April 21, 2016
Matchup: No. 14 Ole Miss (28-10, 7-8 SEC) vs. Auburn (18-19, 5-10 SEC)
Date: April 22-24, 2016
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Venue: Swayze Field
Television: SECN+ (Fri.)/SEC Network (Sat./Sun.)
Richard Cross (Fri.)/Clay Matvick (Sat./Sun.), play-by-play
David Dellucci (Fri.)/Todd Walker (Sat./Sun.), analyst
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
David Kellum, play-by-play
Keith Kessinger, analyst
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com
Series: Auburn leads 82-81-1
Last Series: April 17-18, 2015
Auburn won two-of-three
Friday, April 22, 6:30 p.m.
Friday Night Fireworks
Sunday, April 24, 1 p.m.
Kids Run the Bases Presented by Belles and Beaus. Kids are invited to come down on the field following the completion of the game.
Baseball Card Pack Giveaway (3-of-5)
- Ole Miss is ranked sixth in the RPI and as high as No. 14 in the national polls.
- The Rebels enter the weekend after beating Memphis and Murray State in a pair of midweek games.
- The last time Ole Miss and Auburn met at Swayze Field, the Rebels swept the Tigers (April 4-5, 2014).
- Brady Bramlett has not allowed a run over his last two starts, totaling 13.0 innings.
- Errol Robinson has multi-hit games in seven of the last 11 contests, hitting .386 during the stretch.
- The Rebels have recorded 13 outfield assists this season.
- Colby Bortles leads the SEC with 15 doubles.
- 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 23 of the last 24 games
- J.B. Woodman is hitting .417 (15-for-36) with runners in scoring position.
- With 19 career saves, junior Wyatt Short ranks fourth on Ole Miss’ all-time list.
- Ole Miss holds the lowest ERA in the SEC at 2.97.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
FRIDAY, 6:30 P.M.
Auburn - Cole Lipscomb, R-Jr., RHP, 1-3, 6.34 ERA
Ole Miss - Brady Bramlett, R-Jr., RHP, 6-2, 2.19 ERA
- Named to the National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2016 National Pitcher of the Year Award Watch List
- After pitching six shutout innings at Alabama, has not allowed a run in his past two starts (13.0 innings)
- Tied a personal best with 12 strikeouts over a season-high 7.0 scoreless innings in win over No. 21 Arkansas (April 8), earning Louisville Slugger National Pitcher of the Week
- Pitched a career-high 7.1 scoreless innings versus Alabama last season (April 25, 2015), recording nine strikeouts and zero walks
- Struck out eight in a victory over No. 2 Louisville (February 26)
- Named to the University of Mississippi Hall of Fame and 2015-16 Who’s Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges
- Serves as the vice-chair of the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)
- Sings in the university choir and serves as the president of Ole Miss SAAC
SATURDAY, 2 P.M.
Auburn - Justin Camp, R-Sr., RHP, 3-2, 3.30 ERA
Ole Miss - David Parkinson, So., LHP, 1-1, 1.42 ERA
- Allowed just one run over a career-high 7.0 innings in his last start (at Alabama, April 16)
- Earned his first victory in his first career start, allowing one run over a career-high 5.1 innings
- Before being moved into the rotation, led the team in appearances out of the bullpen
- Holding opponents to a .225 batting average
- Tossed 4.1 innings of relief versus No. 10 South Carolina (March 24)
- Junior college transfer from Florence-Darlington Technical School
- In JUCO, made 12 starts and posted a 5-2 record with a 2.77 ERA
SUNDAY, 1 P.M.
Auburn - TBA
Ole Miss - TBA
At the halfway point of the SEC season, Auburn is 5-10 to go along with an overall record of 18-19. After dropping four conference series, the Tigers took two-of-three from Tennessee to claim their first SEC series of the season. Auburn is one of the best offensive teams in the SEC, hitting at a combined .317 clip. Junior outfielder Anfernee Grier is making a claim for SEC Player of the Year, leading the conference in hits (67) and ranking second in batting average (.414), runs (46) and on base percentage (.497). Grier also paces Auburn on the base path with 16 steals. On the mound, the AU pitching staff holds a 4.27 cumulative ERA. Redshirt-senior Justin Camp is the only Tiger to make a start on all nine weekends throughout the 2016 season thus far. The right hander tossed a complete-game shutout against Tennessee last weekend, allowing just two hits and striking out seven. Butch Thompson, former pitching coach at Mississippi State, is in his first season as Auburn’s head coach.
A TIGHT SERIES
The Rebels and Tigers have had an even series over the course of history. Auburn leads the all-time series 82-81-1, but Ole Miss holds a 25-21 advantage over the past 15 seasons, during head coach Mike Bianco’s tenure. The last time the two SEC West schools met at Swayze Field, the Rebels swept the Tigers in a three-game set. That series included one of the most memorable endings to a game in Ole Miss Baseball history. In the 13th inning of the series opener, Auburn tried to intentionally walk Austin Anderson. However, Anderson had different plans as he blasted the first pitch over the fence in right field for the walk-off win.
REBELS COLLECT MIDWEEK WINS
Ole Miss got back on the winning track, starting off the week with a pair of wins against non-conference opponents. Three home runs combined with a masterful performance by freshman starting pitcher James McArthur led No. 14 Ole Miss to a 7-0 victory over Memphis Tuesday evening at AutoZone Park. McArthur pitched a career-high seven scoreless innings and tied his career high with seven strikeouts to earn his fifth victory in his last six starts. Will Golsan and Michael Fitzsimmons hit back-to-back homers as part of a four-run sixth inning. It was the third home run this season by each Rebel as the duo became the first Ole Miss sluggers to go back-to-back since Sikes Orvis and Colby Bortles accomplished the feat versus UT Martin, April 15, 2015. Colby Bortles also left the yard in the eighth inning for his fourth home run of the season. The following evening, Ole Miss returned home to face Murray State. Scoring eight runs in four consecutive innings, the Rebels cruised past the Racers 8-3. Junior Chad Smith tossed 5.0 scoreless innings in a fantastic outing. Smith only allowed two hits, while striking out nine for a new career high. Freshman right-handed pitcher Connor Green also put up a career-high five strikeouts in 2.0 innings without allowing a single hit. The Rebel arms combined for an impressive total of 17 strikeouts, a season best.
BRAMLETT EARNS NATIONAL RECOGNITION
Ole Miss ace Brady Bramlett has been having another phenomenal season on the mound that has earned him some national recognition. Last week, the redshirt junior was named a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week for his performance against Arkansas, tossing seven shutout innings and recording 12 strikeouts. This week, the National College Baseball Hall of Fame announced that Bramlett earned a spot on the watch list for the 2016 National Pitcher of the Year Award. Bramlett was one of 16 pitchers from the Southeastern Conference on the watch list. Bramlett has had a stellar year as the ace of the Rebels’ rotation. The right hander is 6-2 on the season with a 2.19 ERA to go along with 65 strikeouts. Out his 65 strikeouts, 30 of them have been looking which ranks second in the SEC. Bramlett is one of the nation’s top pitchers in terms of strikeouts as his 11.86 strikeouts per nine innings is the 16th-best average in the country.
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 8,402 fans per game, including four contests with the attendance over 10,000, to rank second nationally. In total, 184,836 fans have watched Ole Miss Baseball at Swayze Field this season. 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.
HERE’S TO YOU, MR. ROBINSON
A preseason All-American, junior Errol Robinson has flashed the leather at shortstop all season long. His bat has sparked recently to provide a solid combination of offense and defense. The Boyds, Maryland native is hitting .386 over the last 11 games, recording at least one hit in 10 of those contests. Also during his recent streak, Robinson has put together seven multi-hit games.
STRINGING TOGETHER INNINGS
Against Murray State (April 5), the Rebels scored in four straight innings to take an 8-0 lead before claiming a five-run win. It was the third time this season Ole Miss put together four consecutive scoring innings, matching the series opener versus Grambling State (March 11) and the neautral site contest against Southern Miss (April 5). 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 15 doubles thus far in 2016, six more than his nearest teammate. His 15 doubles rank first among SEC sluggers as well as 18th nationally. The Oviedo, Florida native is four doubles away from cracking the Ole Miss single season top 10 list. He needs 10 more to break the single season record, currently 24 by Brad Henderson (1999) and Will Allen (2014).
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 with a .325 batting average. Moreover, Lartigue is raking during conference play, hitting at a .365 clip. He has put together six games with at least three hits, pacing the Rebel bats.
The Ole Miss outfield has had its fair share of assists this season, especially as of late. Rebel outfielders have tallied 13 assists in 2016, including three in the past four games. Seven of the 13 assists have been outs at home, preventing opponents from scoring. J.B. Woodman leads the way with six assists, throwing four runners out at the plate. Freshman Ryan Olenek has four assists to his credit, while Cameron Dishon has three.
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
The Rebels’ highest ranking is 14th in Perfect Game’s national poll. Baseball American and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association place Ole Miss at No. 15, the USA Today coaches poll and D1Baseball.com list the Rebels as the 16th-best team in the country. With the combination of a quality record and strength of schedule, Ole Miss is sixth 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 (44) and multi-hit games (13), while ranking second in runs scored (28) and third in RBI (26). The second baseman has reached base in 23 of the last 24 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 16th averaging 11.86 strikeouts per nine innings. With a team-high 15 doubles that also leads the SEC, Colby Bortles sits at 18th 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 STRIKING FIRST
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. MLB REBELS
The 2016 Major League Baseball season is now underway, and seven 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), Alex Presley (Milwauke Brewers) 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. Presley already heard his named to Milwaukee, earning the call up on Thursday, April 21. ON DECK
Following the home weekend series, Ole Miss will return to Pearl, Mississippi for a game at Trustmark Park (April 26). The Rebels will battle in-state rival Mississippi State for the annual Governor’s Cup. First pitch is schedule for 6 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on SEC Network. After the rivalry game, Ole Miss returns home for a conference series versus LSU (April 28-30). The three-game set with the Tigers begins Thursday night at 6 p.m. on SEC Network.