No. 14 Vanderbilt Awaits No. 4 Rebels in Nashville

FRIDAY - 6:30 p.m. CT SATURDAY - 2 p.m. SUNDAY - 4 p.m. CT
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: LHP Ryan Rolison 
4-3, 3.28 ERA, 46.2 IP
Vanderbilt: RHP Drake Fellows
4-1, 2.51 ERA, 46.2 IP
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: RHP Brady Feigl
6-2, 3.09 ERA, 46.2 IP
Vanderbilt: RHP Patrick Raby
2-4, 2.88 ERA, 34.1 IP
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: RHP James McArthur 
4-0, 2.54 ERA, 39.0 IP
Vanderbilt: TBA

GAMES 35-37
Date: April 13-15
First Pitch: Fri: 6:30 p.m. CT | Sat: 2 p.m. | Sun: 4 p.m.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Venue: Hawkins Field (3,626)
Dimensions: LF-310; CF-400; RF-330
TV: Friday: SEC Network + | Sun: ESPNU
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: Ole Miss leads 65-57-2
Last Meeting: March 17-19, 2017
     Ole Miss won 2-of-3 in Oxford

LEADING OFF
• No. 4 Ole Miss is coming off an emphatic 11-3 midweek win over No. 12 Southern Miss and will face No. 14 Vanderbilt for the 125th meeting between the two clubs. The Rebels hold the all-time series lead at 65-57-2 and have won the last two series.
• Ole Miss held strong in the top five of the national polls after a 2-2 week, including No. 4 rankings from Perfect Game and ESPN/USA Today, as well as No. 5 designations by D1Baseball, Baseball America and NCBWA.
• The Rebels are tied for the second-most wins in college baseball, trailing only top-ranked Florida (29-6).
• Ole Miss is the only team in college baseball to rank in the top 25 in the nation in ERA, batting average and fielding percentage.
• The Ole Miss pitching staff remains No. 1 in the SEC in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.34). The Rebels have struck out more batters (337) and walked fewer batters (101) than any team in the conference.
• Ole Miss is slashing .059/.115/.053 better than last season through 34 games. The Rebels have scored 90 more runs on 80 more hits, including 24 more doubles and 14 more home runs while striking out 55 times fewer than they had at this point last year.
• The Rebel offense had a tremendous day against Southern Miss in Pearl on Tuesday, recording double-figure hits for the fifth time in the last six games. Five Rebels had multi-hit days and all nine starters reached base.
• The Rebels earned real estate in the SEC Weekly Awards for the second straight week and the fourth time this season as Tyler Keenan was named SEC Freshman of the Week, making him the first Rebel to ever accomplish the feat in consecutive weeks.
Ryan Olenek stayed hot Tuesday vs. Southern Miss, extending his team-best hitting streak to 12 games. In that span, Olenek has posted a slash line of .490/.612/.490 with 24 H, 6 2B, 8 R. He's reached base successfully in 14 straight contests.
Thomas Dillard is coming off a great week for the Rebs, scoring five runs and driving in five more. He added a dazzling defensive play, making a sliding grab at the warning track that kept Ole Miss alive in the bottom of the 10th in Game 3 at MSU.
• Friday night starter Ryan Rolison is coming off of one of his best outings of the season in Starkville, where he went 7.0 innings in Game 2, striking out nine along the way in the 6-1 win. He's 30th in the NCAA and third in the SEC in strikeouts with 63.

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday • 6:30 p.m. 

LHP Ryan Rolison (Ole Miss) | 4-3, 3.28 ERA, 46.2 IP
RHP Drake Fellows (Vanderbilt) | 4-1, 2.51 ERA, 46.2 IP

ROLISON NOTES
• Outstanding outing at Mississippi State, going 7.0 IP, striking out nine while allowing just one run in 6-1 win.
• One run allowed at MSU was his fewest since Week 2 against Tulane.
• Six games with eight or more strikeouts this season.
• No. 30 in the nation, third in SEC in strikeouts (63). No. 35 in NCAA, fourth in SEC in K/9 at 12.15. 
• 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
•  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

Saturday • 2 p.m.
RHP Brady Feigl (Ole Miss) | 6-2, 3.09 ERA, 46.2 IP
RHP Patrick Raby (Vanderbilt) | 2-4, 2.88 ERA, 34.1 IP

FEIGL NOTES
• Tied for eighth in the NCAA and third 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

Sunday • 4 p.m.
RHP James McArthur (Ole Miss) | 4-0, 2.54 ERA, 39.0 IP
TBA (Vanderbilt)

McARTHUR NOTES
• Fewest hits allowed per nine innings among Rebel starters at 6.7.
• 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 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 VANDERBILT
Athletic team is seventh in the nation and first in the SEC with 63 stolen bases.
• Commodores rank third in the nation and second in the conference in fielding percentage at .984.
• Strong pitching staff ranks 10th in the nation, first in SEC in K/9 at 10.3.
• Led offensively by JJ Bleday and Austin Martin, the only two regular starters hitting over .300.
• Bleday leads Vandy with .372 average, while Martin trails at .340.
• Top power hitter this season has been Ethan Paul, who leads team with 30 RBI, 10 2B and 5 HR.
• Pat DeMarco represents one of Vandy's top bats, hitting .298 with eight doubles and 23 RBI.
• Commodores, like the Rebels, also have a 4-3 non-conference loss to Long Beach State.
• Vandy has won three straight coming into this weekend after backending a series win over Georgia.

SERIES HISTORY
• Game 1 will be 125th meeting all-time between Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.
• The Rebels lead the all-time series 65-57-2.
• Ole Miss took two of three from No. 15 Vanderbilt in Oxford last season.
• The Rebels won the last meeting in Nashville as well, taking two of three from the No. 1-ranked Dores.
• Ole Miss' last series defeat to Vanderbilt came in 2013 when the No. 2 Commodores swept in Oxford.
• The Rebels' last series loss in Nashville came in 2012 when Vandy sept Ole Miss in the season finale.

ON THE RECORD
• Ole Miss is tied for the second-most wins in college baseball, matching Duke at 28-7, trailing only top-ranked Florida (29-6).
• The Rebels hold the fourth-best win percentage (.824) in the NCAA, trailing only Tennessee Tech (.839), Florida (.829) and Stanford (.828).
• Ole Miss trails just Florida in the SEC in both wins and win percentage.
• The Rebels are tied with Florida for the fewest losses (6) in the SEC, trailing only Stanford and Tennessee Tech (5) nationally.
• Ole Miss is one of five teams in the nation with a win percentage above .800.
• Ole Miss has won as many games as the bottom seven teams in the nation combined.

ALL THREE PHASES
Ole Miss is the only team in college baseball to rank in the top-25 nationally in team ERA (19th, 3.13), team batting average (14th, .303) and fielding percentage (21st, .979).

REBS RECOGNIZED
Ole Miss added its fourth SEC Weekly Honor of year this week as Tyler Keenan was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the second straight week. He's the first Rebel ever to earn FOTW honors in back-to-back weeks, and he joins Alex Yarbrough as the only two Rebels to win the award twice. Ole Miss is tied with Kentucky and Arkansas for the most weekly awards in the conference this season at four apiece. Only the Rebels and Razorbacks boast multiple winners in two categories. No team has a winner in every category.

The week prior, closer Parker Caracci was named SEC Pitcher of the Week after earning the save in all three of the Rebels' wins. Keenan was named SEC co-Freshman of the Week after hitting the game-deciding home run in Game 3 against Arkansas. Last, Caracci also earned Midseason All-American honors from Perfect Game/Rawlings 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 SEC in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 3.34, good for third in the nation. With 337 strikeouts and 101 walks on the season, the Rebels have struck out more and walked fewer batter than any other team in the SEC. Ole Miss is the only team in the league with a K/BB ratio above 3.1.

The Rebels' 337 strikeouts are the most in the SEC and the 10th-most nationally.  Ole Miss averages just 2.98 walks issued per nine innings, the best rate in the SEC and 14th in the NCAA.

DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
Of the Rebels' 28 wins this season, 11 have been come-from-behind victories. 

REBELS RAKE
Compared to last season, the Rebels have found another level of production at the plate.

Ole Miss is slashing .059/.115/.053 better than last season through 34 games. The Rebels have scored 90 more runs on 80 more hits than this point last year. The Rebel offense has added 24 more doubles, 14 more home runs and 86 more RBI. Ole Miss has also struck out 55 times fewer than it did last season.

The Ole Miss offense is hitting .303 as a group this season, now at No. 14 in the NCAA and No. 3 in the SEC. With 332 hits on the season, the Rebel offense is 13th in the country and fourth in the conference. 

DOUBLE TROUBLE
Ole Miss is No. 11 in the nation with 75 doubles on the year. The Rebels are No. 3 the SEC in that category behind Kentucky (78) and Florida (77). They're No. 16 in the nation and second in the league with 2.21 doubles per game. To this point last season, the Rebels had just 51 doubles.

INTRIGUING TRIPLES
Ole Miss has four triples this season, and they've come in 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 in the fifth.

BOMBS AWAY
Ole Miss has been one of the best power-hitting teams in college baseball this season. The Rebels are 15th in the nation and fifth in the SEC with 38 home runs on the season. The Rebels are averaging 1.12 homers per game, good for 21st in the country and fifth in the conference.

Ole Miss is No. 14 in the nation in slugging percentage and fourth in the league at .475.

Thomas Dillard, Cole Zabowski and Nick Fortes lead the Rebels with seven home runs apiece. 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' 219 RBI, 85 have come with two outs. By comparison, the Rebel pitching staff has allowed just 44 two-out RBI. Through 34 games last season, Ole Miss had just 59 two-out RBI. The Rebels totaled 95 all of last year. The Rebels are hitting .312 with two outs, as well as .324 with runners in scoring position and .333 with runners on base.

MIDWEEK WINNERS
Ole Miss is a perfect 10-0 in midweek games this season, the only team in program history to win its first 10 midweek games. Three Rebel teams--2016, 2010 and 2007--have started 8-0 in midweek contests.

The Rebels have four midweek games remaining on their schedule and are on pace to beat their best record all-time in midweeks, a 15-2 mark set in 2009.

OLEY DOESN'T MISS
Ryan Olenek is the toughest player to strike out in the SEC, having struck out just 10 times in 130 at-bats for a K rating of 13.0. He has been one of Ole Miss' most reliable bats this season, including an incredible tear of late. Olenek is currently on a team-best 12-game hitting streak and has reached base successfully in 14 straight games. During his hitting streak Oley is slashing .490/.612/.490 with 24 H, 6 2B, 8 R.

Olenek has tallied eight multi-hit performances in the last 10 games. No. 2 leads the Rebels with 15 multi-hit games this season. He's hitting .468 in SEC play with six doubles. The Winter Park, Florida, native boasts a team-best 13 doubles on the year, good for 26th in the nation and first in the SEC. 

KEENAN IS KEY
Tyler Keenan has been seeing the ball as well as anyone in the country of late en route to back-to-back SEC Freshman of the Week honors. Keenan is the first Rebel to win the award in back-to-back weeks, and he joins Alex Yarbrough as just the second Rebel ever to win it twice.

Over the past two weeks, the rookie out of Clayton, North Carolina, is slashing .485/.667/.500 with 16 hits, 10 runs scored and eight more batted in. He's hit two home runs in that span while adding a stolen base.

Keenan hit a towering home run to break a fifth-inning tie in the Game 3 rubber match at Mississippi State. Immediately prior to his home run, No. 10 turned a 5U3 double play to help the Rebels escape a two-on, one-out situation in the fourth inning. He later drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly.

His highlight of Week 7 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.

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.

Dillard is coming off a tremendous Week 8. Oxford High product slashed .463/.769/.611 with five runs scored and five more batted in. No. 6 knocked two doubles and a triple while drawing five walks. Dillard also flashed the leather, making a game-saving sliding catch at the warning track in the bottom of the 10th inning in Game 3 at MSU.

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 a week ago against No. 5 Arkansas. Zabowski is hitting .400 in SEC play, second-best among Rebels. He's slugging .775 against league competition, the best mark on the team.

COCKRELLED AND LOADED
Junior designated hitter Chase Cockrell has been one of the Rebels' very best bats this season. Cockrell is third in the SEC and No. 51 in the NCAA in batting average at .386. 

Cockrell is owner of three of the hardest-hit balls at Swayze Field this season. He also launched a massive home run Tuesday against Southern Miss at Trustmark Park, home of the Double-A Mississippi Braves. Cockrell became the first Rebel to homer at the pro park in Pearl since Miles Hamblin on March 23, 2010.

CRUNCH TIME CARACCI
Parker Caracci had his best week yet as a Rebel a week ago, earning the save in all three of the Rebels' Week 7 wins to become the first, and still the only, reliever to win SEC Pitcher of the Week this season.

Caracci recorded 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 a seven-game span for Caracci, all coming in just nine days' time. The redshirt sophomore out of Jackson, Mississippi, carried a 0.00 ERA throughout Week 7.

Five of Caracci's six saves have come in SEC play. Those six saves tie him for the team lead with Dallas Woolfolk

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

Golsan is No. 12 in the nation and is tied for the SEC lead with five sacrifice flies on the year. Golsan drove in the game-tying run on a sac fly in the ninth inning of Game 3 at Mississippi State.

CI0.00FFI
Freshman Max Cioffi has emerged as a strong arm out of the Rebel bullpen of late. The rookie out of Chicago turned in a strong week on the mound. He was the first arm out of the bullpen against Memphis and went 1.2, allowing just one hit and no runs. He came in and stopped the bleeding in Game 1 at MSU, going 3.1 scoreless, allowing just two hits.

Cioffi has maintained a 0.00 ERA through 10.0 IP, allowing just three hits for an opponent batting average of .094.

MILLER TIME
Junior college transfer Austin Miller showed his mettle out of the bullpen Tuesday night against a dangerous Southern Miss offense.

The Iowan threw 2.1 scoreless and hitless innings, putting just one Golden Eagle on base on a walk. Miller has allowed just four hits and one earned run in 9.0 IP this season for a 1.00 ERA. He has struck out 13 while walking just two with an opponent average of .129.

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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