Baseball Homestand Begins Wednesday vs. Arkansas State
April 17, 2018

WEDNESDAY - 6:30 p.m.
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: LHP Jordan Fowler 
3-0, 3.94 ERA, 16.0 IP
Arkansas State: RHP Zachary Patterson
0-2, 6.75 ERA, 14.2 IP

GAME 38
Date: April 18, 2018
First Pitch: 6:30 p.m. CT
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: Ole Miss leads 72-23 (96th meeting)
Last Meeting: May 16, 2017 (ASU 5, Ole Miss 0)

QUICK HITS
• No. 7 Ole Miss concluded an eight-game road trip at 4-4, including three losses by just one or two runs. Of the Rebels’ eight losses this year, seven have come by two runs or fewer.
• The Rebels will play their next nine games in the state of Mississippi with eight contests at Swayze Field split by a neutral-site meeting next week with Mississippi State.
• Arkansas State and Ole Miss will meet for the 96th time on Wednesday. The Rebels lead the all-time series 72-23.
• Ole Miss held strong in the top 10 of most polls, including No. 7 rankings by ESPN/USA Today, Perfect Game and Baseball America.
• The Rebels are tied for the third-most wins in college baseball, behind only Florida (32) and Duke (30).
• Ole Miss and top-ranked Florida are the only two teams in the nation to rank in the top 50 nationally in batting average, ERA and fielding percentage. The Rebels are 13th in batting average (.305), 16th in fielding percentage (.980) and 34th in ERA (3.41).
• The Rebel pitching staff is No. 2 in the nation and No. 1 in the SEC in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 3.32. With 365 strikeouts and 110 walks, Ole Miss has walked fewer and struck out more batters than any other team in the league.
• Ole Miss will look to stay perfect in midweek games. The Rebs are 10-0 in midweeks this season, the best mark in school history.
• Through 37 games this season, Ole Miss has scored 95 more runs on 85 more hits than this point last year. The Rebel offense has added 24 more doubles and 11 more home runs while striking out 58 times fewer than they did last season.
Ryan Olenek is on a 15-game hitting streak, the second-longest active streak in the SEC. He’s hitting .508 in league play, the conference’s second-best mark. He leads the SEC in hits with 30, is statistically the toughest player to strike out in the league and is tied for the SEC lead with 18 multi-hit games. Over his streak he is hitting .525 with an OPS of 1.227.
Tyler Keenan has been the best-hitting freshman in SEC play. Keenan leads all SEC freshmen in batting average, slugging and on-base percentage in league play. He’s driven in one run in each of the Rebels’ last six games.

PROBABLE STARTERS
Wednesday • 6:30 p.m. CT

LHP Jordan Fowler (Ole Miss) | 3-0, 3.94 ERA, 16.0 IP
RHP Zachary Patterson (Arkansas State) | 0-2, 6.75 ERA, 14.2 IP

FOWLER NOTES 
• Making fourth career start
• Just one hit and no runs allowed in last two appearances (1.2 IP)
• Has allowed just two hits with two outs this season.
• Critical relief performance in Game 3 at Texas A&M, inheriting and cleanly escaping a bases-loaded, one-out jam by pitching into an inning-ending double play in the Rebels’ 7-6 win.
• Earned first-career win in a start at Georgia State: 5.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K
• Had fantastic first-career start vs. Little Rock: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
• Two wins early this season in relief of Sunday starter James McArthur
• Drafted in 26th round of 2017 MLB Draft by Texas Rangers
• Was 20-2 in high school career, tossing two no-hitters

SCOUTING A-STATE
• Arkansas State is coming off a series loss against UT-Arlington. The Red Wolves took Game 1 away from home but fell in the final two contests.
• Prior to that, the Red Wolves had five games against opponents the Rebels have also met this season. A-State was swept in a three-game series at Georgia State, the same location where Ole Miss captured two midweek wins, including its largest offensive output of the season, 16-2. After that, the Red Wolves dropped two in a midweek home-and-home against Memphis.
• Arkansas State is led offensively in nearly every category by Kyle MacDonald. MacDonald is hitting .359 with 11 doubles, five home runs and 25 RBI and 33 runs scored in 31 games. 
• Jeremy Brown is the Red Wolves’ only other player hitting over .300 at .309 on the season. He boasts 10 doubles as well, good for second on the team.
• Projected A-State starter Zachary Patterson is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA. He has just a .250 batting average against, including a .235 mark against right-handed hitters. While he has allowed just 14 hits in 14.2 innings this season, he has also walked 13 batters and hit four.

SERIES HISTORY
For the 13th consecutive season, the Rebels and Red Wolves are playing a home-and-home series. Ole Miss will travel to Jonesboro for its final midweek game this season on May 15. The teams have played in the regular season for 25 years running now, every year since 1993.

Ole Miss leads the all-time series with Arkansas State 72-23. The Red Wolves took the last meeting between the schools, 5-0 in Jonesboro. The Red Wolves have not won in Oxford since 2008. The Rebels are 25-10 against A-State under head coach Mike Bianco.

ON THE RECORD
• Ole Miss is tied for the third-most wins in college baseball, behind only Florida (32-6) and Duke (30-7).
• The Rebels are eighth in the nation in win percentage at .784.
• Ole Miss trails just Florida in the SEC for the most wins, fewest losses and best win percentage.
• Only seven teams in NCAA Division I have fewer losses than the Rebels (8).
• Ole Miss is one of 10 teams in the nation with a win percentage above .750.

ALL THREE PHASES
Ole Miss and top-ranked Florida are the only two teams in the NCAA to rank in the top 50 nationally in ERA, batting average and fielding percentage.

Ole Miss is 13th in batting average (.305), 16th in fielding percentage (.980) and 34th in ERA (3.41).

REBS RECOGNIZED
Ole Miss added its fourth SEC Weekly Honor of year last 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.

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 3.32, good for second in the nation. With 365 strikeouts and 110 walks on the season, the Rebels have struck out more and walked fewer batters than any other team in the SEC. Ole Miss is the only team in the league with a K/BB ratio above 3.1.

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK
Of the Rebels’ 29 wins this season, 12 have been come-from-behind victories. 

OLE MISS MASH
The 2018 Ole Miss offense is on pace to be the program’s best in nearly a decade. Hitting .305 now on the season, the Rebels are vying to be the first team since 2009 to hit over .300 for the season. The 2009 club hit .310 as one of the most prolific hitting clubs in program history. The Rebels hit over .300 in four of five seasons from 2005-09, highlighted by a program record .321 in 2005.

At .305, Ole Miss is up to third in the SEC and 13th in the nation. The Rebels rank in the top 25 nationally in 10 major offensive categories.

REBS RAISE THE BAR
Compared to last season, the Rebels have found another level of production at the plate.

Through 37 games this season, Ole Miss has scored 95 more runs on 85 more hits than this point last year. The Rebel offense has added 24 more doubles, 141more home runs and 90 more RBI. Ole Miss has also struck out 58 times fewer than it did last season. The Rebels are batting nearly .060 points better and slugging more than .100 points better than they did a year ago.

DOUBLE TROUBLE
Ole Miss is No. 11 in the nation with 81 doubles on the year. The Rebels are No. 2 the SEC in that category behind Florida (87). They’re No. 22 in the nation and third in the league with 2.2 doubles per game, and at that pace, they’ll finish the season close to the single-season record of 144, set in 2005. To this point last season, the Rebels had just 57 doubles.

BOMBS AWAY
Ole Miss has been one of the best power-hitting teams in college baseball this season. The Rebels are 18th in the nation and fifth in the SEC with 41 home runs on the season. The Rebels are averaging 1.11 homers per game, good for 24th 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 .478.

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. Zabowski and Keenan are tied for the team lead in conference play at four apiece.

RALLY ON TWO
Ole Miss has had a knack for two-out hitting this season. Of the Rebels’ 242 RBI, 89 have come with two outs. By comparison, the Rebel pitching staff has allowed just 49 two-out RBI. Through 37 games last season, Ole Miss had just 67 two-out RBI. The Rebels totaled 95 all of last year. 

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 swinging one of the hottest bats in college baseball right now. The junior out of Winter Park, Florida, is on a 15-game hitting streak and has reached base in 17-straight contests. The 15-game streak, which has been on since March 22, ties Thomas Dillard for the longest streak this season for the Rebs. It is the second-longest active streak in the SEC right now, trailing Florida’s Jonathan India (23).

Olenek is the toughest player to strike out in the SEC, having struck out just 10 times in 142 at-bats for a K rating of 14.2. Only four of those strikeouts have come in league play, where his K rating is 14.75.

Olenek is tied for first in the SEC with 18 multi-hit games, matching marks by India and MSU’s Jake Mangum. He has tallied 13 multi-hit games during his current hitting streak, including three last weekend at Vanderbilt.

Olenek is No. 24 nationally and second in the SEC, hitting .394 on the season. He’s 23rd in the nation and first in the SEC in doubles with 14. He’s also 19th in the country and second in the league with 56 hits.

Olenek is hitting .508 in conference play, trailing India (.509) by a hair. He also boasts an OPS of 1.253 in league play. He leads the SEC with 30 hits in conference games.

Over his 15-game hitting streak, Olenek is hitting .525 with an OPS of 1.227. He has racked up 32 hits, including seven doubles and a homer, scored 13 runs and batted in seven more. He has struck out just three times in that span.

KEENAN IS KEY
Tyler Keenan has been seeing the ball as well as any freshman the country of late en route to back-to-back SEC Freshman of the Week honors for Weeks 7 and 8. 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.

He’s second among freshmen in the SEC in batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. Isolating SEC play, Keenan is tied for the lead among freshmen in batting average and leads all freshmen (and is fourth overall) in slugging and on-base percentage.

Keenan has hit a home run in Game 3 in each of the Rebels’ last four SEC series. He’s slashing .350/.700/.471 in league play with 14 runs scored, 12 RBI, four home runs, two doubles and a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. He’s also earned his way on base through five walks and five hit-by-pitches. Keenan is hitting 6-of-12 (.500) in conference play with runners in scoring position.

Keenan has at least one RBI in each of the last six games. He’s 20-for-43 (.465) with runners on base this season and 12-for-25 (.480) with runners in scoring position. 

Over the past three weeks, Tyler Keenan is hitting .450/.700/.511 with 18 hits, 12 runs scored, 11 RBI and three home runs. In that span, Keenan is 8-for-15 (.533) with runners in scoring position and 11-for-22 (.500) with runners on base.

CAPTAIN CLUTCH
Senior Will Golsan is coming off his best offensive week of the season. The Columbus, Mississippi, native hit an even .500 last week with seven hits, six runs scored and three driven in, including his first home run of the season. The Senior CLASS Award Candidate became the 13th Rebel to hit a home run this year. Now every regular starter has hit a home run this season.

FORTES CATCHING FIRE
Junior catcher/utility man Nick Fortes has been hitting the ball hard lately, and now his hits are starting to find some open space. He hit .313 with three doubles and a triple last week. He drove in a team-best six runs and now leads the SEC with 16 RBI in league play.

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.

COCKRELLED AND LOADED
Junior designated hitter Chase Cockrell has been one of the Rebels’ very best bats this season. Cockrell is fifth in the SEC in batting average at .363. 

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.

CI0.00FFI
Freshman Max Cioffi has emerged as a strong arm out of the Rebel bullpen of late. The rookie out of Chicago has maintained a 0.00 ERA through 11.0 IP, allowing just three hits for an opponent batting average of .094.


 

 

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