Governor's Cup Up for Grabs as Rebels Meet MSU in Pearl
TUESDAY - 6 p.m.
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: LHP Jordan Fowler 
4-0, 3.43 ERA, 21.0 IP
Mississippi State: RHP Denver McQuary
1-2, 4.88 ERA, 24.0 IP

GAME 42
Date: April 24, 2018
First Pitch: 6 p.m. CT
Location: Pearl, Mississippi
Venue: Trustmark Park (8,480)
Dimensions: LF-330, CF-402, RF-332
TV: SEC Network
     Dari Nowkhah, Play-by-Play
     David Dellucci, 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
Governor's Cup: MSU leads 20-18
Last Governor's Cup: MSU won 4-2

LEADING OFF
• No. 5 Ole Miss is coming off its third back-ended SEC series win, sweeping a doubleheader Saturday against then-No. 12 Georgia.
• The Rebels bring a perfect 11-0 record in midweek contests to Trustmark Park, where they'll meet in-state rival Mississippi State for a non-conference neutral-site matchup.
• Ole Miss will look to exact revenge on Mississippi State after dropping two of a three-game set in Starkville earlier this month.
• Ole Miss moved back into the top five according to Baseball America and sits at No. 6 in most national polls.
• The Rebels are tied for the third-most wins in college baseball, behind only Tennessee Tech (34) and Florida (33).
• Ole Miss is the only team in the nation to rank 26th or better nationally in batting average, ERA and fielding percentage. The Rebels are 19th in batting average (.302), 16th in fielding percentage (.980) and 26th in ERA (3.34).
• The Rebel pitching staff is No. 2 in the SEC in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 3.09. With 395 strikeouts, the Rebels are tied for the most in the SEC. Only two teams--Arkansas (126) and Florida (127)--have walked fewer batters than the Rebels.
• Through 41 games this season, Ole Miss has scored 103 more runs on 87 more hits than this point last year. The Rebel offense has added 23 more doubles, 15 more home runs while striking out 58 fewer times.
• Of the Rebels' nine defeats this season, eight have come by two runs or fewer.
Ryan Olenek is on a 19-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the SEC. He's hitting .479 in league play, the conference's best mark. He leads the SEC in hits with 34 and is statistically the toughest player to strike out in the league.
Will Golsan is now on a 10-game hitting streak for the Rebels. Over the past two weeks, the senior captain is batting .483 with an astounding OPS of 1.357, three home runs (all in SEC play), 10 RBI, 14 hits and eight runs scored
• Sophomore Thomas Dillard is one of 17 players in college baseball in the 40-40 club with more than 40 RBI and runs scored. Dillard has driven in and scored 42 runs, leading the Rebels in both categories.
• Freshman Jordan Fowler will take the bump for Ole Miss on Tuesday at Trustmark Park. The Union City, Tennessee, native is has been stout over his last three appearances, combining to go 6.2 innings, allowing just one run on six hits and three walks with 6 K.

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Tuesday • 6 p.m.

LHP Jordan Fowler (Ole Miss) | 4-0, 3.43 ERA, 21.0 IP
RHP Denver McQuary (Mississippi State) | 1-2, 4.88 ERA, 24.0 IP

FOWLER NOTES
• Making fifth career start
• Last three appearances: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
• Opposing hitters are 6-for-32 (.188) against Fowler with runners on base and 5-for-22 (.227) with two outs.
• 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 MSU
• Mississippi State is coming off a sweep at home of then-No. 3 Arkansas in Starkville.
• MSU is 7-4 in midweek games this season, having lost its last midweek contest, 6-1, vs. Memphis at AutoZone Park.
• The Bulldogs are 5-2 at neutral sites this season, having played several neutral site games early in the year due to the reconstruction of their home ballpark.
• Junior outfielder Jake Mangum has led MSU offensively as one of only two Bulldogs hitting over .300. Mangum is slashing .337/.434/.411 with 13 doubles and two triples. He's also 12-for-13 stealing bases and has scored a team-best 33 runs on 59 hits.
• Junior infielder Hunter Stovall is the second Bulldog hitting over .300 at .309 on the season. He boasts a team-best 14 doubles.
• MSU is scheduled to throw sophomore right-hander Denver McQuary. McQuary picked up his second loss of the season last week against Memphis, yielding two runs in 3.0 IP.

SERIES HISTORY
Aside from their conference series, Ole Miss and Mississippi State have played in a neutral-site rivalry game each season since 1980. The series began as the Mayor's Trophy game, but was changed to the Governor's Cup in 2007. Started in 1980 by then Jackson Mayor Dale Danks Jr., the Mayor's Trophy/Governor's Cup game has been one of the most anticipated matchups of the college baseball season. Beginning in the 2007 season, the non-conference meeting between the two teams moved to Trustmark Park in Pearl, Mississippi, and began anew as the two teams now compete for the Governor's Cup. Throughout the history of the annual midweek rivalry game, the two in-state foes have alternated being the home team at the neutral site venue. This season, MSU will serve as the home team at Trustmark Park. MSU holds a slight lead in the rivalry matchup, 20-18, having won each of the last two meetings.

ON THE RECORD
• Ole Miss is tied for the third-most wins in college baseball, behind only Tennessee Tech (34-5) and Florida (33-7).
• The Rebels are eighth in the nation in win percentage at .780.
• Ole Miss trails just Florida in the SEC for the most wins, fewest losses and best win percentage.
• Only six teams in NCAA Division I have fewer losses than the Rebels (9).
• Ole Miss is one of eight teams in the nation with a win percentage of .780 or greater.

ALL THREE PHASES
Ole Miss is the only team in college baseball to rank 26th or better in batting average, ERA and fielding percentage.

The Rebels are 19th in batting average (.302), 16th in fielding percentage (.980) and 26th in ERA (3.34).

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 is No. 2 in the SEC in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 3.09, good for ninth in the nation. With 395 strikeouts, the Rebels are tied for the most in the SEC. Only two teams--Arkansas (126) and Florida (127)--have walked fewer batters than the Rebels.

REBS RAISE THE BAR
Compared to last season, the Rebels have found another level of production at the plate. Through 41 games this season, Ole Miss has scored 103 more runs on 87 more hits than this point last year. The Rebel offense has added 23 more doubles, 15 more home runs and 98 more RBI. Ole Miss has also struck out 58 fewer times 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.

MIDWEEK WINNERS
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 (.882) mark set in 2009.

DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
Of the Rebels' 32 wins this season, 13 have been come-from-behind victories.

CLOSE CALLS
Eight of the Rebels' nine losses this season have come by two runs or fewer.

SUPERB AT SWAYZE
Ole Miss has won its last nine series at Swayze Field. The Rebels have also won their last eight series against ranked teams in front of the Swayze Crazies.

OLE MISS MASH
The 2018 Ole Miss offense is on pace to be one of the program's best. Hitting .302 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 .302, Ole Miss is up to second in the SEC and 19th in the nation. The Rebels rank in the top 25 nationally in eight offensive categories.

DOUBLE TROUBLE
Ole Miss is No. 13 in the nation with 83 doubles on the year. The Rebels are No. 3 the SEC in that category behind Florida (96) and Kentucky (87). They're No. 26 in the nation and third in the league with 2.10 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 63 doubles.

BOMBS AWAY
Ole Miss has been one of the best power-hitting teams in college baseball this season. The Rebels are No. 12 nationally in slugging percentage at .473. They're 17th in the nation and fifth in the SEC with 46 home runs on the season. The Rebels are averaging 1.12 homers per game, good for 26th 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. Four Rebels--Fortes, Dillard, Will Golsan and Chase Cockrell--boast multi-homer games this year. Golsan is the only one to accomplish the feat in SEC play. Zabowski and Keenan are tied for the team lead in homers in conference play at four apiece.

RALLY ON TWO
Ole Miss has had a knack for two-out hitting this season. Of the Rebels' 265 RBI, 99 have come with two outs. By comparison, the Rebel pitching staff has allowed just 55 two-out RBI. Through 41 games last season, Ole Miss had just 72 two-out RBI. The Rebels totaled 95 all of last year.

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 19-game hitting streak and has reached base in 21-straight contests. The 19-game streak, which has been on since March 22, is the longest this season for the Rebs. It is the longest active streak in the SEC and the second-longest all year in the conference behind Florida's Jonathan India (24). During his hit streak, Olenek is batting .507 with 38 hits, 16 runs scored, seven doubles and an OPS of 1.171. He has tallied 14 multi-hit games during his current hitting streak, including three a week ago at Vanderbilt.

Olenek is the toughest player to strike out in the SEC, having struck out just 11 times in 156 at-bats for a K rating of 14.2. Only five of those strikeouts have come in league play, where his K rating is also 14.2.

Looking across the nation, Olenek is 19th toughest to strike out, 17th in hits, 21st in batting average and 43rd in doubles. Olenek leads the SEC in batting average (.479) and hits (34) in conference play. He boasts an OPS of 1.162 and is third with seven doubles in league play.

TRUSTMARK PARKED
Junior designated hitter Chase Cockrell has been one of the Rebels' very best bats this season. Cockrell is eighth in the SEC in batting average at .350. Cockrell is owner of three of the hardest-hit balls at Swayze Field this season. He also launched a massive home run in the Rebels' last trip to Trustmark Park against Southern Miss, 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.

CAPTAIN CLUTCH
Senior Will Golsan has hit the ball hard all season, and now those hits are finding gaps. Over the last two weeks, Golsan is batting .483 with an astounding OPS of 1.357 with three home runs (all in SEC play), 10 RBI, 14 hits and eight runs scored. His recent tear has him on a 10-game hit streak, the second-longest active streak for the Rebels.

The team captain out of Columbus, Mississippi, blasted two home runs, driving in three runs in the Rebels' three-run series-deciding victory over then-No. 12 Georgia on Saturday. Golsan drove in seven runs last week, going 4-for-6 with runners on base and 3-for-5 with runners in scoring position. He was also 3-for-5 with two outs, adding four two-out RBI to his season total. Golsan leads Ole Miss with 17 two-out RBI this season. He is also 12th in the nation and first in the SEC with six sac flies on the year.

GRAE FINDING HIS WAY
Sophomore shortstop Grae Kessinger started the season on a tear for Ole Miss as his batting average rocketed as high as .464 in the first few weeks of the season.

The Oxonian hit a midseason slump but has since broken out, including home runs in back-to-back games this past week. The Rebels' leadoff hitter has reached home plate in each of the last five games, and he has driven in a run in five of the last six.

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.

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 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.

STOKING THE FLAMES
Senior reliever Will Stokes came through with his best outing of the season in Game 2 against Georgia. Stokes turned in a crucial 11-out save (3.2 IP) in the opening game of a Saturday doubleheader, saving the remainder of the Rebel bullpen for a closely contested second game. Stokes preserved a three-run lead, allowing just one run in the final inning of the outing. He Retired Georgia 1-2-3 in both the seventh and the eighth innings, including four straight strikeouts, victimizing No. 2-3-4-5 of the UGA order. Stokes now has 10 outings this season with one run or less allowed.


 

 

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