OLE MISS QUICK HITS Ole Miss continued to be ranked nationally in week 13 of competition, topping out in the charts at No. 20 (USAToday/ESPN Coaches) and in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America poll. The Rebels are now 21-4 in non-conference games with one non-conference game remaining on the schedule. Ole Miss is coming off a 2-2 week with a midweek win over Saint Louis and a series loss in SEC play at Auburn. Stuart Turner and Bobby Wahl were both named to the midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List last week. Wahl moved to 9-0 on the season with his ninth consecutive quality start in a 6-1 win at Auburn last weekend. Turner remained on the Bench Award Watch List at the midseason mark as a candidate for the nation's top catcher. Senior RHP Brett Huber was named to the midseason Stopper of the Year Watch List honoring the nation's top closer. Ole Miss has posted a sweep in six of its seven series wins this season, the only non sweep coming at #11 Arkansas. Quick starts are key for the Rebels' success as Ole Miss has outscored foes 143-6 through the first four innings. The Rebels are 26-6 this season when scoring first and are 16-3 when scoring a run in the first inning this year. Four seniors will be honored Saturday with Tanner Bailey, Huber, Tanner Mathis and Andrew Mistone graduating.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS FRIDAY, 6:30 PM MSU - Luis Pollerana, Sr., LHP Ole Miss - Bobby Wahl, Jr., RHP NOTING WAHL: Wahl makes his 13th start of the season with an 9-0 record when he takes the mound on Friday night vs. MSU. Despite having three 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 .178 batting average against through 81.2 innings of work. In six outings vs. ranked teams, Wahl is 4-0 with a 0.66 ERA, two shutouts and a .162 opponent batting average. Last outing vs. MSU, Wahl allowed three runs, one earned, in 6.0 IP with two walks and seven strikeouts.
SATURDAY, 4:00 PM MSU - Kendall Graveman, Sr., RHP Ole Miss - Mike Mayers, Jr., RHP NOTING MAYERS: Mayers makes his 13th start of the season Saturday with a 3-4 record after a tough luck month on the mound. In 6 of his last 7 starts, Mayers allowed a combined 11 ER and suffered 2-1 losses to #2 VU and #24 TAMU. In the starts vs. #24 TAMU, #2 Vandy, #22 Alabama and UT Mayers allowed only 6 ER but did not pick up a win. Mayers holds a 3.16 ERA with an opposing batting average of .236 and 24 earned runs allowed over 68.1 IP. In his last outing against MSU, Mayers allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 5.0 IP.
SUNDAY, 1:00 (CSS) MSU - Jacob Lindgren, So., LHP Ole Miss - Sam Smith, Soph., RHP NOTING SMITH: Smith makes his 12th start of the season when he takes the mound in the series-finale on Sunday afternoon. The RHP has made 10 weekend starts, missing only starts vs. #12 TCU and at Florida as RHP Chris Ellis started. Smith holds a 2-0 record with a 3.35 ERA through 48.1 IP and has 25 strikeouts to go along with 15 walks. The sophomore picked up wins over UT-Martin and at FIU, but the Rebels are 7-4 in games Smith has started. Smith worked 5.0 IP and allowed one run in last weekend's start at Auburn, but took no decision in the start.
REBELS vs. MISSISSIPPI STATE Ole Miss and Mississippi State have faced off more than any other opponent on the Rebels' schedule with 442 meetings between the schools. Ole Miss trails 234-203-5 in those all-time meetings. The Rebels and Bulldogs first met in 1893 with a loss and a tie coming on the ledger for Ole Miss. Ole Miss leads the Bulldogs 27-26 under the direction of head coach Mike Bianco. In games played in Oxford, the Rebels are 8-10 against the Bulldogs in six series meetings. A streaky series the last 12 years, MSU won 3 before UM won five straight. MSU has two consecutive.
A LOOK AT MISSISSIPPI STATE Mississippi State enters the weekend coming off a series sweep of Alabama last weekend and is holding to a 36-13 record on the season and a 13-11 mark in Southeastern Conference play. Junior OF Hunter Renfroe leads MSU at the plate with a .394 average, 15 home runs and 49 RBI. As a team, MSU is hitting at a .294 clip with 275 RBI and 309 runs scored on the year. The Bulldogs have drawn 222 walks and 62 HBP this season for 284 free bases entering the series. The MSU staff holds a 2.58 ERA with 410 strikeouts, 164 walks and .219 opponent batting average. Friday starter Luis Pollerana is 6-2 on the year with a 3.92 ERA and foes hit .256 off the LHP. Saturday starter Kendall Graveman is 5-4 with a 2.47 ERA and teams hit .260 against the RHP. Sunday starter Jacob Lindgren is 4-2 with a 3.44 ERA and is limiting teams to a .234 clip at the plate.
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 143-to-66 margin. Ole Miss is 26-6 when scoring first this season and is 16-3 when scoring in the first inning.
THROUGH 49 GAMES IN 2012 Through 49 games in the 2012 season, the Rebels were two games behind the current pace in 2013 with a 31-18 record on the season and coming off a series loss to #4 LSU. Ole Miss was hitting at a .306 clip with 34 home runs, 266 RBI and were 36-of-49 on steal attempts. As a pitching staff, the Rebels held to a 3.50 ERA with 412 strikeouts and 116 walks while allowing 194 runs (168 earned runs). The Rebels were fielding at a .978 clip with 40 errors.
PROMOTIONS ABOUND AT SWAYZE FIELD IN 2013 Visitors to Oxford-University Stadium this season will have plenty to look forward to besides just some of the most exciting baseball in the country. Ole Miss Marketing has gameday promotions lined up throughout the course of the season that are sure to please the crowds. Saturday against Mississippi State, fans will receive soft coolers capable of holding a 6-pack of drinks. Sunday's game will feature the final baseball card set of the season.
HUBER ON NCBWA STOPPER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST Senior right-hander Brett Huber joined Wahl in pulling in preseason attention as he was named to the Stopper of the Year watch list by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The award is presented annually to the top closer in college baseball by the NCBWA at the end of the year. When the list was updated this week for the midseason watch, Huber continued to be up for the award honoring the nation's top closer.
TURNER, WAHL NAMED TO GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD WATCH LIST Juniors Stuart Turner and Bobby Wahl became the most recent Rebel to find themselves as a candidate for the Golden Spikes Award Watch List when they were announced as part of the 60 midseason members of the list by USA Baseball. They join recent Rebels Alex Yarbrough (semifinalist, 2012) and Drew Pomeranz (finalist, 2010) as part of a long line of Rebel players on the watch list for the nation's top collegiate player.
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