May 1, 2018
|WEDNESDAY - 4 p.m.
Ole Miss: LHP Jordan Fowler
4-0, 4.07 ERA, 24.1 IP
Arkansas Pine Bluff: RHP Tyrus Lopez
7-2, 5.06 ERA, 69.1 IP
Date: May 2, 2018
First Pitch: 4 p.m. CT
Location: Oxford, Mississippi
Venue: Swayze Field (10,715)
Dimensions: LF-330, CF-390, RF-330
TV: SEC Network+
Will Kollmeyer, Play-by-Play
Brady Bramlett, 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
Series History: Ole Miss leads 7-0
Last Meeting: Apr. 19, 2017 - Ole Miss 14, UAPB 6
• No. 3 Ole Miss enters this week coming off its fifth SEC series win of the season, taking two of three in thrilling fashion from LSU.
• Ole Miss will put its 11-1 midweek record on the line Wednesday against Arkansas Pine Bluff. The Rebels’ volunteer assistant coach Marc MacMillan was on staff at UAPB from 2011-13.
• If the Rebels win their final two midweek games against UAPB and Arkansas State, they’ll match their best midweek win percentage of all time at .929 (13-1).
• Ole Miss climbed the rankings once again, topping out at No. 3 according to Baseball America, matching the team’s highest ranking this season. The Rebels are a consensus top-five team, ranked as such by ESPN/USA Today, D1Baseball and Perfect Game.
• The Rebels are tied for the third-most wins in college baseball, behind only Tennessee Tech (37) and Florida (36).
• The Rebel pitching staff is No. 1 in the SEC in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 2.97. Ole Miss is second in the league with 424 strikeouts and third with 143 walks issued.
• The Ole Miss offense has struck out the fewest times in the SEC at 273.
• Ole Miss has scored 96 more runs on 81 more hits than this point last year. The Rebel offense has added 23 more doubles, 10 more home runs and 94 more RBI. Ole Miss has also struck out 61 fewer times than it did through 45 games last season.
• Of the Rebels’ 11 defeats this season, nine have come by two runs or fewer and 10 have come by a three-run margin or less.
• The Rebels are one of six teams in college baseball to rank in the top 50 nationally in ERA, batting average and fielding percentage.
• Thomas Dillard is one of just three players in the SEC with more than 45 RBI and runs scored.
• Ryan Olenek is on a 20-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the SEC. He’s hitting .474 in league play, the conference’s best mark. He is statistically the toughest player to strike out in the league with just 11 K on the season.
• Parker Caracci earned his eighth save of the season vs. LSU. With 17 saves as a team, Ole Miss is second in the SEC.
Wednesday • 4 p.m.
LHP Jordan Fowler (Ole Miss) | 4-0, 4.07 ERA, 24.1 IP
RHP Tyrus Lopez (Arkansas Pine Bluff) | 7-2, 5.06 ERA, 69.1 IP
• Making sixth career start
• Opposing hitters are 9-for-38 (.237) against Fowler with runners on base and 5-for-25 (.200) 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
• Overcame a broken vertebra in his back and fractured vertebra in his neck in a car accident in high school.
• Was 20-2 in high school career, tossing two no-hitters
• Projected starter Tyrus Lopez boasts the best record on the UAPB pitching staff at 7-2, giving him double the win total of any other pitcher on the roster. He has thrown two complete games this year.
• Lopez has pitched more innings (69.1) than any other Golden Lion this season, as well as a team-high 41 K.
• Opponents are hitting .319 off the junior out of Montrose, Colorado.
• Freshman infielder Jarficur Parker has been the Golden Lions’ best bat this season, hitting .374 over 27 games.
• UAPB has found power out of the bats of Nick Kreutzer, JP Soriano, Sergio Esparza and Jacob Columbo.
• Kreutzer leads the Golden Lions with 13 doubles, Soriano holds the team lead with five homers, Esparza has paced UAPB with 34 RBI, while Columbo boasts 10 doubles on the year.
• The Golden Lions have hit .257 as a team while allowing opposing hitters a .296 batting average.
The Rebels currently boast a 7-0 record against the Golden Lions, with all of those wins coming in the Mike Bianco era at Ole Miss. The two teams met once last year, and the Rebels walked away with a 14-6 victory at Swayze. Ole Miss has outscored UAPB by a combined 89-19 in seven meetings.
ON THE RECORD
Ole Miss is tied for the third-most wins in college baseball, behind only Tennessee Tech (37-6) and Florida (36-10). The Rebels are tied for sixth in the nation in win percentage at .756. 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 (11).
ALL THREE PHASES
Ole Miss is one of just six teams in college baseball to rank in the Top 50 nationally in ERA, batting average and fielding percentage. The Rebels are 42nd in ERA, 16th in batting average and 10th in fielding percentage. The list includes top-ranked Florida, Oregon State, St. John’s, UCLA and Navy.
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 is No. 1 in the SEC in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 2.97, good for 10th in the nation. With 424 strikeouts, the Rebels are second SEC just behind Missouri (430). The Rebes have issued just 143 walks, the third-best figure in the league behind Arkansas and Texas A&M.
REBS RAISE THE BAR
Compared to last season, the Rebels have found another level of production at the plate. Through 45 games this season, Ole Miss has scored 96 more runs on 81 more hits than this point last year. The Rebel offense has added 23 more doubles, 10 more home runs and 94 more RBI. Ole Miss has also struck out 61 fewer times than it did through 42 games last season. The Rebels are batting nearly .050 points better and slugging more than .080 points better than they did a year ago.
DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK
Of the Rebels’ 32 wins this season, 15 have been come-from-behind victories.
Of the Rebels’ 11 losses this season, 10 have come by three runs or fewer, and nine have come by either one or two runs.
SUPERB AT SWAYZE
Ole Miss has won its last 10 series at Swayze Field. The Rebels have also won their last eight series against ranked teams in front of the Swayze Crazies. The Rebels are 24-4 at home this season.
Ole Miss is putting its stellar win percentage on the line this season at 11-1 (.917) in the midweek, on pace to match its best record ever, 13-1 (.929) set in 2002. Ole Miss is 7-0 in home midweek contests this season.
OLE MISS MASH
The 2018 Ole Miss offense is on pace to be one of the program’s best. Hitting .301 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 .301, Ole Miss is up to third in the SEC and 16th in the nation. The Rebels rank in the top 25 nationally in nine offensive categories.
Ole Miss is No. 13 in the nation with 96 doubles on the year. The Rebels are No. 3 the SEC in that category behind Florida and Kentucky. They’re No. 25 in the nation and third in the league with 2.13 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 73 doubles, and they had 96 all of last year.
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 .472. They’re 17th in the nation and fifth in the SEC with 50 home runs on the season. The Rebels are averaging 1.11 homers per game, good for 25th in the country and fifth in the conference.
Thomas Dillard leads Ole Miss with 10 homers on the year. Nick Fortes and Cole Zabowski are next with eight and seven, respectively. 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, Fortes and Tyler 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’ 293 RBI, 103 have come with two outs, giving them more than they had all of last season (95). By comparison, the Rebel pitching staff has allowed just 59 two-out RBI. Through 45 games last season, Ole Miss had just 82 two-out RBI.
Thomas Dillard delivered one of the biggest home runs of the 2018 season on Sunday against LSU. With the Rebels trailing 7-6 in the seventh inning, Dillard fell behind 0-2 but worked a full count before blasting a three-run home run over the right field seating to give Ole Miss just what it needed in a 9-8 win.
It took Dillard just 21 games to eclipse his home run total from all of last season, now with 10 on the year. His longest 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. The Rebel power hitter is one of three players in the SEC with more than 45 RBI and runs scored.
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 20-game hitting streak and has reached base in 22-straight contests. The 20-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 .500 with 40 hits, 16 runs scored, seven doubles and an OPS of 1.148. He has tallied 15 multi-hit games during his current hitting streak.
Olenek is the toughest player to strike out in the SEC, having struck out just 11 times in 161 at-bats for a K rating of 14.6. Only five of those strikeouts have come in league play, where his K rating is 15.2. Looking across the nation, Olenek is 17th toughest to strike out, 16th in batting average and 37th in hits. Olenek leads the SEC in batting average (.474) and hits (36) in conference play.
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. Keenan hit .308 last week with two doubles and five runs scored. The freshman out of Clayton, North Carolina, reached home plate three times in the 14-3 Game 1 rout of LSU. He then ripped a leadoff double down the right field line and scored to spark a five-run rally in the seventh inning of Game 3’s 9-8 win.
Tim Rowe and Michael Fitzsimmons have shown great power coming off the bench for Ole Miss this season.
Rowe filled in for Ryan Olenek in right field on Tuesday night against Mississippi State, going 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. he also made an incredible catch as he crashed into the right field wall to prevent several runs from crossing the plate. That started a tremendous week in which Rowe went 8-for-14 (.571) with five doubles and three RBI. Rowe smoked a double down the right field line to score Tyler Keenan and fuel a five-run game-winning rally in the seventh inning of the Rebels’ 9-8 Game 3 win over LSU.
Fitzsimmons came through with a go-ahead pinch-hit double in the ninth inning in that midweek game against MSU, his second outstanding clutch performance off the bench this season. Fitzsimmons also blasted a pinch-hit grand slam against Texas A&M.