#13 Ole Miss (27-8, 7-5 SEC) at #13 Mississippi State (21-13, 6-6 SEC)
Date: April 11-13, 2014 Location: Starkville, Miss. Venue: Dudy Noble Field Capacity: 15,000 Surface: Grass Series: MSU leads 235-205-5 Last Meeting: Rebels won the series 2-1 Radio: Ole Miss Baseball Network Television: FSN (Saturday Only) Announcers: Dave Neal & Larry Conley Live Stats: OleMissSports.com Live Video: ESPN3 (Saturday) Twitter Updates: @OleMissBSB
QUICK HITS • Ole Miss found itself in the top 25 of the national rankings for the seventh consecutive week, topping out at No. 13. • The Rebels are second in the SEC in batting (.303), second in home runs (24) and second in scoring (206 runs). • Ole Miss is fourth in ERA as a staff (2.21) and is first in the conference in wins with 27 though eight weeks of play. • Three Rebels rank in the top 5 in the SEC in hits: Bousfield (T1st - 49), Anderson (T3rd - 47) and Allen (T3rd - 47). • Anderson ranks in the top 10 in the SEC in average (7th), on base percentage (5th), runs (5th) and hits (T3rd). • Will Allen is second in the SEC in RBI (38) and is tied for fourth in the league in home runs (5) this season. • Sikes Orvis is second in the SEC in home runs (7) and is fourth in the league in slugging percentage (.561) to date. • Ole Miss plays on the road in SEC play for the third time through the first five weeks at Mississippi State this weekend. • Ole Miss is now 8-3 in one-run games, 6-2 in walk-off wins and has posted 11 come-from-behind wins to date.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS FRIDAY, 6:30 PM MSU - Ross Mitchell, Jr., LHP OLE MISS - Chris Ellis, Jr., RHP NOTING ELLIS: • Ellis has settled in as the anchor for the Rebels’ weekend, moving into the Friday role this 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 5-of-8 starts this season, allowing ER vs. USC, Bama and AU. • The junior has allowed 16 walks with 33 strikeouts and holds opponents to a .235 batting average.
SATURDAY 3:00 PM (FSN) MSU - Trevor Fitts, Jr., RHP OLE MISS - Christian Trent, So., LHP NOTING TRENT: • Trent makes his ninth start of the season when he takes the mound against MSU this Saturday. • The LHP has allowed only six walks through 52.1 innings of work and eight starts this season. • Trent is 4-0 on the season with wins against Stetson, Georgia State, Missouri and Auburn. • The sophomore holds a .203 batting average against and his 46 strikeouts is sixth in the SEC. • Trent threw a complete-game shutout against Auburn last week with a career-high seven strikeouts.
SUNDAY, 1:30 PM MSU - TBA 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 14 runs in eight starts while working 48.2 innings in those outings. • Smith has only taken four losses in his last 27 starts for the Rebels across the last three seasons. • The RHP has six straight quality starts including a trio of wins, two losses and no decision.
A LOOK AT MISSISSIPPI STATE The Bulldogs of Mississippi State enter the weekend with an overall record of 21-13 and are holding a 6-6 record in Southeastern Conference play after a series sweep by LSU last weekend. • The Bulldogs hit at a .262 clip with six home runs and 148 RBI this season through 34 games. • Brett Pirtle has started all 34 games and holds a .320 average with 13 RBI and 18 runs scored. • Wes Rea has three of the Bulldogs’ six home runs and a team-leading 25 RBI entering the weekend. • As a staff, Mississippi State holds a 3.10 ERA with 112 walks and 287 strikeouts in 302.0 innings. • LHP Ross Mitchell holds a 5-2 record with a 1.52 ERA, 14 walks and 28 strikeouts in 58.1 IP. • RHP Trevor Fitts is 2-2 on the year with a 3.41 ERA, seven walks and 41 strikeouts this season.
REBELS vs. MISSISSIPPI STATE The Rebels and Bulldogs have faced each other 445 times with Ole Miss trailing in the series 205-235-5, but the Rebels won the last series between the two team 2-1 in Oxford during the 2013 season. • The two squads met for the first time in the 1893 season with a loss and a tie for the Rebels. • Ole Miss has won 7-of-13 series between the two teams, posting a pair of sweeps under Bianco. • The Rebels are 4-2 in series played at Mississippi State in the Mike Bianco era of the series.
THROUGH 35 GAMES IN 2013 Through 35 games a year ago, the Rebels had posted a 25-10 record and were coming off a game two win over Alabama in a weekend series, clinching the series over the Tide. Ole Miss was hitting at a .272 clip with 11 home runs and 175 RBI, while going 31-of-54 in steal attempts. The Rebel pitching staff was holding to a 2.68 ERA and a .237 opponent’s batting average. Pitchers had allowed 129 walks with 264 strikeouts in 316.0 innings.
MULTIPLE-HIT, MULTIPLE-RBI GAMES Will Allen and Auston Bousfield have paced the Rebel offense through the season, leading the squad in multiple-hit games. All told, the Rebels have five players in double-digits when it comes to multiple-hit games as Austin Anderson (14) Braxton Lee (11) and Sikes Orvis (11) round out the group.
Allen leads the way in multiple-RBI games with nine, while Anderson (6), Bousfield (6) and Orvis (5) have all posted five or more multiple-RBI games as well.
HIT STREAKS HEADED INTO THE WEEK Three players hold significant hit streaks heading into the weekend, all of them having hit safely in four or more consecutive games: Sikes Orvis (9), J.B. Woodman (7) and Auston Bousfield (6) hold the longest hit streaks on the team heading into the weekend at Mississippi State.
FINDING A WAY ON BASE Will Allen, Austin Anderson and Sikes Orvis hold the longest streak of reaching base for the Rebs heading into the weekend games at Mississippi State at nine straight games. J.B. Woodman is right behind them with eight straight games of reaching base.
REBELS BEST WHEN SCORING EARLY Ole Miss has been best when scoring early this season, posting a 19-4 record when scoring first and an 11-3 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 64-to-25 through the first three innings. The Rebels have scored an impressive 33 runs in the first inning and 25 in the third.
SECOND TIME THROUGH THE LINEUP FEATURES EXPLOSIVE INNINGS Ole Miss has been even more efficient the second time through the lineup this season. In the middle innings of games, the Rebels have outscored opponents at a rate of 85-to-42 that includes explosions of 33 runs in the fifth inning and 27 runs in the sixth inning through 35 games this season.
WALK-OFF WINS The Rebels had a solid third week of play, posing four consecutive walk-off wins on the way to an undefeated week. Ole Miss beat ULM in the ninth in back-to-back games before taking the first two games of the UCF series with a 13-inning win and a 10-inning win. The Rebels then improved to 5-0 in walk-off games this season with a 10-inning win over UALR in the series opener.
Ole Miss is 6-2 in games decided by a walk-off hit after falling at No. 1 South Carolina 5-4 in 10-innings in the opening weekend of SEC play and falling 5-4 in 10 innings at Alabama this past weekend. The Rebels picked up the most recent walk-off with an 8-5 win over Auburn in 13-innings.
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 eight weeks of play, the Rebels have allowed 97 runs (fewer than three runs a game) in 322.0 innings of work. In that time, the Rebels have posted four shutouts and eight 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 125.2 innings of relief work this season, the Rebel bullpen holds a 1.73 ERA as those pitchers have combined to allow only 28 earned runs in that time. The staff has kept runs from scoring, inheriting 81 runners and allowing only 14 to score this year.
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