May 11, 2016
Matchup: No. 6 Ole Miss (36-13, 14-10 SEC) vs. (RV) Kentucky (29-20, 13-11 SEC)
Date: May 12-14, 2016
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Venue: Swayze Field
Television: ESPNU (Thurs.)/SECN+ (Fri., Sat.)
Richard Cross (Thurs.)/Will Kollmeyer (Fri., Sat.), play-by-play
Nick Belmonte (Thurs.)/David Dellucci (Fri., Sat.), analyst
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
David Kellum, play-by-play
Keith Kessinger, analyst
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com
Series: Ole Miss leads 47-31
Last Series: April 25-27, 2014
Ole Miss won three-of-three
Thursday, May 12, 6:30 p.m.
Diamond Girls Senior Night
Friday, May 13, 6:30 p.m.
Friday Night Fireworks
5-of-5 baseball card pack giveaways
Ole Miss Baseball Senior Night
The Last Meeting
April 27, 2014
Saturday, May 14, 4 p.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.
- Ole Miss is ranked seventh in the RPI and as high as No. 6 in the national polls.
- The Rebels are coming off a victorious road series, taking two-of-three from Georgia.
- Henri Lartigue leads all SEC catchers with a .344 batting average.
- Ole Miss is 12-4 over its last 16 SEC games, winning eight of their last nine SEC games at Swayze Field.
- J.B. Woodman is hitting .449 (22-for-49) with runners in scoring position this season.
- The Rebels are 32-0 in games where they’re leading after the sixth inning.
- Seniors Connor Cloyd, Matt Denny, Cameron Dishon and Holt Perdzock will be playing their final regular season games at Swayze Field.
- The Rebels are 36-1 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 riding a 14-game hitting streak; he’s also batting .348 over the last 22 games, recording at least one hit in 21 of those contests.
- Ole Miss is outscoring the opposition 133-62 in the first three innings of games.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
THURSDAY, 6:30 P.M.
Kentucky - Zack Brown, Jr., RHP, 2-9, 5.93 ERA
Ole Miss - Brady Bramlett, R-Jr., RHP, 6-2, 3.02 ERA
- Ranks second in the SEC with 36 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 a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week honor
- 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.
Kentucky - Dustin Beggs, Sr., RHP, 8-1, 2.50 ERA
Ole Miss - David Parkinson, So., LHP, 3-2, 2.68 ERA
- Went 5.1 innings to collect the series-clinching win at Georgia (May 7)
- 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
SATURDAY, 4 P.M.
Kentucky - Kyle Cody, Sr., RHP, 5-2, 3.86 ERA
Ole Miss - James McArthur, Fr., RHP, 5-1, 3.35 ERA
- Has allowed the third-fewest runs (19) in the SEC among qualifying pitchers
- Made his first career SEC start versus No. 8 LSU (April 30)
- 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
Kentucky enters the weekend after dropping a midweek battle to Indiana, 3-2. The Wildcats are 29-20 on the season, including 13-11 in conference play to sit one game back of the Rebels in seeding for the SEC Tournament. Last weekend, UK took two-of-three from No. 2 South Carolina to win its second series of the season against a top-2 team; Kentucky also holds a victorious series over No. 1 Florida. Evan White leads the team at the plate with a .362 average, which ranks fourth in the SEC. White’s 71 hits are also third among conference hitters, and he also has 12 doubles to his credit. On the mound, UK has maintained its rotation for all 12 weeks of the season. Within the starting trio, Dustin Beggs has been the Wildcats’ top pitcher, boasting an 8-1 record with a 2.50 ERA. Reigning SEC Co-Freshman of the Week Sean Hjelle is the team’s closer, tallying seven saves to go along with a perfect 4-0 record in 19 relief appearances. Gary Henderson is in his eighth year guiding the Kentucky baseball program.
LAST TIME WE MET
Ole Miss leads the all-time series against Kentucky 47-31, including taking five of the last seven games versus the Wildcats. The last time these programs met was in Lexington, Kentucky, where the Rebels broke out the brooms for a three-game sweep (April 25-27, 2014). Ole Miss outscored then-No. 17 Kentucky a combined 39-15 in the series led by Auston Bousfield, who hit a blistering .714 during the series and ended up earning National Offensive Player of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America. Although they were freshmen at the time, J.B. Woodman and Errol Robinson put together a solid weekend against the Wildcats. Woodman went 5-for-9 (.556) with four runs and three RBI, while Robinson posted a .333 average (5-for-15) with four runs and two RBI.
THE ROAD TO HOOVER
With only two 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 third in the SEC West with rival LSU. In the overall standings, the Rebels and Tigers are tied with Vanderbilt for fifth place. All three teams have not faced a common opponent so, if the season ended today, the tie would be able to be broken. There are still plenty of scenarios to play out as Ole Miss can end up anywhere from the No. 1 seed to the No. 9 seed. The top 12 teams qualify for the SEC Tournament.
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 36-1 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.
During the weekend series at Georgia, Holt Perdzock and Kyle Watson each delivered pinch-hit home runs for their first career homers. Overall, Ole Miss has hit three pinch-hit homer runs this season. Michael Fitzsimmons belted the other pinch-hit dinger (March 9) versus Southeast Missouri.
SLOW DOWN SHORT
After earning a spot on the midseason watch list (April 28), Ole Miss closer Wyatt Short has put together an impressive 2016 campaign to be recognized as a serious candidate for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award, an award given to the top reliever in NCAA Division I Baseball. In 15 appearances, Short has nine saves to go along with a 2-1 record and 1.99 ERA. While the junior southpaw holds 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. Moreover, seven of his nine saves have been earned by pitching more than just 1.0 inning. Through 31.2 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 1.94 ERA and limits opposing hitters to a .208 average at the plate. His 22 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. 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).
On Friday night, Ole Miss will honor four seniors (Connor Cloyd, Matt Denny, Cameron Dishon and Holt Perdzock) who will be playing their final regular season series at Swayze Field. Over the past four seasons, the 2016 senior class has won 152 games, made three NCAA Tournaments, with the chance at a fourth this season, and played in front of over one million fans at Swayze Field throughout their careers. This group also helped lead Ole Miss to the 2014 College World Series, the Rebels’ first trip to Omaha since 1972.
#27 Connor Cloyd - Cloyd joined the Rebels to continue his collegiate playing career after spending two years at Tacoma Community College. In his two seasons at Ole Miss, the Maple Valley, Washington native has played in 72 games, making 50 starts as a .315 career hitter. During his first season, the junior college transfer emerged as the Rebels’ leading hitter with a .369 batting average. He recorded 12 multi-hit games, ending the season with a .435 on-base percentage and a .417 slugging percentage. This year, Cloyd has appeared in 34 games, including making 24 starts in left field. Connor will be graduating with a degree in general studies.
#16 Matt Denny - A four-year veteran of the baseball team, Denny is a team captain as a senior. The Jackson, Mississippi native has made 53 relief appearances throughout his Ole Miss career. As a freshman, Denny burst onto the scene and made an immediate impact, totaling 21 appearances during the 2013 season. He posted a 2-1 record with a 2.14 ERA that season, holding opponents to a .178 batting average. Following the past two seasons, Denny was honored for his success in the classroom, earning a spot on the SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll. With a 3.23 grade point average, Matt will graduate with a degree in marketing.
#14 Cameron Dishon - Dishon has been another Rebel senior that has played an important role throughout his time at Ole Miss. The Beaumont, Texas native has played in 178 games over his four-year career. He started out as a pinch runner and defensive replacement during his first two years before earning a starting spot in the outfield as a junior. Dishon has been in the starting lineup for 88 games over the past two seasons. Along with making phenomenal diving catches that landed him on ESPN’s SportsCenter, Dishon has also been a threat on the base path and at the plate. He stole a team-high 17 bases in 2015 as a junior, and he has belted four home runs this season, his final one as a rebel. Holding a 3.67 GPA, Dishon is a two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and will earn his degree in accountancy.
#42 Holt Perdzock - Playing in 134 games throughout his four-year Ole Miss baseball career, Perdzock has been a reliable hitter in critical situations. He is probably best known for his bases-loaded two-RBI double in the 2014 NCAA Super Regional that helped the Rebels clinch a berth to the College World Series. During the 2014 run to Omaha, the Memphis, Tennessee native posted a .324 batting average. He has continued his career serving as the team’s designated hitter as well as the primary pinch hitter when he doesn’t start. Last week at Georgia, Perdzock came off the bench and sent a rocket over the right field fence for the first home run of his career, increasing the Rebels’ lead in a series-clinching win over the bulldogs. Perdzock will be graduating this weekend with a degree in general studies.
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 21 of the last 22 games, putting together 10 multi-hit performances and posting a .348 batting average during that stretch. Robinson is currently riding a season-high 14-game hitting streak. Against Georgia (May 6), he put the Rebels on his back by accounting for all six runs in a 6-4 win. He used three hits to record a career-high four RBI, including a three-run triple, and also score twice. The Ole Miss shortstop recorded a single, double and triple in succession in his first three plate appearances to fall just a home run short of the cycle.
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 Georgia (May 7), 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).
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 .344 batting average. Moreover, Lartigue is raking during conference play, hitting at a .385 clip, which ranks fourth among all hitters. He has put together nine 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. Lartigue’s impressive year has earned him a spot on the Johnny Bench Award Watch List.
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. Out of the 16 assists, 10 have been outs at home to prevent opponents from scoring. J.B. 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 .393 with runners on base, including a remarkable .449 (22-of-49) 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 10 out of 12 opportunities. He also posts a .562 rate of advancing runners on base.
OLE MISS IN THE POLLS
After another victorious SEC weekend, Ole Miss climbed the polls once again. Baseball America moved the Rebels up to No. 6 for their highest national ranking. D1Baseball placed Ole Miss at eighth in the country, while Perfect Game and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) had the team at ninth. The nation’s coaches ranked the Rebels No. 11 in the USA Today coaches poll. Collegiate Baseball listed Ole Miss in the No. 20 spot of its poll. 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 in 2016. He is second on the team in batting average (.318), hits (56) and multi-hit games (15), while ranking third in runs (37) and RBI (31). The second baseman also has reached base in 45-of-49 games this season.
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 seventh in the country, while junior J.B. Woodman follows closely behind with six to rank 18th. On the mound, freshman Andy Pagnozzi has eight victories, including seven out of the bullpen, to rank 21st in wins. Rebel ace Brady Bramlett cracks the rankings at No. 25 averaging 11.20 strikeouts per nine innings.
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 12 total appearances, McArthur has made 10 starts and boasts a 5-1 record with a 3.35 ERA. He has only allowed 19 runs in 51.0 innings, ranking fourth in the SEC among qualifying pitchers. In his last six outings on the mound, McArthur holds a 1.82 ERA over 29.2 innings.
Ole Miss wastes no time striking first, outscoring the opposition 49-21 in the first inning. The Rebels have scored in the opening frame 22 times this season, posting a 19-3 record in those ballgames. The first three innings are the Rebels’ best in terms of outscoring the opponent. Ole Miss has recorded a combined 133 runs in the first three frames, while only giving up 62 runs through the first third of the game for a +71 advantage. The second inning is the team’s best inning offensively, tallying 52 runs. On the mound, Ole Miss has surrendered just 16 runs the third inning of contests.
|Score by Innings
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), David Goforth (Milwaukee Brewers), 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. After beginning the year with the Triple-A affiliate Colorado Sky Sox, Goforth and Presley both earned promotions to the big leagues and remain on the Brewers’ roster.
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.
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 come out to the ballpark in full force to support Ole Miss throughout the 2016 season. The Rebels have averaged 8,490 fans per game, including five contests with the attendance over 10,000, to rank second nationally. In total, 246,222 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.
Closing out the regular season, the Rebels will play four games in a span of five days next week. First, Ole Miss will close out the non-conference slate with a midweek game against Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Arkansas (May 17). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT. The following day, the Rebels travel to College Station, Texas to prepare for a conference series against one of the nation’s top teams in Texas A&M. The three-game set begins Thursday night (May 19) and wraps up Saturday afternoon (May 21) at 2 p.m. CT on SEC Network.