friday night/Game 1 role in first seven starts
• Ranks 41st in NCAA, fifth in SEC with 54 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
• 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

Sunday • 1 p.m.
RHP James McArthur (Ole Miss) | 4-0, 2.38 ERA, 34.0 IP
RHP Jacob Billingsley (Mississippi State) | 2-2, 3.73 ERA, 31.1 IP

McARTHUR NOTES
• Fewest hits allowed per nine innings among Rebel starters at 6.6.
• Combined with reliever Parker Caracci to throw four-hit shutout 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 in Game 3 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 STATE
• Mississippi State blanked Southern, 5-0, on Wednesday night to move back to .500 (15-15) on the season.
• MSU is 2-7 in league play this year. The Bulldogs were swept by Vanderbilt to open SEC play before taking one of three at Missouri, a series that featured two extra-inning games. MSU took one of two at LSU this past weekend. Both of the Bulldogs' SEC wins have come in the second game of the series.
• Junior outfielder Jake Mangum has led MSU offensively as the only Bulldog hitting over .300. Mangum is slashing .328/.438/.411 coming into the weekend with 10 doubles and two triples. He's also a perfect 9-for-9 stealing bases and has scored a team-best 20 runs.
• The Bulldogs have lacked power in their bats this season. Freshman Josh Hatcher and junior Luke Alexander are tied for the team lead with three home runs apiece. MSU is last in the SEC with 15 homers on the year.
• Friday night will feature two of the top strikeout-to-walk ratio pitchers in the nation. Ole Miss' Brady Feigl will take on Konnor Pilkington, who is second in the SEC with a K/BB ratio of 7.7.
• Ethan Small will throw on Saturday night for MSU. Small is a strike thrower as well with 55 K and 11 BB on the season, as well as a 2.41 ERA.
• After two lefties in Pilkington and Small, MSU will throw righty Jacob Billingsley in Game 3. Billingsley leads the State starting rotation with a .212 batting average against.

SERIES HISTORY
• Ole Miss will look to exact revenge after being swept at the hands of Mississippi State in Oxford last season.
• MSU leads the all-time series 244-212.
• The Rebels and Bulldogs last met in Starkville in 2016, where fifth-ranked MSU took two of three.
• Ole Miss last won a series in Starkville in 2014, taking two of three from the 13th-ranked Bulldogs.
• The Rebels last achieved a sweep in Starkville in 2010, scoring a combined 35 runs over three wins.
• Ole Miss has won three of the last five SEC series against State with the Bulldogs taking the last two.

RIVALRY WEEK
Ole Miss' schedule features five rivalry contests in a one-week span. The Rebels opened Rivalry Week with a dominant 12-0 win over Memphis. Ole Miss now looks toward a three-game weekend set at Mississippi State before traveling to Pearl to take on Southern Miss. The Rebels will have Rivalry Week 2.0 at the end of the month when they face the Bulldogs for the Governor's Cup in Pearl (April 24) before a weekend series with LSU.

ON THE RECORD
• Ole Miss is off to the best 30-game start in program history at 26-4, tying a mark set in 2004.
• Ole Miss is tied for the most wins in college baseball this season at 26-4, matching the win counts of Florida and Duke, each at 26-5 entering the weekend.
• Ole Miss has the best win percentage in the SEC (.867), second-best in the NCAA behind Stanford (.880).
• The Rebels are one of three teams with four losses or fewer, joined by Oregon State (23-4), Stanford (22-3).
• The Rebels, Cardinal and Beavers are the only three teams with a win percentage greater than .850.

ALL THREE PHASES
Ole Miss is the only team in college baseball to rank in the top-20 nationally in team ERA (16th, 2.96), team batting average (20th, .300) and fielding percentage (8th, .983).

REBS RECOGNIZED
Ole Miss added two more weekly honors to its resume after taking down Arkansas. Closer Parker Caracci was named SEC Pitcher of the Week after earning the save in all three of the Rebels' wins. Third baseman Tyler Keenan was named SEC co-Freshman of the Week after hitting the game-deciding home run in Game 3 against Arkansas. This week, Caracci also earned Midseason All-American honors from Perfect Game and D1Baseball.

Brady Feigl was named NCBWA's Pitcher of the Month for February after his torrid start to the season. Ryan Rolison earned the first Pitcher of the Week award of the season in the SEC after mowing down Winthrop in the Rebels' season opener.

ALL STRIKES, NO WALKS
Ole Miss remains No. 1 in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 3.65. With 299 strikeouts and 82 walks on the season, the Rebels are the only team in college baseball with a K/BB ratio above 3.6.

The Rebels are ninth in the country and second in the SEC in walks allowed per nine innings at just 2.75. That mark is the third-best among Power 5 teams, trailing Stanford (2.65) and Florida (2.74) by a hair. 

Ole Miss has issued the fewest walks in the SEC at just 82. The Rebels have struck out more batters (299) than any team in the conference.

DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
Of the Rebels' 26 wins this season, 11 have been come-from-behind victories. 

MIDWEEK WINNERS
Ole Miss is a perfect 9-0 in midweek games this season, including three road midweek wins.

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

Prior to Wednesday night's 12-0 victory at Memphis, the Rebels' previous seven games were all decided by two runs or fewer with their last five wins coming by just one run.

SHUT IT DOWN
Ole Miss is undefeated at 21-0 when leading after six innings. That number improves to 24-0 after seven and 25-0 after eight innings. 

POWER BLUES
Ole Miss is a perfect 5-0 on #EnergySunday this season, as well as 2-0 on #EnergySaturday to close out series. The Rebels are also a perfect 7-0 in their customary Sunday powder blue uniforms.

The Rebels were wearing powder blue for two of their highest scoring outputs of the season: a 12-1 win in Game 3 at Long Beach State and an 11-10 triumph in the final game against No. 5 Arkansas.

DOUBLE OR NOTHING
Ole Miss is No. 10 in the nation with 67 doubles on the year. The Rebels are No. 2 the SEC in that category behind Kentucky (70). They're No. 21 in the nation and second in the league with 2.23 doubles per game.

Ryan Olenek leads the Rebels in doubles with 12 on the season, including four last week. That puts him atop the SEC and at No. 25 in the nation.

INTRIGUING TRIPLES
Ole Miss has four triples this season, and they've come in an interesting fashion--two off the bat of Thomas Dillard and two off the bat of Will Golsan, all coming in just two games where Dillard hit a triple first, followed shortly thereafter by a Golsan triple.

On March 20 against New Orleans, Dillard tripled in the fourth, and Golsan followed suit in the seventh. On April 4 at Memphis, Dillard hit his second triple of the season in the third, and Golsan drove his into the same left-center gap in the fifth.

BOMBS AWAY
Ole Miss has been one of the best power-hitting teams in college baseball this season. The Rebels are 14th in the nation and fifth in the SEC with 35 home runs on the season. The Rebels are averaging 1.17 homers per game, good for 20th in the country and fifth in the conference.

Ole Miss is No. 13 in the nation in slugging percentage and fourth in the league at .482.

Thomas Dillard and Cole Zabowski lead the Rebels with seven home runs apiece, while Nick Fortes is just behind at six. Three Rebels--Fortes, Dillard and Chase Cockrell--boast multi-homer games this year.

RALLY ON TWO
Ole Miss has had a knack for two-out hitting this season. Of the Rebels' 194 RBI, 77 have come with two outs. By comparison, the Rebel pitching staff has allowed just 33 two-out RBI. Through 30 games last season, Ole Miss had just 47 two-out RBI. The Rebels totaled 95 all of last year.

The Rebels are hitting .312 with two outs, as well as .325 with runners in scoring position and .328 with runners on base.

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 .619 (13-for-21) with the bases loaded this season.

REBS RAKE
The Ole Miss offense is hitting .300 as a group this season, now at No. 20 in the NCAA and No. 3 in the SEC. With 297 hits on the season, the Rebel offense is 20th in the country and fifth in the conference. Compared to last season, the Rebels have found another level of production at the plate.

Through 30 games last year, Ole Miss carried a team slash line of .243/.354/.332, with 130 runs scored, 40 doubles, 21 home runs and 227 strikeouts. Through 30 games this season, the Rebels are slashing .300/.482/.388 with 216 runs scored, 67 doubles, 35 home runs and 179 strikeouts.

PLAYMAKERS
Ole Miss is No. 8 in the nation and No. 4 in the SEC in fielding percentage at .983. The Rebels are on pace to break the all-time single-season fielding mark of .976 set in 2012.

CARACCI IN THE CLUTCH
Parker Caracci had his best week yet as a Rebel, earning the save in all three of the Rebels' Week 7 wins to become the first reliever to win SEC Pitcher of the Week this season.

Caracci is on a string of six consecutive successful save opportunities, including saves in back-to-back games to lock down the Rebels' series win over No. 5 Arkansas. Saturday's Game 3 save was the fifth in the past seven games for Caracci, all just coming in a nine-day span. The redshirt sophomore out of Jackson, Mississippi, carried a 0.00 ERA throughout Week 7.

In 20.1 innings pitched this season, Caracci boasts a 0.89 with 38 strikeouts and just three walks for a ratio of 12.7 K/BB.

Five of Caracci's six saves have come in SEC play. Those six saves tie him for the team lead with Dallas Woolfolk. The Rebel relievers are tied for 27th in the nation and second in the SEC behind Florida's Michael Byrne (7).

KEENAN IS KEY
Tyler Keenan had a tremendous week to earn SEC co-Freshman of the Week honors. The rookie out of Clayton, North Carolina, slashed .583/.833/.615 last week, scoring four runs and batting in four more.

His highlight of the week came in Game 3 against No. 5 Arkansas. Keenan delivered what proved to be the game-winning 3-run home run, clearing the bases in the seventh inning and scoring the game-deciding run in a wild 11-10 win.

Keenan is slashing .381/.714/.519 in league play.

Z-BO HITTING Z-BOMBS
Cole Zabowski has caught fire in SEC play. Four of the sophomore's seven home runs have come in league play, a team-high, including two this past week against No. 5 Arkansas. He's 42nd in the country and eighth in the SEC this season, averaging 0.29 home runs per game. His average is 0.44 per contest against league competition

OLEY DOESN'T MISS
Ryan Olenek leads the SEC and is 25th in the nation with 12 doubles this season. Olenek slapped four doubles this past week as part of a tremendous four games at the plate, resulting in a slash line of .563/.813/.529.

Olenek leads the Rebels with 13 multi-hit games this season. He's currently riding the team's longest running hit streak at eight games. He has reached base successfully in 10 straight games, also the team's longest current streak. He's the third-toughest player to strike out in the SEC.

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.

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

Golsan is 3-for-4 with the bases loaded this year. He's also hitting .367 with RISP and is 14-for-34 (.412) with two outs. He leads Ole Miss in two-out RBI with 13. 

JUCO GEM
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 and has recently settled in at the plate to add another weapon to the Rebel lineup in the No. 9 hole.

Adams has been an outstanding situational hitter for the Rebels. He is hitting .360 with runners on base and .429 with runners in scoring position. He's 7-for-18 (.389) with two outs. 

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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