April 27, 2016
Matchup: No. 9 Ole Miss (31-11, 10-8 SEC) vs. No. 8 LSU (27-14, 10-8 SEC)
Date: April 28-30, 2016
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Venue: Swayze Field
Television: SEC Network (Thurs.)/SECN+ (Fri.)/ESPN2 (Sat.)
Tom Hart (Thurs.,Sat.)/Richard Cross (Fri.), play-by-play
Kyle Peterson (Thurs.,Sat.)/David Dellucci (Fri.), analyst
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
David Kellum, play-by-play
Keith Kessinger, analyst
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com
Series: LSU leads 170-149
Last Series: March 14-16, 2015
LSU won two-of-three
Baton Rouge, La.
Thursday, April 28, 6 p.m.
FREE 1,000 Beat LSU Buttons
Friday, April 29, 6:30 p.m.
Friday Night Fireworks
Saturday, April 30, 11 a.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.
4-of-5 baseball card pack giveaways
- Ole Miss is ranked seventh in the RPI and as high as No. 9 in the national polls.
- The Rebels’ five-game winning streak ended Tuesday in a 2-0 loss to No. 3 Mississippi State for the Governor’s Cup.
- Ole Miss has won six straight SEC games at Swayze Field, sweeping then-No. 21 Arkansas and Auburn.
- Henri Lartigue leads all SEC catchers with a .366 batting average
- Tate Blackman has reached base in 27 of the last 28 games.
- Ole Miss has won at least 30 games for the 19th consecutive season.
- James McArthur is the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week.
- Seven of the Rebels’ 31 wins have been against ranked teams.
- All four games this week are versus teams ranked in the top 10.
- Ole Miss is outscoring the opposition 113-49 in the first three innings of games.
- The Rebels are 31-1 this season when scoring at least three runs in a game (lone loss to then-No. 10 South Carolina, 9-5, March 25, 2016).
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
THURSDAY, 6 P.M.
LSU - Jared Pochè, Jr., LHP, 5-4, 3.26 ERA
Ole Miss - Brady Bramlett, R-Jr., RHP, 6-2, 2.28 ERA
- Named to the National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2016 National Pitcher of the Year Award Watch List
- Ranks second in the SEC with 33 strikeouts looking
- 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
FRIDAY, 6:30 P.M.
LSU - Alex Lange, So., RHP, 4-3, 4.34 ERA
Ole Miss - David Parkinson, So., LHP, 2-1, 1.70 ERA
- Holds the lowest ERA on the team
- 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 5.1 innings
- Before being moved into the rotation, led the team in appearances out of the bullpen
- 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
SATURDAY, 11 A.M.
LSU - John Valek III, Sr., LHP, 6-1, 3.78 ERA
Ole Miss - James McArthur, Fr., RHP, 5-0, 2.84 ERA
- Reigning SEC Freshman of the Week
- Has allowed the third-fewest runs (14) in the SEC among qualifying pitchers.
- Now 5-0 with a 1.62 ERA and 39 strikeouts in his last seven outings (33.1 innings).
- In a midweek win over Memphis, pitched a career-high seven scoreless innings and tied his career high in strikeouts with seven.
- Made his SEC debut versus Auburn (April 24), tossing 4.2 scoreless innings of relief and keeping the Rebels in the game
- Has started eight midweek games for Ole Miss
- Tied as the tallest Rebel on the team (6’7”) alongside Sean Johnson
A LOOK AT LSU
The Tigers enter the weekend with a 27-14 record, including a 10-8 mark in conference play to tie the Rebels for second in the SEC West. LSU has lost three of its last four games, dropping a home series to Mississippi State before falling to Tulane in a midweek matchup on Tuesday. At the plate, LSU hitters have only gone down on strikes at an average of 4.68 per game, the fewest in the SEC. Freshman Antoine Duplantis has emerged at one of the Tigers’ top hitters , leading the team with a .358 batting average. Through the first 10 weekends of the season, LSU has kept its same rotation. Junior Jared Poché, sophomore Alex Lange and senior John Valek III make up the Tigers’ trio of starting pitchers on the weekend. Lange is the team’s leader in strikeouts (75), while Valek III boasts the best strikeout-to-walk ratio (40:7) among the starters. As the Friday night starter, Poché has produced the best ERA of the three (3.26) at this point of the season. The Tigers are coached by Paul Mainieri, who is in his 10th season at LSU and 34th overall as a head coach. LSU is also the alma mater of Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. Bianco played at LSU from 1988-1989 and later served as an assistant coach at the school from 1993-1997.
RECOGNIZING THE 1956 COLLEGE WORLD SERIES TEAM
Many former Rebels will return to Oxford when Ole Miss hosts LSU for Alumni Weekend. Along with former Ole Miss baseball players being introduced on the field prior to Friday night’s game, members of the 1956 squad will receive special recognition for the 60th anniversary of becoming the first team in school history to make the College World Series. Cecil Burford also tossed the second no-hitter in Ole Miss Baseball history that season in a 3-0 win over Vanderbilt. With a record of 24-10, the ‘56 team placed third in Omaha, which remains tied for the highest finish for an Ole Miss team in the College World Series alongside the 2014 team.
REBELS FALL IN GOVERNOR’S CUP
In front of a sellout crowd at Trustmark Park, No. 9 Ole Miss saw its five-game winning streak come to an end as No. 3 Mississippi State claimed the 2016 Governor’s Cup, 2-0. The crowd of 8,542 was the largest in Trustmark Park history. Henri Lartigue and J.B. Woodman both continued their hot hitting with two hits apiece. Lartigue put together his fourth straight multi-hit game, and Woodman produced his team-leading 15th game with multiple hits. Ole Miss out-hit Mississippi State 9-8, but stranded 11 on base. Seven different Rebels recorded a hit, including Errol Robinson who has now registered a hit in 14 of his last 15 games. Junior starting pitcher Chad Smith allowed two runs on six hits over 5.0 innings. In relief, freshman Connor Green tossed a pair of scoreless frames and recorded three strikeouts.
McARTHUR NAMED SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Ole Miss pitcher James McArthur was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the period ending April 24. McArthur earned the first weekly accolade of his career and became the first Rebel to earn SEC Freshman of the Week since Will Golsan claimed the honor last season (March 23, 2015). McArthur had an outstanding week on the mound, making two appearances that helped Ole Miss complete a perfect 5-0 record throughout the week. The New Braunfels, Texas native pitched 11.2 innings without allowing a run, giving up just six hits and recording 11 strikeouts. In a midweek win over Memphis (April 19), McArthur tossed a career-high seven scoreless innings and tied his career high in strikeouts with seven. Five days later (April 24), the tall right hander made his SEC debut versus Auburn. Entering the game in the second with the Rebels trailing 4-0, McArthur was able to strikeout his first two SEC hitters to get out of the jam. He continued to keep his team in the game with 4.2 scoreless innings of relief. In just his first collegiate season, McArthur has settled in and has been impressive, especially as of late. Over his last seven outings, he boasts a 5-0 record with a 1.62 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 33.1 innings. The freshman has allowed just 14 earned runs this season, the third-fewest in the SEC among qualifying pitchers.
With a three-game sweep of Auburn over the weekend, Ole Miss collected its fifth weekend sweep of the 2016 campaign. The Rebels swept Florida International to begin the season, won all three games at the Chanticleer Classic and close out the weekend non-conference slate with a trio of wins over Grambling State. In conference play, Ole Miss has swept SEC West foes Arkansas and Auburn at Swayze Field. The Rebels also earned two-game sweeps of Memphis, Southeast Missouri and UAB in midweek contests.
REBELS VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS
All four games this week are against top-10 opponents in No. 3 Mississippi State and No. 8 LSU. The Rebels have faced their six different ranked opponents this season. Ole Miss is 7-8 versus ranked teams, including series victories over then-No. 2 Louisville and then-No. 21 Arkansas. The Rebels also topped then-No. 5 Mississippi State and then-No. 18 Coastal Carolina in games earlier this year.
Trailing by five runs through the first seven innings of Sunday’s game versus Auburn, the Rebels made a remarkable comeback with six runs in the last two frames to win 6-5. Colby Bortles started the rally with a two-run home in the eighth, putting Ole Miss on the board. Freshman Ryan Olenek belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth before Henri Lartigue delivered the game-winning hit for the walk-off victory. The win marked the second time this season that Ole Miss rallied back from a deficit five runs or greater; the Rebels trailed Memphis 6-0 (March 2) before winning by a 9-7 final. It was also the largest ninth-inning comeback since Ole Miss trailed Mississippi State by five before winning in the 10th last season (May 9, 2015).
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 has recorded a hit in 14 of the last 15 games, putting together seven multi-hit performances. Robinson has scored a run and registered a hit in six of the last seven games as well.
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 neutral 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, five more than his nearest teammate. His 15 doubles rank third among SEC sluggers as well as 34th 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 the team’s top hitter at the plate and leads all SEC catchers with a .366 batting average. Moreover, Lartigue is raking during conference play, hitting at a .423 clip. He has put together eight games with at least three hits, pacing the Rebel bats. In Sunday’s walk-off come-from-behind victory over Auburn, Lartigue went 4-for-5, tying a career high in hits which included the game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth. After a two-hit night in the Governor’s Cup, Lartigue increased streak of multi-hit games to four.
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 .389 with runners on base, including a remarkable .425 (17-of-40) 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 nine out of 11 opportunities. He also posts a .593 rate of advancing runners on base.
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 8,487 fans per game, including five contests with the attendance over 10,000, to rank second nationally. In total, 212,181 fans have watched Ole Miss Baseball at Swayze Field this season, which is also the second-high total attendance 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.
OLE MISS IN THE POLLS
After a perfect 5-0 week, Ole Miss moved up in every national poll. The Rebels’ highest ranking is No. 9 in Baseball America’s poll, while Perfect Game slotted Ole Miss 11th. The USA Today coaches poll placed had the Rebels as the 12th-best team in the country. D1Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) agreed that Ole Miss should be ranked 13th. Following an uncharacteristic fall outside the Collegiate Baseball rankings, Ole Miss returned to No. 24 in the publication’s top 30. With the combination of a quality 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 is second on the team with 13 multi-hit games, while ranking third in hits (46), runs (30) and RBI (27). The second baseman has reached base in 27 of the last 28 games.
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. The redshirt junior was named a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week for his performance against Arkansas (April 8), tossing seven shutout innings and recording 12 strikeouts. Last 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 2.28 ERA to go along with 71 strikeouts. Out his 71 strikeouts, 33 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 11.55 strikeouts per nine innings is the 21st-best average in the country.
Ole Miss ranks in the top 25 nationally in several statistical categories. Individually, junior J.B. Woodman is seventh in the nation with six sacrifice flies, while Brady Bramlett ranks 21st averaging 11.55 strikeouts per nine innings.
Ole Miss wastes no time striking first, outscoring the opposition 39-16 in the first inning. The Rebels have scored in the opening frame 17 times this season, posting a 15-2 record in those ballgames. The first three innings are the Rebels’ best in terms of outscoring the opponent. Ole Miss has recorded a combined 113 runs in the first three frames, while only giving up 49 runs through the first third of the game for a +64 advantage. The second inning is the team’s best inning offensively, tallying 46 runs. On the mound, the Rebels’ best inning is the third; over 41 games, Ole Miss has surrendered just nine runs the third inning of contests.
|Score by Innings
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.
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.
Traditionally known as the best conference in college baseball, the SEC has once again lived up to that expectation again this season with over half of the conference ranked in the nation’s top 25. The Rebels have fared well in the nation’s toughest conference over the years. Ole Miss has posted a .500-or-better SEC record in 12 of the last 15 seasons. To put that in terms of difficulty, the Rebels are just one-of-two SEC schools that have accomplished the feat. South Carolina has been .500-or-better in the SEC in 14 of the last 15 years.
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.
BRAMLETT ELECTED TO HALL OF FAME, WHO’S WHO HONOREE
While on the road with the team (March 4), starting pitcher Brady Bramlett received some major recognition on campus. A redshirt-junior on the field but a senior academically, Bramlett was named to the 2015-16 University of Mississippi Hall of Fame. The Bartlett, Tennessee native was one of 10 seniors throughout the entire university that earned the honor. He was also just the first student-athlete elected into the university’s hall of fame since Maggie McFerrin of women’s basketball (2013). Bramlett was selected based on his academic achievement, community service and potential for future success. He represents the SEC and serves as the Vice-Chair of the NCAA National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and is a representative on the NCAA Strategic Vision and Planning Committee, a subcommittee of the NCAA Division I Council. Bramlett is also a representative on the NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee. Bramlett’s busy schedule off the field includes serving as president of the Ole Miss SAAC, singing in the university choir and working towards his degree as a biological science major. He also donates his time to the community, going to local elementary schools as part of the Reading with the Rebels program. Along with his hall of fame induction, Bramlett was also chosen to represent Ole Miss on the 2015-16 Who’s Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
Up next, Ole Miss will host Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the final home midweek game of the season (May 4). First pitch from Swayze Field is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT. Following the home non-conference matchup, the Rebels will hit the road to face Georgia in another SEC series (May 6-8). All four games will be broadcast on SECN+ and can be heard on the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.