April 18, 2016
Date: April 19, 2016
Location: Memphis, Tenn.
Venue: AutoZone Park
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
David Kellum, play-by-play
Keith Kessinger, analyst
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com
Series: Ole Miss leads 92-52
Last Game: March 2, 2016
Ole Miss won 9-7
Date: April 20, 2015
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Venue: Oxford-University Stadium
Television: SEC Network+
Richard Cross, play-by-play
David Dellucci, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
David Kellum, play-by-play
Keith Kessinger, analyst
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com
Series: Ole Miss leads 18-3-1
Last Game: April 9, 2014
Ole Miss won 8-5
Wednesday, April 20 @ 6:30 pm
» Men's Health Night - Details to follow
» Kids Night! Kids 12 and under get in FREE
- Ole Miss is ranked seventh in the RPI and as high as No. 14 in the national polls.
- The Rebels are 19-2 in non-conference games, including 8-1 in midweek matchups.
- Ole Miss defeated Memphis 9-7 at Swayze Field (March 2).
- AutoZone Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals), will be the third minor league ballpark the Rebels have played in this season.
- The Rebels are 11-1-1 versus Murray State under head coach Mike Bianco.
- Henri Lartigue leads all SEC catchers with a .339 batting average.
- Ole Miss is outscoring opponents 38-15 in the first inning of games and holds a 14-2 record when scoring in the opening frame.
- Tate Blackman has reached base in 21 of the last 22 games
- J.B. Woodman is hitting .469 (15-for-32) with runners in scoring position.
- With 19 career saves, junior Wyatt Short ranks fourth on Ole Miss' all-time list.
- Ole Miss played at Memphis and hosted Murray State on back-to-back days in 2014 (April 8-9).
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
TUESDAY, 6:30 P.M.
Memphis - Jonathan Bowlan, Fr., RHP, 1-3, 3.51 ERA
Ole Miss - James McArthur, Fr., RHP, 4-0, 3.86 ERA
- Won four of his last five starts
- Has a 2.05 ERA, 28 strikeouts and four walks over last 26.1 innings (previous five starts)
- Pitched six scoreless innings to earn the win over Southern Miss (April 5)
- Has started six midweek games for Ole Miss
- Struck out a career-high seven hitters in a win over UT Martin (March 22)
- Earned his first career win, allowing two runs over five innings against Southeast Missouri (March 8)
WEDNESDAY, 6:30 P.M.
Murray State - Jack Hranec, Jr., LHP, 3-3, 5.45
Ole Miss - TBA
Memphis enters the week with a 13-23 record after dropping two-of-three to No. 23 East Carolina over the weekend. Senior outfielder Jake Little leads Memphis with a .331 average at the plate to go along with a team-high 12 steals in 13 attempts. Fellow outfielder Chris Carrier paces the Tigers in runs (27), doubles (11) and home runs (3). Memphis is hitting .254 as a team. On the mound, the Memphis pitching staff holds a 5.13 cumulative ERA. Daron Schoenrock is in his 14th season at the helm of the program.
A TIGHT SERIES
Separated by just 70 miles, Ole Miss and Memphis have played a home-and-home series in each of the past six seasons. In five of those seasons, the series was split with each team earning one victory over the other, providing competitive battles during recent years. Overall, Ole Miss has dominated the all-time series; the two teams have met on the diamond 144 times with the Rebels holding a 92-52 advantage. Mike Bianco is 22-9 against Memphis in 15 years as the Rebels' head coach.
GOING FOR THE SEASON SERIES SWEEP
The Rebels and Tigers have already squared off on the diamond this season. In a matchup at Swayze Field (March 2), Ole Miss rallied from a six-run deficit to score nine unanswered runs, including seven in the third inning, to knock off Memphis 9-7. At the plate, Ole Miss took advantage when the bases were loaded, plating five runs with the bags full of Rebels. Junior J.B. Woodman led the way, going 2-for-3 with three RBI. On the mound, freshman Andy Pagnozzi pitched effectively out of the bullpen to earn the victory. The young right hander tossed 3.2 innings with only two hits and only one run allowed. Fellow freshman Connor Green also had a solid outing with 1.1 scoreless innings of work. Memphis tallied 11 hits throughout the contest, getting multi-hit games out of Andy Bowman, Chris Carrier and Jake Little. In the field, a pair of errors led to five unearned runs, and freshman pitcher Alex Hicks suffered the loss.
PLAYING IN PROFESSIONAL BALLPARKS
When Ole Miss faces Memphis at AutoZone Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals), it will be the third Minor League Baseball ballpark the Rebels have played in this season. Ole Miss met UAB at Regions Field (March 15-16), home of the Birmingham Barons. Earlier this month (April 5), the Rebels headed down to the Mississippi Braves' Trustmark Park for a neutral site matchup against Southern Miss. Ole Miss will play another game at Trustmark Park next week (April 26), battling in-state rival Mississippi State for the Governor's Cup.
A LOOK AT MURRAY STATE
Murray State is a high-powered team at the plate, hitting .323 as a team and averaging over eight runs per game through this point of the season. The Racers are 17-20, and their 14th victory was a memorable one. MSU tied a school record for hits and runs in a 31-11 victory over Eastern Illinois (April 2). In the 20-run win, Murray State recorded 28 hits, including 11 that went for extra bases. MSU also scored 29 runs in a victory over Northern Illinois (February 28). Junior Adam Bauer leads the team in batting average (.386), triples (7) and runs (53). On the rubber, the Murray State pitching staff is allowing 7.8 runs per contest. Kevin Moulder is in his second season at the helm of the MSU baseball program. Ole Miss is 11-1-1 against the Racers under head coach Mike Bianco, including an 8-5 victory the last time the two squads met at Swayze Field (April 9, 2014).
MCARTHUR IN THE MIDDLE
Freshman James McArthur has been the Rebels' primary midweek starter, and after getting settled in, the tall right hander has found success. In his last five starts on the mound, McArthur is 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA. The New Braunfels, Texas native has struck out 28 and walked just four over 26.1 innings during that stretch. His most recent outing was the best of his young Ole Miss career. Facing one of the nation's top offensive teams in Southern Miss, McArthur tossed a career-high six shutout innings to lead Ole Miss to another midweek victory (April 5).
Ole Miss is 8-1 in midweek games. The Rebels won their first eight midweek contest of the season for the third time in program history, also accomplishing the feats in 2007 and 2010. The Rebels have won games over Arkansas State, Memphis, Southern Miss and UT Martin, while also sweeping both Southeast Missouri and UAB in a pair of midweek contests. Ole Miss has outscored the opposition a combined 57-27 in midweek matchups, averaging seven runs per game. As has been the case throughout the entire season, major credit goes to the bullpen. In midweek games this season, the Rebel bullpen has allowed just eight earned runs in 39.0 innings, boasting a 1.85 ERA.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
Swayze Field provides the best atmosphere and some of the biggest crowds across the country for college baseball games. Rebel Nation has taken advantage of the nice weather to come out to the ballpark in full force to see Ole Miss Baseball open the 2016 season. The Rebels have averaged 8,444 fans per game, including four contests with the attendance over 10,000, to rank second nationally. In total, 177,330 fans have watched Ole Miss Baseball at Swayze Field this season, also the second-most in the country. Both marks are on pace to break program season attendance records.
The third-largest combined attendance for a three-game home series (28,659) watched the Rebels take two-of-three from No. 2 Louisville. On Saturday, the fourth-largest crowd in Swayze Field history (10,561) saw the Rebels battle the Cardinals. Attendance on opening day was 10,129, the sixth-largest in stadium history and the biggest opening day crowd in school history. More than 10,000 fans watched the Rebels win game two against FIU, and the three-game series attendance totaled 26,910 (8,970 average). That mark set an opening series record and also ranks seventh for three-game series attendance at Ole Miss.
A COINCIDENTAL SHUTOUT
Opening up the Southeastern Conference weekend series at Alabama, Ole Miss used three pitchers to post a 4-0 shutout over the Crimson Tide. Coincidentally, prior to the Friday night matchup, the last shutout pitched by the Rebels was also against Alabama in a 4-0 victory, April 25, 2015. In both shutouts, Brady Bramlett was the starting pitcher that led Ole Miss to victory. The right-hander tossed a career-high 7.1 scoreless innings in last season's matchup, striking out nine. This year, Bramlett went 6.0 frames without allowing a run before turning the game over to Will Stokes and Wyatt Short. The duo combined to finish the final three innings and secure the shutout. In two career starts versus Alabama, Bramlett has been lights out (13.1 innings, 0 runs, 7 hits, 15 strikeouts, 3 walks).
STRINGING TOGETHER INNINGS
Against Southern Miss (April 5), the Rebels scored in the first four innings to take a 6-0 lead before claiming a four-run win. It was the second time this season Ole Miss put together four consecutive scoring innings, matching the series opener versus Grambling State (March 11). The Rebels also scored runs in three straight innings in games versus No. 18 Coastal Carolina (March 5) and GSU (March 13), as well as in a pair of contests against No. 21 Arkansas (April 8-9).
Junior Colby Bortles has blasted 14 doubles thus far in 2016, six more than his nearest teammate. His 14 doubles rank fourth among SEC sluggers as well as 17th nationally. The Oviedo, Florida native is five doubles away from cracking the Ole Miss single season top 10 list. He needs 11 more to break the single season record, currently 24 held by Brad Henderson (1999) and Will Allen (2014).
HERE COMES HENRI
The tradition of great catchers at Ole Miss is well known, especially over recent history. Stuart Turner was a Johnny Bench Award winner and Will Allen was an All-American. Last year, Austin Knight threw out 17 baserunners. This season, another Rebel catcher is making his presence known. After spending most of last season as the team's designated hitter or backup catcher, junior Henri Lartigue has taken the reigns behind the plate in 2016. The Southaven, Mississippi native is one of the team's leaders at the plate. In fact, his .339 batting average paces Ole Miss and leads all conference catchers. Moreover, Lartigue is raking during conference play, hitting at a .362 clip. He has put together six games with at least three hits, pacing the Rebel bats.
One of three team captains, J.B. Woodman has shown his leadership ability by being a clutch hitter all season long. The junior is hitting .414 with runners on base, including a remarkable .469 (15-of-32) with runners in scoring position. Both averages lead the Ole Miss Rebels. With a runner on third and less than two outs, Woodman has scored the runner in eight out of 10 opportunities. He also posts a .597 rate of advancing runners on base, another team best.
OLE MISS IN THE POLLS
After a tough week in the SEC gauntlet, the Rebels fall just a few spots in each poll. The highest Ole Miss ranking puts the Rebels at No. 14 in the Perfect Game poll. Baseball America places Ole Miss at No. 15. Both USA Today coaches poll and D1Baseball.com moved Ole Miss to the No. 16 spot. With an impressive record and strength of schedule, Ole Miss is seventh in the RPI.
Throughout the spring and fall, there was talk about the improvement of Tate Blackman. After going through a difficult freshman season, the Altamonte Springs, Florida native was determined to prove that his 2015 preseason expectations (a preseason freshman All-American before he even took the field in an Ole Miss uniform) were more than just hype. Putting in the time to get better during the offseason, Blackman's hard work has paid off thus far in 2016. Blackman leads the team in hits (42) and multi-hit games (13), while ranking second in runs scored (27) and third in RBI (26). The second baseman has reached base in 21 of the last 22 games.
Ole Miss ranks in the top 25 nationally in several statistical categories. Individually, junior J.B. Woodman is fifth in the nation with six sacrifice flies, while Brady Bramlett ranks 17th averaging 11.86 strikeouts per nine innings. With a team-high 14 doubles, Colby Bortles sits at 24th nationally.
Ole Miss has put together big innings throughout the 2016 campaign. Eight times this season, the Rebels have scored at least five runs in an inning. Ole Miss scored a season-high nine runs in the first inning versus FIU. Against Memphis, the Rebs used a seven-run third inning to rally from an early 6-0 deficit. At the Chanticleer Classic, six runs in the second helped Ole Miss roll to a 7-1 win over Cincinnati. The Rebels had two five-run innings to cruise past Grambling in a weekend sweep. A pair of five-run fifth innings helped Ole Miss down UAB 5-1 (March 16), as well as Tennessee, 10-7 (March 20). With six runs in the bottom of the eighth (April 9), the Rebels held off No. 21 Arkansas before claiming the weekend sweep with a win in the series finale
Ole Miss wastes no time striking first, outscoring the opposition 38-15 in the first inning. The Rebels have scored in the opening frame 16 times this season, posting a 14-2 record in those ballgames. The Rebels tallied 13 runs in the first inning on opening weekend, including nine in the series finale. The fast start gave the Rebels momentum in each game, helping lead to the series sweep of FIU. In the series opener versus No. 2 Louisville, junior J.B. Woodman belted a two-run homer to right field in the first, giving Ole Miss the early lead that it kept throughout the contest to hand the top-ranked Cardinals their first loss of the season. Facing another ranked team in No. 18 Coastal Carolina, the Rebels tallied three runs in the first inning to cruise to an 8-2 win on the road. In the series finale at Tennessee, Ole Miss scored twice in the opening frame en route to a series-clinching victory. A run in the first also helped the Rebels knock off No. 5 Mississippi State.
BIANCO EARNS 700TH CAREER VICTORY
Head coach Mike Bianco, the winningest coach in Ole Miss Baseball history, collected his 700th career victory March 4 as Ole Miss cruised to a 15-2 win over Grambling. The win was also Bianco's 600th as head coach of the Rebels. With the milestone victory, Bianco became just the ninth coach in NCAA Baseball history to earn at least 600 wins at an SEC school. Ole Miss has reached the 30-win plateau in each of Bianco's previous 15 seasons, proving that the Rebels reload their roster, not rebuild. With 13 postseason appearances in 15 years, five Super Regional appearances over the last 11 years and a College World Series appearance in 2014, Ole Miss has continued to rank among the nation's elite each season under Bianco.
The 2016 Major League Baseball season is now underway, and six former Rebels earned spots on big league ballclubs: Aaron Barrett (Washington Nationals), Chris Coghlan (Oakland Athletics), Zack Cozart (Cincinnati Reds), Lance Lynn (St. Louis Cardinals), Drew Pomeranz (San Diego Padres) and Seth Smith (Seattle Mariners). While they are certainly not new to the big leagues, Coghlan and Pomeranz find themselves on new teams for the 2016 campaign. Barrett and Lynn continue rehab from Tommy John surgery as the two MLB Rebels look to return to the diamond. Although he was optioned to Triple-A to start the season, former Rebel David Goforth made the Milwaukee Brewers' 40-man roster and could hear his name called up at any point during the year.
The Rebels' busy stretch ends with a weekend series at Swayze Field versus SEC West foe Auburn (April 22-24). First pitch for game one is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT Friday night on SECN+. The final two games of the series with the Tigers will be nationally televised on SEC Network with Saturday's game beginning at 2 p.m. and Sunday's series finale slated for 1 p.m.