#16 Ole Miss (30-12, 10-8 SEC) vs. #24 Kentucky (26-14, 7-11 SEC)
Dates: April 25-27, 2013 Times: 6:30 p.m./6:30 p.m./2:15 p.m. Location: Oxford, Miss. Venue: Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field Capacity: 10,323 Surface: Grass Series: Ole Miss leads 42-29 In Oxford: Ole Miss leads 25-8 Last Series: Ole Miss dropped the series 2-1 at Kentucky in 2012 Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network Television: ESPNU (Thurs); FSN/SportSouth (Saturday) RebelVision: (Friday) Watch Announcers: Dave Neal & Kyle Peterson (ESPNU) Announcers: Dave Neal & Nick Belmonte (FSN) Live Stats & Blog: OleMissSports.com Twitter Updates: @OleMissBSB
OLE MISS QUICK HITS Ole Miss continued to be ranked nationally in week 11 of competition, topping out in the charts at No. 16 (USAToday/ESPN Coaches), No. 18 in Perfect Game, NCBWA and Baseball America, and No. 20 in Collegiate Baseball. The Rebels are now 20-4 in non-conference games with two non-conference games remaining on the schedule. Ole Miss defeated Arkansas State 11-1 Tuesday night with Auston Bousfield going 3-for-4 with three runs, two RBI Ole Miss is coming off a series sweep at Tennessee, sweeping the weekend in SEC play for back-to-back weekends. Junior RHP Bobby Wahl was named SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week with a complete-game shutout of Tennessee Friday. The Rebels have played 15 games against nationally-ranked teams and are 9-7 with three series wins - two sweeps. Ole Miss has posted a sweep in six of its seven series wins this season, the only non sweep coming at #11 Arkansas. Senior RHP Brett Huber picked up two saves at UT, moving to 36 for his career and third all-time in the SEC in saves. Ole Miss got three home runs last weekend, one from unlikely hero Will Jamison with a game-tying shot Saturday. Quick starts are key for the Rebels' success as Ole Miss has outscored foes 120-50 through the first four innings. Ole Miss has now played four extra-inning games this year, posting a 3-1 record in those games in extra frames.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS THURSDAY, 6:30 PM (ESPNU) UK - A.J. Reed, So., LHP Ole Miss - Bobby Wahl, Jr., RHP NOTING WAHL: Wahl makes his 11th start of the season with an 8-0 record when he takes the mound on Thursday night. Despite having two no decisions, the Rebels have not trailed in a game this season when Wahl left the mound. The right-hander is holding opponents to a .183 batting average against through 66.2 innings of work. In five outings vs. ranked teams, Wahl is 4-0 with a 0.53 ERA, one shutout and a .160 opponent batting average. Last season vs. UK, Wahl took no decision after allowing one run on two hits with four BB in 4.0 innings of work.
FRIDAY, 6:30 PM(RebelVision) UK - Jerad Grundy, Sr., LHP Ole Miss - Mike Mayers, Jr., RHP NOTING MAYERS: Mayers makes his 11th start of the season Friday with a 2-4 record after a tough luck month on the mound. In his last five starts, Mayers has allowed only 10 earned runs and dropped a pair of 2-1 games (TAMU, #2 VU). In the starts vs. #24 TAMU, #2 Vandy, #22 Alabama and UT Mayers has allowed only 6 ER but taken no win. Mayers holds a 2.98 ERA with an opposing batting average of .240 and 19 earned runs allowed over 57.1 IP. Mayers picked up the win at UK last year, allowing three runs on eight hits through 7.1 innings of work.
SATURDAY, 2:15 PM (FSN/SPORTSOUTH) UK - Corey Littrell, Jr., LHP Ole Miss - Sam Smith, Soph., RHP NOTING SMITH: Smith makes his 10th start of the season when he takes the mound in the series-finale on Saturday afternoon. The RHP has made 8 weekend starts, missing only starts vs. #12 TCU and at Florida as RHP Chris Ellis started. Smith holds a 2-0 record with a 3.49 ERA through 38.2 IP and has 18 strikeouts to go along with 11 walks. The sophomore picked up wins over UT-Martin and at FIU, but the Rebels are 7-2 in games Smith has started.
REBELS vs. KENTUCKY Ole Miss and Kentucky have faced each other 71 times with the Rebels holding 42-29 lead in the all-time series. The two teams first met in the 1925 season and did not meet again until the 1987 season. Ole Miss won both games in the 1925 season that were played in Oxford. Ole Miss not only holds the lead overall, but holds a 25-8 lead in games played in Oxford. The Rebels are 19-14 against the Wildcats under Mike Bianco and 5-5 in weekend series. In those five series wins, the Rebels have posted four sweeps with a 2-1 series win in 2010. Under head coach Mike Bianco, the Rebels are 11-5 against Kentucky in games played in Oxford.
A LOOK AT KENTUCKY Kentucky enters the weekend series with an overall record of 24-16 and are 7-11 in Southeastern Conference play. The Wildcats reached as high as No. 7 in the national rankings, but have lost seven straight games and three consecutive series in SEC play. Kentucky dropped a 4-3 contest at Western Kentucky in 18 innings on Tuesday night on a walk-off home run. Kentucky hits at a .264 clip on the season with 25 home runs, 211 RBI and 232 runs scored. Kyle Barnett leads the Cats at the plate, hitting .352 with 18 runs scored, four doubles and a triple. A.J. Reed is the top run producer for the Wildcats with 10 home runs and 45 RBI to this point in 2013. As a staff, UK holds a 3.29 ERA with a .268 opponent batting average, 299 strikeouts and 105 walks. LHP Corey Littrell leads UK with a 4-3 record and a 3.20 ERA. He has 54 strikeouts to 24 walks. Littrell has held opponents to a .246 batting average and allowed 32 runs through 54.2 innings.
FAST STARTS KEY REBEL SUCCESS Quick starts to games have been a key to Rebel success this season. When the Rebels get on the board often and early, Ole Miss tends to win. Through the first four innings, Ole Miss is outscoring its opponents by a whopping 127-to-51 margin. Ole Miss is 24-4 when scoring first this season and is 15-2 when scoring in the first inning.
HUBER MOVING TOWARD THE TOP OF SEC SAVES LIST Senior right-hander Brett Huber continues to climb the list for career saves in the Southeastern Conference, posting 36 for his career. The Illinois native already holds the school record for saves, breaking that in the season-opener against TCU. Now he's moved into third place all-time in the SEC in saves, most recently passing LSU closer Matty Ott on the list. Huber trails only famed SEC closers Joshua Fields (41) and Matt Price (43) on the all-time saves list in the SEC.
MATHIS MAKES 161 CONSECUTIVE STARTS FOR THE REBELS Senior outfielder Tanner Mathis has been a mainstay in the Rebels' lineup for the last several years, posting 161 consecutive starts heading into the weekend series with Tennessee. Mathis started all 55 games as a sophomore, all 63 games as a junior and all 42 games this season. The streak dates back to the final game of the 2010 season against St. John's in an elimination game at the NCAA Regional in Charlottesville, Va., when Mathis was a freshman. The streak of consecutive starts is the fourth longest active streak in the nation.
WAHL TOSSES COMPLETE-GAME SHUTOUT, NAMED SEC PITCHER OF THE WEEK Junior right-hander Bobby Wahl earned SEC Pitcher of the Week honors for the second time in 2013 when he shared the award with LSU's Aaron Nola on Monday, April 21. Wahl tossed the first complete-game of his career in the Friday night start at Tennessee, shutting out the Volunteers while allowing three hits, two walks and striking out eight. Coincidentally, it was the first complete-game for the Rebels since left-hander Matt Crouse tossed a complete-game victory at Tennessee on March 25, 2011.
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