May 5, 2016
Matchup: No. 7 Ole Miss (34-12, 12-9 SEC) at Georgia (22-23, 7-14 SEC)
Date: May 6-8, 2016
Location: Athens, Ga.
Venue: Foley Field
Kaleb Frady/Matt Stewart, play-by-play
Jason Jacobs, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
David Kellum, play-by-play
Keith Kessinger, analyst
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com
Series: Series tied 37-37
Last Game: May 9-11, 2014
Ole Miss won two-of-three
- Ole Miss is ranked sixth in the RPI and as high as No. 7 in the national polls.
- The Rebels are coming off a 12-1 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Wednesday.
- J.B. Woodman is the reigning NCBWA National Hitter of the Week and SEC Player of the Week.
- The Rebels are 30-0 in games where they’re leading after the sixth inning.
- Henri Lartigue was added to the watch list for the Johnny Bench Award earlier this week.
- Lartigue and Brady Bramlett were named CoSIDA Academic All-District Thursday afternoon.
- Tate Blackman has reached base in 31 of the last 32 games.
- Ole Miss has won at least 30 games for the 19th consecutive season.
- Closer Wyatt Short is on the watch list for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award.
- The Rebels are 34-1 this season when scoring at least four runs in a game (lone loss to then-No. 10 South Carolina, 9-5, March 25, 2016).
- Errol Robinson is batting .342 over the last 19 games, recording at least one hit in 18 of those contests.
- Ole Miss is outscoring the opposition 128-57 in the first three innings of games.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
FRIDAY, 6 P.M.
Georgia - Robert Tyler, Jr., RHP, 3-4, 3.34 ERA
Ole Miss - Brady Bramlett, R-Jr., RHP, 6-2, 2.61 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
- CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree as a biological science major
- 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
- 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, 1 P.M.
Georgia - Connor Jones, Jr., LHP, 5-4, 5.02 ERA
Ole Miss - David Parkinson, So., LHP, 2-2, 2.38 ERA
- Allowed just one run over a career-high 7.0 innings 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
SUNDAY, 12 P.M.
Ole Miss - James McArthur, Fr., RHP, 5-0, 2.84 ERA
- Made his first career SEC start versus No. 8 LSU (April 30)
- Has allowed the third-fewest runs (14) in the SEC among qualifying pitchers.
- Now 4-0 with a 0.99 ERA and 35 strikeouts in his last seven outings (36.1 innings).
- Named SEC Freshman of the Week (April 25)
- 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
- Has started eight midweek games for Ole Miss
- Tied as the tallest Rebel on the team (6’7”) alongside Sean Johnson
Playing the toughest schedule in the country, Georgia enters the weekend with a 22-23 record, including 7-14 in SEC play. The Bulldogs did not play a midweek game and are coming off a series setback to Vanderbilt. UGA lost all three games to the Commodores last weekend but picked up a big non-conference win over No. 25 Georgia Tech. Junior Skyler Weber leads Georgia with team highs in batting average (.318), doubles (10) and steals (10). On the mound, junior Robert Tyler has been impressive throughout the 2016 campaign. Along with throwing a one-hit shutout against Alabama (April 1), Tyler has recorded 76 strikeouts and has held opposing hitters to a .187 average over 59.1 innings of work. Scott Stricklin is in his third season as the Bulldogs’ head coach.
LAST TIME WE MET
The all-time series between the Rebels and Bulldogs is tied at 37-37 with Ole Miss taking two-of-three in 2014, the last time these two teams met on the diamond. After the Rebels cruised to a 12-2 victory in the series opener at Swayze Field, the remaining two games became tight, low-scoring affairs. Georgia evened the series with a 2-0 win in a pitcher’s duel before Ole Miss claimed the series finale, 2-1, in extra innings. Former Rebel Jeremy Massie earned the win by retiring the side in the 10th before All-American Auston Bousfield delivered a bases-loaded single for the walk-off victory. The Rebels have won 7-of-11 SEC series against Georgia under head coach Mike Bianco.
THE ROAD TO HOOVER
With only three weekends left of conference play, it’s time to start looking towards the 2016 SEC Baseball Tournament, which will take place May 24-29 in Hoover, Alabama. Ole Miss is currently tied for second in the SEC West with in-state rival Mississippi State. With the Bulldogs claiming the regular season series over the Rebels, they hold the tiebreaker in terms of seeding. If the season ended today, Ole Miss would be the No. 6 seed in the tournament, setting up a matchup with one of four teams that has the chance at the No. 11 seed. Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia and Missouri are all tied in the standings without having a common opponent among the four of them at this point.
REBELS BLAST UAPB, 12-1, ON STAR WARS NIGHT
The Force was with the Rebels on Star Wars Night at Swayze Field as No. 7 Ole Miss blasted Arkansas-Pine Bluff 12-1. Right-handed pitcher Chad Smith posted a career-high 11 strikeouts on the night to help propel the Rebels over the Golden Lions. With the win, Ole Miss improved to 22-3 in non-conference games and 11-2 in midweek matchups. Head coach Mike Bianco also collected his 400th victory at Swayze Field. Along with recording a new career high in strikeouts, Smith surrendered just one unearned run on four hits over 7.0 innings, which ties a career-long outing. Freshman Andrew Lowe pitched the last two innings, retiring all six batters he faced and striking out three of them. The Rebels earned a total of 10 hits on the night with three batters earning multi-hit games. Errol Robinson, Ryan Olenek and Kyle Watson had two hits apiece and at least two RBI. Robinson extended his hitting streak to 11 games and knocked in a team-high three runs. Freshman Nic Fortes scored three runs to lead the Rebels and tally a new career high.
WOODMAN EARNS NATIONAL AND SEC WEEKLY AWARDS
After dominating all aspects of the game throughout the past week, Ole Miss junior outfielder J.B. Woodman was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) National Hitter of the Week and the SEC Player of the Week. Woodman was a monster at the plate and also made play after play in the field to earn the awards. Playing four games against top-10 teams last week did not seem to faze Woodman. The Orlando, Florida native recorded two hits in each contest, hitting at a .500 clip throughout the week. Woodman went 6-for-12 with three home runs, two doubles, eight RBI and five runs in the weekend series versus No. 8 LSU to help Ole Miss conquer the SEC rivalry series. He not only led the Rebels at the plate, but also in the field. From his center field position, Woodman threw three runners out at the plate and now has a team-high nine outfield assists this season. In the series opener against LSU, Woodman gunned down a pair of runners at home which proved to be the difference in a one-run game. In game two, he belted a two-run homer and threw another Tiger out at the plate. Woodman made sure the Rebels took the series finale, hitting a pair of home runs to deep center field and driving in a career-high four runs. Extending his home run count to a team-leading eight, Woodman became the first Rebel to homer twice in one game since Sikes Orvis accomplished the feat last season (May 3, 2015 at Missouri).
FOUR IS THE MAGIC NUMBER
In terms of offense, four seems to be the magic number for Ole Miss. With an outstanding pitching staff, the Rebels are 34-1 when scoring at least four runs in a game. The lone loss when plating more than four runs came at the hands of South Carolina (March 25) in a 9-5 setback.
BRAMLETT AND LARTIGUE EARN ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT HONORS
The Ole Miss battery of pitcher Brady Bramlett and catcher Henri Lartigue has been named to the Academic All-District Team as voted on by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Both baseball Rebels earned the honor for the first time in their respective careers. Ole Miss was just one-of-two schools with multiple student-athletes on the District 6 team, joining Southeast Missouri State. The 12 student-athletes that made the list will now have a chance to be voted as CoSIDA Academic All-America. Bramlett continues to shine both on and off the field. Earlier this week, he was named one of the M-Club’s Student-Athletes of the Month. As a biological science major, Bramlett holds a 3.43 GPA and will graduate later this summer. Lartigue, a junior, is an accountancy major with a 3.73 GPA. .
McARTHUR MOVES TO THE ROTATION
Freshman James McArthur began the season as the Rebels’ primary midweek starter, and after getting settled in, the tall right hander has found success and earned a spot in the weekend rotation. Out of 11 total appearances, McArthur has made nine starts and boasts a 5-0 record with a 2.64 ERA. He has only allowed 14 earned runs in 47.2 innings, ranking third in the SEC among qualifying pitchers. In his last seven outings on the mound, McArthur is 4-0 with a 0.99 ERA. Moreover, in his last five appearances, the New Braunfels, Texas native has surrendered just one run over 26.1 innings (0.34 ERA). After winning SEC Freshman of the Week honors (April 25), McArthur has increased his scoreless innings streak to 15.0 innings.
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 18 of the last 19 games, putting together eight multi-hit performances and posting a .342 batting average during that stretch. Robinson is currently riding a season-high 11-game hitting streak.
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 Arkansas-Pine Bluff (May 4), No. 8 LSU (April 30), No. 18 Coastal Carolina (March 5), GSU (March 13), as well as a pair of contests against No. 21 Arkansas (April 8-9).
SHORT NAMED TO NCBWA STOPPER OF THE YEAR AWARD WATCH LIST
Ole Miss closer Wyatt Short was named to the midseason watch list for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award, the organization announced April 28. After earning a spot on the preseason watch list, Short has put together an impressive 2016 campaign to be recognized as a serious candidate for the award given to the top reliever in NCAA Division I Baseball. In 13 appearances, Short has seven saves to go along with a 2-1 record and 2.17 ERA. While the junior southpaw is tied for the team lead in saves, he has also shown his versatility as a long reliever. Against No. 10 South Carolina (March 26), Short pitched a career-high 5.2 innings of relief and allowed just one unearned run on one hit. Through 29.0 innings this season, the lefty has recorded 23 strikeouts while only issuing five walks. When pitching at the back end of the bullpen, Short has not blown a save. For his career, Short holds a 1.99 ERA and limits opposing hitters to a .207 average at the plate. His 20 career saves already rank fourth on the Ole Miss all-time charts.
Junior Colby Bortles has blasted 16 doubles thus far in 2016, five more than his nearest teammate. His 16 doubles rank third among SEC sluggers as well as 34th nationally. The Oviedo, Florida native is three doubles away from cracking the Ole Miss single season top 10 list. He needs nine 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 .340 batting average. Moreover, Lartigue is raking during conference play, hitting at a .383 clip. He has put together eight games with at least three hits, pacing the Rebel bats. In a 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.
The Ole Miss outfield has had its fair share of assists this season, especially as of late. Rebel outfielders have tallied 16 assists in 2016, including three in the past three games by J.B. Woodman. Out of the 16 assists, 10 have been outs at home to prevent opponents from scoring. Woodman leads the way with nine assists, throwing seven runners out at the plate. Against LSU, the center fielder made three perfect throws home to keep runs off the scoreboard. 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 .400 with runners on base, including a remarkable .458 (22-of-48) 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 .564 rate of advancing runners on base.
OLE MISS IN THE POLLS
After tough stretch that saw them play four games against top-10 teams, the Rebels moved up in nearly every national poll thanks to a series win over No. 8 LSU. Baseball America remained the most impressed with the Rebels, placing them at seventh in the country. Ole Miss cracked the top 10 in both Perfect Game’s rankings and the USA Today Coaches Poll, while the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and D1Baseball had the Rebels listed at No. 11 and No. 12, respectively. Collegiate Baseball was the only publication to drop Ole Miss (No. 26) after a victorious weekend versus a top-10 team. 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 in 2016. He is tied for the team lead in runs, second on the team in hits (55) and multi-hit games (15), while ranking third in RBI (31). The second baseman also has reached base in 31 of the last 32 games.
Ole Miss ranks in the top 25 nationally in several statistical categories. Individually, two Rebels are ranked in sacrifice flies. With a team-high seven sacrifice flies, sophomore Tate Blackman is fourth in the country, while junior J.B. Woodman follows closely behind with six to rank 11th.
Ole Miss wastes no time striking first, outscoring the opposition 46-19 in the first inning. The Rebels have scored in the opening frame 20 times this season, posting a 17-3 record in those ballgames. The first three innings are the Rebels’ best in terms of outscoring the opponent. Ole Miss has recorded a combined 128 runs in the first three frames, while only giving up 57 runs through the first third of the game for a +71 advantage. The second inning is the team’s best inning offensively, tallying 50 runs. On the mound, Ole Miss has surrendered just 13 runs the third inning of contests.
|Score by Innings
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. Bramlett also earned a spot on the watch list for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s 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 2.61 ERA to go along with 73 strikeouts. Out his 73 strikeouts, 33 of them have been looking which ranks second in the SEC.
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.
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.
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 (Milwaukee 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 had his jump 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 (March 2), 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.
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 State. 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.
Due to finals week at Ole Miss, the Rebels will not play a midweek game next week. Instead, Ole Miss will return to action for its final homestand of the regular season, hosting the University of Kentucky (May 12-14). The SEC series begins Thursday night on national television; first pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU. Seniors Connor Cloyd, Matt Denny, Cameron Dishon and Holt Perdzock will be recognized prior to Friday night’s game, which will also begin at 6:30 p.m. and can be seen on SECN+. The final regular season game at Swayze Field is set for 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon.