#10 Ole Miss (29-9, 9-6 SEC) vs. #7 LSU (27-9-1, 8-6-1 SEC)
Date: April 17-19, 2014 Location: Oxford, Miss. Venue: Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field Capacity: 10,323 Surface: Grass Series: LSU leads 166-147 Last Meeting: LSU won the series 2-1 Radio: Ole Miss Baseball Network Television: ESPNU (Thursday); FSN (Saturday) Announcers: Dave Neal & Kyle Peterson (ESPNU) Dave Baker & Larry Conley (FSN) Live Stats: OleMissSports.com Live Video: ESPN3 (Thursday/Saturday) RebelVision (Friday) | Click Here! Twitter Updates: @OleMissBSB
QUICK HITS Ole Miss found itself in the top 25 of the national rankings for the eighth straight week, topping out at No. 10. The Rebels are second in the SEC in average (.310), home runs (25) and scoring (229 runs). Ole Miss is second in ERA as a staff (2.19) and is first in the conference in wins with 29. Three Rebels rank in the top two in the SEC in hits: Bousfield (1st - 55), Anderson and Allen (T2nd - 53). Anderson ranks in the top 10 in the SEC in average (4th), on base percentage (6th), runs (T5th) and hits (T2nd). Will Allen is second in the SEC in RBI (40) and is tied for fourth in the league in home runs (5). Sikes Orvis is second in the SEC in home runs (8) and has hit safely in 13 consecutive SEC games. Ole Miss outscored foes 40-to-15 last week and nine regular starters hit .300 or better last week. Ole Miss is now 8-4 in one-run games, 6-3 in walk-off wins and has posted 11 come-from-behind wins.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS THURSDAY, 6:30 PM (ESPNU) LSU - TBA 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 four quality starts on the year, including two shutouts and a complete-game vs. GSU. Ellis has not allowed an earned run in 5-of-9 starts this season and holds a 1.81 ERA in nine starts. The junior has allowed 17 walks with 35 strikeouts and holds opponents to a .246 batting average.
FRIDAY 6:30 PM LSU - TBA OLE MISS - Christian Trent, So., LHP NOTING TRENT: Trent makes his 10th start of the season when he takes the mound against LSU this Friday night. The LHP has allowed only eight walks through 59.0 innings of work and nine starts this season. Trent is 4-0 on the season with wins against Stetson, Georgia State, Missouri and Auburn. The sophomore holds a .216 batting average against and his 49 strikeouts is eighth in the SEC. Trent threw a complete-game shutout against Auburn with a career-high seven strikeouts.
SATURDAY, 1:00 PM (FSN) LSU - 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 16 runs in nine starts while working 54.2 innings in those outings. Smith has only taken four losses in his last 28 starts for the Rebels across the last three seasons. The RHP has seven straight quality starts including four wins, two losses and no decision in that time.
A LOOK AT LSU The Tigers of LSU enter the week with an overall record of 27-9-1 and are coming off a series win at home over No. 24 Arkansas and will play a midweek game against Southern Miss on Tuesday night. LSU is hitting at a .269 clip this season with 18 home runs and 203 RBI heading into the week. Andrew Stevenson hits at a .352 clip as the top hitter on the Tiger team and holds 18 RBI. Kade Scivicque is right behind him with a .351 average, four home runs and 24 RBI on the year. As a pitching staff, LSU holds a .240 ERA entering the week with 97 walks and 285 strikeouts. RHP Aaron Nola leads the staff with a 0.70 ERA and a 7-1 record with 13 walks and 84 strikeouts. LHP Jared Poche holds a 2.54 ERA with a 6-2 record, 15 walks and 34 strikeouts in nine starts.
REBELS vs. LSU The Rebels and Tigers have faced each other 313 times with Ole Miss trailing in the series 147-166, but Ole Miss has won three of the last four series played in Oxford, including a sweep in 2010. The two teams first met in 1906 with the Rebels dropping both games played in Baton Rouge. Ole Miss is 12-6 against the Tigers in Oxford in the Bianco era, winning four of six series played. The Rebels are 19-20 against LSU in regular season meetings under Bianco in 13 seasons.
THROUGH 38 GAMES IN 2013 Through 38 games a year ago, the Rebels had posted a 26-12 record and were heading into a weekend series on the road at Tennessee, a series the Rebels would sweep. Ole Miss was hitting at a .270 clip with 11 home runs and 180 RBI, while going 31-of-58 in steal attempts. The Rebel pitching staff was holding to a 2.62 ERA and a .237 opponent's batting average. Pitchers had allowed 143 walks with 277 strikeouts in 344.0 innings.
ALLEN'S PRODUCTION UP Senior Will Allen has been solid in his offensive production this season. Through 38 games this season, the catcher has tallied five home runs and 40 RBI, passing his total offensive production from his junior season when he hit four home runs and tallied 24 RBI.
Allen leads the way in multiple-RBI games with 10, while Anderson (7), Orvis (7) and Bousfield (6) 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 (12) and Auston Bousfield (9) hold the longest hit streaks on the team heading into the series with LSU. Will Jamison (6), Will Allen (5) and Braxton Lee (5) have all hit safely in five or more games heading into the series.
Sikes Orvis paces the team in Southeastern Conference games, having hit safely in 13 consecutive conference games heading into the LSU series.
FINDING A WAY ON BASE Will Allen and Sikes Orvis hold the longest streak of reaching base for the Rebs heading into the weekend games with LSU at 12 straight games. Auston Bousfield is right behind them with nine straight games of reaching base.
Several Rebels saw a streak of reaching base snapped against the Golden Eagles on March 25. Austin Anderson had reached in 24 consecutive games, while Auston Bousfield had reached in 20 straight games. Will Allen also saw his 13-game streak of reaching base snapped.
REBELS BEST WHEN SCORING EARLY Ole Miss has been best when scoring early this season, posting a 21-4 record when scoring first and a 13-3 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 69-to-28 through the first three innings. The Rebels have scored an impressive 37 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 96-to-43 that includes explosions of 36 runs in the fifth inning and 31 runs in the fourth inning through 38 games 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 nine weeks of play, the Rebels have allowed 106 runs (fewer than three runs a game) in 349.2 innings of work. In that time, the Rebels have posted four shutouts and nine 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 134.0 innings of relief work this season, the Rebel bullpen holds a 1.95 ERA as those pitchers have combined to allow only 29 earned runs in that time. The staff has kept runs from scoring, inheriting 89 runners and allowing only 17 to score this year.
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