No. 5 Baseball Hosts No. 16 Auburn for Final SEC Home Series
May 9, 2018


THURSDAY - 6 p.m. CT FRIDAY - 6:30 p.m. SATURDAY - 4 p.m. CT
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: LHP Ryan Rolison 
6-4, 4.13 ERA, 69.2 IP
AUBURN: RHP Davis Daniel
3-3, 5.28 ERA, 44.1 IP
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: RHP Brady Feigl
7-4, 4.14 ERA, 67.1 IP
AUBURN: RHP Casey Mize
9-2, 2.25 ERA, 84.0 IP
PROJECTED STARTERS
Ole Miss: RHP James McArthur 
5-0, 4.09 ERA, 55.0 IP
AUBURN: RHP Tanner Burns
4-4, 3.00 ERA, 60.0 IP

GAMES 50-52
Date: May 10-12
First Pitch: Thu: 6 p.m. | Fri: 6:30 p.m. | Sat: 4 p.m.
Location: Oxford, Mississippi
Venue: Swayze Field (10,715)
Dimensions: LF-330, CF-390, RF-330
TV: Thu: ESPNU | Fri/Sat: SEC Network+
     Thu: Clay Matvick (PxP), Ben McDonald (Analyst)
     Fri/Sat: Richard Cross (PxP), Matt Mossberg (Analyst)
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
     David Kellum (PxP), Keith Kessinger (Analyst)
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com
Live Stats: OleMissSports.com
Twitter Updates: @OleMissBSB
Series History: Tied 85-85-1
Last Series: May 19-21, 2017 
     No. 23 Auburn won 2-of-3 in Auburn

LEADING OFF
• No. 5 Ole Miss hosts No. 16 Auburn this weekend looking for its 11th straight series win at home. The Rebels have won their last nine series against ranked teams at Swayze Field.
• The Rebels are second in the nation in both average (8,772) and total (254,391) attendance this season. The last time SEC baseball was at Swayze, a new single-game attendance record was set at 12,152.
• Ole Miss is No. 5 in the nation according to Baseball America and is a consensus top-10 team. The Tigers topped out at No. 16 in this week's Perfect Game rankings.
• The Rebels are one of three teams in college baseball to rank in the top 20 nationally in batting average and fielding percentage.
• The Ole Miss offense ranks 10th nationally in slugging percentage, 12th in home runs, 13th in runs scored and 15th in batting average.
• Ole Miss has scored 108 more runs on 86 more hits than this point last year. The Rebel offense has added 22 more doubles, 15 more home runs and 104 more RBI. Ole Miss has also struck out 57 fewer times than it did through 49 games last season. 
• Every Rebel batter who has started a game has hit a home run this season. In total 14 different Rebs have gone yard this year.
• Of the Rebels' 13 defeats this season, nine have come by two runs or fewer and 10 have come by a three-run margin or less.
• Of the Rebels' 36 wins this season, 16 have been come-from-behind victories.
• The Rebel pitching staff is No. 1 in the SEC in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 2.88. Ole Miss is second in the league with 435 strikeouts and third with 148 walks issued.
Ryan Olenek is on a 23-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the SEC. He's hitting .414 on the season, good for No. 7 in the nation and No. 2 among players from power five conferences. He's hitting .494 in league play, the conference's best mark. He is statistically the toughest player to strike out in the league with just 12 K on the season.
Thomas Dillard is one of just two players in the SEC with 48 or more RBI and runs scored with 48 apiece.

PROBABLE STARTERS
Thursday • 6 p.m.

LHP Ryan Rolison (Ole Miss) | 6-4, 4.13 ERA, 69.2 IP
RHP Davis Daniel (Auburn) | 3-3, 5.28 ERA, 44.1 IP

ROLISON NOTES 
• Eight starts with six or more strikeouts this season; seven with eight-plus strikeouts
• Sixth-most strikeouts in the SEC (82), 50th in the country
• Averaging 10.98 strikeouts per nine innings, 61st in the nation, fifth in SEC
• SEC Pitcher of the Week (Feb. 19)
• Struck out a career-high 12 in the season opener vs. Winthrop
• 12 K were the most in an opener since Lance Lynn had 12 back in 2008
• Named Preseason All-American by four different outlets | Golden Spikes Award Watch List
•  No. 2 2018 MLB Draft prospect according to D1Baseball
•  2017 Freshman All-American (Collegiate Baseball)
•  Four different outlets have him No. 12 or higher in 2018 MLB Draft projections

Friday • 6:30 p.m.
RHP Brady Feigl (Ole Miss) | 7-4, 4.14 ERA, 67.1 IP
RHP Casey Mize (Auburn) | 9-2, 2.25 ERA, 84.0 IP

FEIGL NOTES 
• At home this season: 6-1, 1.48 ERA, 42.2 IP, 42 K, 10 BB
• Tied for 39th in the NCAA and sixth in the SEC with seven wins on the season.
• Hitters are just .238 against him with two outs.
• Has induced more groundouts (88) than any Rebel pitcher this season, including 5 GDPs.
• Tied season-high with nine strikeouts a week ago against an LSU team that entered the weekend with the fewest strikeouts in the SEC.
• Allowed just two hits in 5.1 IP at Vanderbilt
• Named National Pitcher of the Month for February by NCBWA
• Registered five three-up, three-down innings in Game 2 win at Long Beach State
•  Selected in 35th round of 2017 MLB Draft by L.A. Angels
•  Freshman All-American (Louisville Slugger) in 2016

Saturday • 4 p.m.
RHP James McArthur (Ole Miss) | 5-0, 4.09 ERA, 55.0 IP
RHP Tanner Burns (Auburn) | 4-4, 3.00 ERA, 60.0 IP

McARTHUR NOTES 
• Fewest hits allowed per nine innings among Rebel starters at 7.20.
• Has allowed just 13 hits (.155) with runners on base.
• Has allowed only 11 hits (.186) with two outs.
• Has pitched into more flyouts (77) than any other pitcher on staff.
•  Returns as the pitcher with the most starts from 2017 (12).
•  Ranked ninth in the SEC in opponent average (.209) a year ago.
•  Freshman All-American (Louisville Slugger) in 2016

SCOUTING AUBURN
• Auburn is a balanced squad with firepower offensively and on its pitching staff.
• The Tigers are second in the SEC and 12th in the nation in runs scored (353). They lead the SEC in per-game scoring at 7.4 runs per contest.
• Brendan Venter leads the Tigers in batting average (.317) and slugging percentage (.543) with nine doubles and 11 home runs on the year.
• Jay Estes is just behind with a .310 average and a team-high 14 doubles. 
• Freshman Edouard Julian has provided some outstanding power for the Tigers this season with 13 home runs and 52 RBI, both team-highs.
• The Tiger pitching staff is led by one of the best pitchers in college baseball, Casey Mize. Mize is 9-2 with a 2.25 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 84.0 innings pitched this season. He is in the top five in the nation in five major pitching categories, including second nationally in strikeout-to-walk ratio and WHIP. Mize is scheduled to throw Friday night against the Rebels.

SERIES HISTORY
Ole Miss and Auburn are tied in their all-time series with 85 wins apiece and one tie. Head coach Mike Bianco enters the weekend 29-24 against the Tigers in his career, with Auburn holding the advantage in the most recent matchups, an SEC Tournament win over the Rebels in 2017 as well as a series victory earlier in the year. The Rebels have won the last six meetings in Oxford, sweeping the Tigers in 2014 and 2016.

ON THE RECORD
Ole Miss is tied for the fifth-most wins in college baseball, behind Tennessee Tech (41) and Florida (39), Stanford (38) and Stetson (37). The Rebels are tied for 13th in the nation in win percentage at .735. Ole Miss trails just Florida (39-11) in the SEC for the most wins, fewest losses and best win percentage.

SWAYZE CRAZY
Ole Miss is No. 2 in the nation in both total and average attendance. Rebel Nation is filling Swayze at an average of 8,772 per game for a total of 254,391 fans so far this season, trailing just LSU nationally.

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 25-4 at home this season, including a perfect 8-0 in midweek games.

The last time SEC baseball was at Swayze, Rebel Nation broke the program's single-game attendance record as 12,152 were on hand to see Ole Miss defeat LSU 9-8 in a Saturday Game 3 to win the series.

PLAYMAKERS
Ole Miss, joined by UNCG and St. John's, is one of three teams in the nation to rank in the top 20 nationally in batting average and fielding percentage. The Rebels are 15th in batting and 16th in fielding. On the defensive side, they're fielding at a .979 clip, on pace to break the school record of .976 set in 2012.

REBS RECOGNIZED
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.

ALL STRIKES, NO WALKS
Ole Miss remains No. 1 in the SEC in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 2.88, good for 12th in the nation. With 461 strikeouts, the Rebels are second SEC just behind Missouri (466). The RebeLs have issued just 160 walks, the third-best figure in the league behind Florida and Texas A&M.

REBS RAISE THE BAR
Compared to last season, the Rebels have found another level of production at the plate. Through 49 games this season, Ole Miss has scored 108 more runs on 86 more hits than this point last year. The Rebel offense has added 22 more doubles, 15 more home runs and 104 more RBI. Ole Miss has also struck out 57 fewer times than it did through 49 games last season. The Rebels are batting nearly .050 points better and slugging nearly .090 points better than they did a year ago.

REBS ARE RUNNIN'
Ole Miss is 13th in college baseball in runs scored with 349. The Rebels are third in the SEC in that category, just behind Florida (365) and Auburn (363). 

DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
Of the Rebels' 36 wins this season, 16 have been come-from-behind victories. 

CLOSE CALLS
Of the Rebels' 13 losses this season, 10 have come by three runs or fewer, and nine have come by either one or two runs.

MIDWEEK WINNERS
Ole Miss closed its home midweek slate at a perfect 8-0. The Rebels are 12-1 overall in midweek games with one remaining on May 15 at Arkansas State. A win there and they'll match their best midweek record of all-time, 13-1 (.929) set in 2002. 

OLE MISS MASH
The 2018 Ole Miss offense is on pace to be one of the program's best. Hitting .302 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 .302, Ole Miss is up to second in the SEC and 15th in the nation. The Rebels rank in the top 25 nationally in 10 offensive categories.

DOUBLE TROUBLE
Ole Miss is No. 15 in the nation with 103 doubles on the year. The Rebels are No. 3 the SEC in that category behind Florida and Kentucky. They're No. 24 in the nation and third in the league with 2.10 doubles per game. To this point last season, the Rebels had just 81 doubles, and they had 96 all of last year.

BOMBS AWAY
Ole Miss has been one of the best power-hitting teams in college baseball this season. The Rebels are No. 11 nationally in slugging percentage at .478. They're 12th in the nation and fifth in the SEC with 59 home runs on the season. The Rebels are averaging 1.20 homers per game, good for 15th in the country and fourth in the conference.

Thomas Dillard leads Ole Miss with 11 homers on the year. Nick Fortes is next with 10, while Chase Cockrell and Cole Zabowski are next with eight apiece. Four Rebels--Fortes, Dillard, Will Golsan and Chase Cockrell--boast multi-homer games this year. Cockrell has done it twice on the season. 

Freshman infielder Anthony Servideo notched his first career home run this week against Arkansas Pine Bluff, becoming the 14th Rebel to go yard this season. Every Rebel that has started this year has hit a home run.

RALLY ON TWO
Ole Miss has had a knack for two-out hitting this season. Of the Rebels' 318 RBI, 109 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 70 two-out RBI. Through 49 games last season, Ole Miss had just 86 two-out RBI. 

Five Rebels have 10 or more two-out RBI this season, led by Will Golsan at 20.

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 23-game hitting streak and has reached base in 25-straight contests. The 23-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 .516 with 48 hits, 18 runs scored, 10 doubles and an OPS of 1.228. He has tallied 17 multi-hit games during his current hitting streak.

Olenek is No. 7 in the nation, and No. 2 among players from power five conferences, in batting average at .414 on the season. He's hitting an astounding .494 in league play, .070 points better than his nearest competitor. He's tied for the SEC lead with 23 multi-hit games on the year.

Olenek is the toughest player to strike out in the SEC, having struck out just 12 times in 174 at-bats for a K rating of 14.5. Only six of those strikeouts have come in league play, where his K rating is 14.8. Looking across the nation, Olenek is 17th toughest to strike out.

STAR SHORTSTOP
In addition to a web-gem-filled season defensively at shortstop, sophomore Grae Kessinger has raised his level offensively. He's hitting .304 on the season with 12 doubles. He homered twice over the weekend at South Carolina and is 11-for-29 (.379) with nine runs scored and 6 RBI in the last seven games. Kessinger is just outside the top 100 nationally and is 10th in the SEC with 44 runs scored.

DILLY, DILLY!
Thomas Dillard delivered one of the biggest home runs of the 2018 season on Saturday 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. 

Dillard and Florida's Wil Dalton (50 R, 49 RBI) are the only two players in the SEC with 48 or more RBI and runs scored. Dillard ranks 50th nationally in runs scored and is 56th in RBI with 48 apiece.

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 a week ago 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.

The freshman has also been outstanding defensively with just one error on the year at the hot corner.

RESERVE POWER
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.


 

 

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