SEC Baseball Returns to Swayze Field as No. 7 Ole Miss Hosts No. 12 Georgia

FRIDAY - 6:30 p.m. CT SATURDAY - 1:30 p.m. SUNDAY - 1:30 p.m. CT
Ole Miss: LHP Ryan Rolison 
5-3, 3.27 ERA, 52.1 IP
Georgia: RHP Chase Adkins
3-0, 3.97 ERA, 45.1 IP
Ole Miss: RHP Brady Feigl
6-2, 3.92 ERA, 52.0 IP
Georgia: RHP Emerson Hancock
4-2, 3.78 ERA, 47.2 IP
Ole Miss: RHP James McArthur 
4-0, 3.40 ERA, 42.1 IP
Georgia:LHP Ryan Webb
1-4, 4.30 ERA, 37.2 IP

GAMES 39-41
Date: April 20-22, 2018
First Pitch: Fri: 6:30 p.m. | Sat/Sun: 1:30 p.m.
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:
Live Stats:
Twitter Updates: @OleMissBSB
Series: Ole Miss leads 40-38
Last Meeting: Ole Miss 5, UGA 1 in 2016 SEC Tourn.

• No. 7 Ole Miss improved to 11-0 in midweek games with a 10-3 Wednesday night trouncing of Arkansas State.
• After two straight SEC series away from Swayze Field, the Rebels will play their next two at home, beginning this weekend vs. No. 12 Georgia.
• The Rebels and Bulldogs have met 78 times in their history with Ole Miss holding a slight advantage at 40-38 all time.
• 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 30 nationally in batting average, ERA and fielding percentage. The Rebels are 13th in batting average (.306), 15th in fielding percentage (.980) and 30th in ERA (3.40).
• 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 375 strikeouts and 113 walks, Ole Miss has walked fewer and struck out more batters than any other team in the league.
• Through 38 games this season, Ole Miss has scored 102 more runs on 86 more hits than this point last year. The Rebel offense has added 24 more doubles and 13 more home runs while striking out 57 times fewer than they did last season.
• As a team, Ole Miss is hitting .305 in league play, the second-best mark in the conference.
Ryan Olenek is on a 16-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 19 multi-hit games. Over his streak he is hitting .540 with an OPS of 1.257.
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 has homered in Game 3 in each of the Rebels' last four SEC series.
• Friday night starter Ryan Rolison has regained his rhythm of late, going 2-0 in 12.2 IP, allowing 3 ER with 17 K in his last two starts. Rolison is second in the SEC with 71 strikeouts on the season, good for 28th nationally.

Friday • 6:30 p.m. 

LHP Ryan Rolison (Ole Miss) | 5-3, 3.27 ERA, 52.1 IP
RHP Chase Adkins (Georgia) | 3-0, 3.97 ERA, 45.1 IP

• Last two appearances: 2-0, 12.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 BB, 12 H, 17 K
• One run allowed at Mississippi State was his fewest since Week 2 against Tulane.
• Seven games with eight or more strikeouts this season.
• Second-most strikeouts in the SEC (71), 28th in the country
• 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 • 1:30 p.m.
RHP Brady Feigl (Ole Miss) | 6-2, 3.29 ERA, 52.0 IP
RHP Emerson Hancock (Georgia) | 4-2, 3.78 ERA, 47.2 IP

• Tied for 21st in the NCAA and fifth in the SEC with six wins on the season
• Allowed just two hits in 5.1 IP last week at Vanderbilt
• Has allowed just 10 hits on two outs this season. Opp. are batting .175 vs. Feigl with two outs.
• Has induced more groundouts (71) than any Rebel pitcher this season.
• 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 • 1:30 p.m.
RHP James McArthur (Ole Miss) | 4-0, 3.40 ERA, 42.1 IP
LHP Ryan Webb (Georgia) | 1-4, 4.30 ERA, 37.2 IP

• Fewest hits allowed per nine innings among Rebel starters at 7.02.
• Has allowed just seven hits (.115) with runners on base.
• Has allowed only seven hits (.156) with two outs.
• Has pitched into more flyouts (60) than any other pitcher on staff.
• 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

• Georgia was named the top surprise team in the nation at midseason by
• UGA tore through conference play at 12-4 and won its first three series in SEC play, taking two of three from both Alabama and Texas A&M in addition to a sweep of South Carolina.
• The Bulldogs are a balanced ballclub, led offensively by senior outfielder Keegan McGovern.
• McGovern leads UGA hitting .339 with 12 home runs and 42 runs scored.
• Michael Curry is dangerous at the plate as well with a .322 average, seven homers and a team-best 37 RBI.
• One of the Bulldogs' most important figures is sophomore Aaron Schunk.
• Schunk is an aggressive .293 hitter with eight doubles and 43 hits on the year. 
• Schunk has also served as the team's primary closer with five saves and a 2.12 ERA to his credit.
• The UGA pitching staff as totaled six shutouts this season, good for fifth nationally and a tie for the SEC lead.

Coming into this series, Ole Miss and UGA have met 78 times, with the Rebels holding a slight advantage all-time at 40-38, including a 21-17 mark under head coach Mike Bianco. Ole Miss and UGA last met for a three-game series in Athens in 2016, where the Rebels one two of three. The Rebels also topped the Bulldogs 5-1 in the first round of the SEC Tournament that year. UGA last made the trip to Swayze Field in 2014, and the Rebels took two of three in that series as well.

• 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.

Ole Miss and top-ranked Florida are the only two teams in the NCAA to rank in the top 30 nationally in ERA, batting average and fielding percentage.

Ole Miss is 13th in batting average (.306), 15th in fielding percentage (.980) and 30th in ERA (3.40).

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.

Ole Miss remains No. 1 in the SEC in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 3.32, good for second in the nation. With 375 strikeouts and 113 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.

Compared to last season, the Rebels have found another level of production at the plate. Through 38 games this season, Ole Miss has scored 102 more runs on 86 more hits than this point last year. The Rebel offense has added 26 more doubles, 13 more home runs and 97 more RBI. Ole Miss has also struck out 57 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.

Of the Rebels' 30 wins this season, 12 have been come-from-behind victories. 

The 2018 Ole Miss offense is on pace to be one of the program's best. Hitting .306 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 .306, 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.

Ole Miss is No. 10 in the nation with 83 doubles on the year. The Rebels are No. 2 the SEC in that category behind Florida (89). They're No. 23 in the nation and third in the league with 2.18 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.

Ole Miss has been one of the best power-hitting teams in college baseball this season. After Tuesday's big offensive night against Arkansas State, the Rebels moved into the top 10 nationally in slugging percentage at .481. The Rebels are 18th in the nation and fifth in the SEC with 43 home runs on the season. The Rebels are averaging 1.13 homers per game, good for 23rd in the country and fifth in the conference.

Thomas Dillard leads Ole Miss with eight homers on the year. Cole Zabowski and Nick Fortes are on his heels 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.

Ole Miss has had a knack for two-out hitting this season. Of the Rebels' 242 RBI, 92 have come with two outs. By comparison, the Rebel pitching staff has allowed just 51 two-out RBI. Through 38 games last season, Ole Miss had just 67 two-out RBI. The Rebels totaled 95 all of last year. 

Ole Miss is a perfect 11-0 in midweek games this season, the only team in program history to win its first 11 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.

Ryan Olenek is swinging one of the hottest bats in college baseball right now. The junior out of Winter Park, Florida, is on a 16-game hitting streak and has reached base in 18-straight contests. The 16-game streak, which has been on since March 22, is the longest this season for the Rebs. It is the second-longest active streak in the SEC right now, trailing Florida's Jonathan India (24). During his hit streak, Olenek is batting .540 with 34 hits, 14 runs scored, seven doubles and an OPS of 1.257.

Olenek went 2-for-2 on Wednesday against Arkansas State to increase his batting average to .403, making him one of just two players in the SEC and 21 players in NCAA Division I with an average over .400.

Olenek is the toughest player to strike out in the SEC, having struck out just 10 times in 144 at-bats for a K rating of 14.4. Only four of those strikeouts have come in league play, where his K rating is 14.75. He has struck out just once in the last 10 games, including six straight without a strikeout.

Olenek is tied for first in the SEC with 19 multi-hit games. He has tallied 14 multi-hit games during his current hitting streak, including three last weekend at Vanderbilt.

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.

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.

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.

In his last four games, Fortes is 7-for-16 (.438) with three runs scored, five batted in, four doubles and a triple. He's had four multi-hit outputs in the last seven games.

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.

Golsan is eighth in the nation and first in the SEC with six sacrifice flies on the year.

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 eight 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.

Junior designated hitter Chase Cockrell has been one of the Rebels' very best bats this season. Cockrell is seventh 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.

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.

Sophomore Houston Roth has been mowing down midweek competition all season long but was given Wednesday off this week as he'll transition to a weekend bullpen role.

The Rebels are undefeated at 9-0 in games when Roth has pitched this season. 

He's been striking out hitters at an impressive rate. He's No. 36 in the nation and No. 4 in the SEC in strikeouts per nine innings, averaging 12.07, just behind Rebel ace Ryan Rolison, who is 34th and third at 12.21 K/9.






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