May 13, 2015
Matchup: Ole Miss (29-24, 14-13 SEC) at Texas A&M (42-9, 17-9 SEC)
Date: May 14-16, 2015
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Venue: Swayze Field
Television: ESPNU (Thurs.)/SEC Network+ (Fri./Sat.)
Tom Hart/Richard Cross, play-by-play
Chris Burke/David Dellucci, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
David Kellum, play-by-play
Keith Kessinger, analyst
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com
Series: Texas A&M leads 6-5
Last Series: May 15-17, 2014
Ole Miss won 2-1
College Station, Texas
- Ole Miss is riding a season-high five-game winning streak after a 17-3 victory over Arkansas State Tuesday
- Ole Miss is currently 33rd in RPI with the nation's toughest schedule
- If the season ended today, Ole Miss would face South Carolina in the first round of the SEC Tournament
- During the Rebel's winning streak, senior Sikes Orvis is hitting .600 with 12 hits, 7 home runs, two doubles, 16 RBI, 11 runs and a 1.750 slugging percentage
- Orvis is currently ranked 10th all-time in Ole Miss history with 34 career home runs; his 16 home runs in 2015 are tied for the seventh-most in a single season
- Sophomore Wyatt Short pitched in all three games over the weekend, collecting two saves and one win to earn SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week honors
- Seven of Short's nine saves have been in SEC play, which leads the conference
- The Rebels are 6-5 against top-10 teams this season
- Ole Miss ranks second in the nation in attendance in 2015, averaging 8,066 fans per game for a total attendance of 225,873
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
THURSDAY, 6:30 P.M.
Texas A&M - Grayson Long, Jr., RHP, 8-0, 2.84 ERA
Ole Miss - Christian Trent, Jr., LHP, 7-5, 3.68 ERA
- Has thrown 8.0 innings in each of his last three outings
- Went a season-long 8.0 innings against Alabama, surrendering two runs (one earned) on six hits with five strikeouts to earn the win
- Pitched 6.1 innings and allowed one run on three hits to defeat No. 1 Florida, going 4.1 innings without giving up a hit
- Has made 30 career starts, recording 148 strikeouts over 195.2 innings for a record of 15-5
- Won his first 12 games as a Rebel, the best start to a career by any pitcher in Ole Miss baseball history
- Named to the 50-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list
FRIDAY, 6:30 P.M.
Texas A&M - Ryan Hendrix, So., RHP, 4-1, 3.48 ERA
Ole Miss - Brady Bramlett, R-So., RHP, 6-3, 3.73 ERA
- Has a team-high 71 strikeouts and is holding opponents to a .244 batting average
- Struck out nine hitters over seven scoreless innings in a victory over Alabama
- Pitched seven innings without allowing an earned run at No. 1 LSU
- Went six scoreless innings against Stetson, giving up just three hits and one walk to go along with his 12 strikeouts
- Only Rebel to record 12 strikeouts in one game as well as double digit strikeouts in two or more starts since Drew Pomeranz in 2010
- Returned to the mound this season after missing the end of the 2013 season and the entire 2014 season due to injury
SATURDAY, 1:30 P.M.
Texas A&M - TBA
Ole Miss - TBA
A LOOK AT THE AGGIES
The Aggies started off the season as the nation's hottest team, winning their first 24 games and earning the nation's No. 1 ranking. Since then, Texas A&M has dropped from the No. 1 spot but still have remained in the top-10 in multiple national polls, currently seventh in the country. Entering the final weekend of the regular season, the Aggies are 42-9, including 17-9 in conference action. The combination of solid pitching and a potent offense has been the key to the success of Texas A&M. Junior Grayson Long has been as efficient as the Aggies could have asked for; the right-hander is 8-0 in 13 starts while posting a 2.84 ERA. Six Aggies had batting averages over the .300 clip. Blake Allemand, Nick Banks, Logan Taylor and Mitchell Nau eclipse the .350 plateau as Texas A&M hits .317 as a team. Head coach for the Aggies is Rob Childress, who is in his 10th season at the helm.
ORVIS' CARRIES REBELS TO MIDWEEK VICTORY
Senior Sikes Orvis continued to knock the cover off the ball, going 3-for-3 with a career-high eight RBI to lead the Ole Miss baseball team to a 17-3 victory over Arkansas State Tuesday night, May 12, in the final non-conference game of the regular season. In the seven-inning ballgame, Orvis flexed his muscles once again by recording his second straight multi-homer game and third in the past five contests. He blasted his first career grand slam in the first and added a three-run homer in the second. Orvis added a RBI double in the seventh to bring his total to eight for the game, the most by a Rebel this century, and just two off the single-game record of 10 by Charlie Conerly in 1947. Alongside Orvis, three other Rebels tallied multi-hit games. Sophomore Errol Robinson went 3-for-4, including a three-run blast for the first home run of his career. Freshmen Will Golsan and Kyle Watson added two hits apiece. Playing in his sixth consecutive contest, freshman designated hitter Nic Perkins singled to increase his hitting streak to six games. Freshman Will Stokes (2-5) pitched 4.1 scoreless innings of relief to earn the victory on the mound for Ole Miss as he allowed only three hits.
SIKES HITTING EQUALS OLE MISS WINNING
Ole Miss has developed a five-game winning streak due to solid pitching, hitting and fielding as a team. Nonetheless, there is one Rebel who has led the way at the plate. Senior co-captain Sikes Orvis is hitting at an incredible .600 clip during the winning streak along with three multi-homer games. Through the five games, Orvis has 12 hits, seven home runs, two doubles, 11 runs and 16 RBI. With nine of his 12 hits going for extra bases, the first baseman has boasted a 1.750 slugging percentage to help the Rebels to their longest winning streak of the season.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
With his two home runs against Arkansas State on Tuesday, Sikes Orvis etched his name in the Ole Miss record books. The senior slugger now has 34 career home runs, ranking 10th in program history. His 34rd career homer was also the 16th of the year for Orvis, which is tied for the seventh-most by a Rebel in a single season. Kyle Gordon is the Ole Miss career home run record holder with 48, while Jason Huisman and Brian Pettway hit 21 homers in different seasons to share the single season mark. Orvis is one home run away from tying Pettway for ninth on the all-time list. He is also 10th on the list for most walks in a single season with 38; teammate J.B. Woodman's 39 walks lead the Rebels in 2015, ranking seventh in Ole Miss laurels.
SHORT NAMED SEC CO-PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore Wyatt Short was been named SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week, the conference office announced Monday, May 11. The left-handed reliever earns the accolade for the first time in career after a stellar weekend against rival Mississippi State. Short became the third Rebel to earn a weekly award from the conference office this season. Scott Weathersby was named SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week, April 13, and Will Golsan collected SEC Freshman of the Week honors, March 23. Short finished all three games on the mound this weekend for Ole Miss, helping the Rebels capture a season sweep over the Bulldogs for the first time since 2010. The southpaw earned saves in the first two contests before claiming the win in the series finale. He pitched one scoreless inning in each game without allowing a hit, retiring nine of the 10 batters he faced throughout the weekend and striking out four of them. This season, Short leads Ole Miss relievers with four wins and nine saves. Seven of his nine saves have been in SEC play, which sits atop the conference ranks. Along with an ERA of 1.56, Short has struck out 39 hitters over 34.2 innings. He has not allowed a run to score in 17 of his 20 appearances. Opponents are hitting just .214 against the sophomore in 2015.
WEATHERSBY ANNOUNCED AS FERRISS TROPHY FINALIST
Senior Scott Weathersby was named a finalist for the C Spire Ferriss Trophy, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum announced Monday, May 11. Weathersby is one of five finalists up for the award, named for Mississippi baseball legend Boo Ferriss, which will be presented to the most outstanding baseball player in the state of Mississippi at a luncheon on May 18. Weathersby has been electric on the mound throughout his final season as a Rebel. The Hattiesberg, Miss. native has compiled a 4-1 record with three saves and a 2.39 ERA. In 49.0 innings, the senior right-hander has 48 strikeouts compared to just 12 walks, while holding opponents to a .208 average at the plate. After making 47 appearances out of the bullpen to start his career, Weathersby was recently added to the weekend rotation. He won his first two starts with wins over Mississippi State and Missouri. In the Governor's Cup, his first career start, he pitched a career-high seven scoreless innings and allowed just six hits, while striking out three. For his performance, he was named the Governor Cup's Most Valuable Player. Weathersby is looking to become the sixth Diamond Rebel to win the Ferriss Trophy. Last season, Ole Miss outfielder Auston Bousfield took home the honor, joining previous Rebels Stephen Head (2004), Brian Pettway (2005), Scott Bittle (2008) and Drew Pomeranz (2010) in claiming the award.
A COMEBACK FOR THE AGES
Trailing by five runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Ole Miss baseball team rallied to tie the game, forcing extra innings before scoring the game-winning run in the 10th to cap off the comeback and beat rival Mississippi State, 8-7, Saturday evening, May 9, at Swayze Field. Sophomore Colby Bortles delivered a two-RBI single up the middle that tied the game in the ninth, and freshman Nic Perkins hit a chopper into left field that plated pinch-runner Tate Blackman for the walk-off hit in the 10th. Blackman had the Rebels' only other walk-off in 2015, earlier this season against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, March 18. The five-run comeback was the second time this season that Ole Miss rallied after trailing by four-or-more runs entering the ninth inning. The Rebels were down four against No. 1 Vanderbilt, April 10, before Bortles' grand slam tied the game in the ninth. Ole Miss went on to win that game, 6-5, in 16 innings. The last time the Rebels scored five runs in the ninth to force extra innings was in a 10-9 victory over Vanderbilt, April 7, 2002. Ole Miss improved to 3-0 in extra-inning games in 2015 with all of them occurring in SEC play. The Rebels defeated a pair of top-ranked team in extra innings earlier this season in LSU and Vanderbilt.
HOW SWEEP IT IS
While a sweep looked in doubt with Ole Miss trailing by five entering the bottom of the ninth, the Diamond Rebels never gave up and rallied to claim their first sweep of the season. The wild come-from-behind victory completed the Rebels' SEC series sweep over the Bulldogs, while increasing their winning streak to a season-high four games. The win also marked a season sweep for Ole Miss over Mississippi State as the Rebels claimed the Governor's Cup, April 28. The last time the Rebels won all four games over MSU in a single season came during the 2010 campaign.
SIKES LEAVES HIS MARK ON THE RIVALRY
Senior Sikes Orvis made sure to make his final series against rival Mississippi State a memorable one. The Ole Miss slugger knocked the cover off the ball all weekend long, going 7-for-12 (.583) with three home runs, two doubles, six RBI, six runs and a slugging percentage of 1.417. In the second game of the series, Orvis recorded four RBI in the Rebels' win 13-10 win over MSU, tying his season high. Capping off his career in the rivalry, the senior first baseman led Ole Miss at the plate with a career-high four hits, including a pair of solo home runs. Orvis started the five-run ninth-inning comeback, leading off with a base hit, his fourth of the game. The pair of homers gave Orvis his third multi-home run game of his career as well as his second in the past four games. The two-homer day brought Orvis' total to 14 on the season, 32 for his career, and five over the last four games.
PERKINS PRODUCES IN DH ROLE
Since taking advantage of his opportunities while playing in his home state of Missouri, freshman Nic Perkins has settled into his new role as the team's starting designated hitter. Playing in front of friends and family, the St. Charles, Missouri native went a combined 4-for-6 seeing action in two games. After going 2-for-2 off the bench on Saturday, Perkins got his first career start as a Rebel and recorded a pair of hits to solidify his starting spot. Since his appearance off the bench, Perkins has recorded a hit in each game, going 9-for-22 (.409) and increasing his hitting streak to six games. He smacked the first extra-base hit of his career, a two-run double, to help Ole Miss defeat MSU, 13-10 on Saturday. Then, in the 10th inning of the series finale, Perkins drove in the game-winning run, capping off the Rebels' thrilling five-run comeback for the walk-off victory.
CLOSING OUT GAMES
Ole Miss has been efficient in closing out games this season. While the Rebels have four come-from-behind wins despite trailing after the eighth inning, they are a perfect 22-0 when holding their own lead through eight innings. A credit to Ole Miss capping off victories is the back end of the bullpen. The quartet of Wyatt Short, Will Stokes, Jacob Waguespack and Scott Weathersby has combined for 16 saves this season. Short leads the way as the team's primary closer with nine saves, but Stokes and Weathersby each have three as well. Waguespack earned his first career save against No. 1 Vanderbilt. Along with the impressive record after eight innings of play, the Rebels are 10-3 in one-run games.
CLOYD LEADING OFF
Junior Connor Cloyd has provided Ole Miss the production it needs from the leadoff spot as of late. Leading off as either the team's left fielder or designated hitter depending on the day, Cloyd has seen his average rocket to .400. The Tacoma, Wash. native has recorded at least two hits in eight of the last 12 games, going 23-for-49 (.469). Against Central Arkansas, Cloyd tallied a career-high four hits to go along with three runs and three RBI. He followed that offensive performance with a three-hit game versus Memphis. Cloyd smacked a pair of hits in all three games against Alabama to help Ole Miss claim the conference series. Cloyd continued his hot hitting in the Governor's Cup, going 3-for-6 with a career-high four RBI in the Rebels' win over Mississippi State before adding another three-hit game to help lead Ole Miss to a 4-3 victory over No. 14 Missouri.
ESPN ADDS REBS TO MAY 14 SCHEDULE
The Southeastern Conference announced April 29, that ESPN has chosen the May 14 baseball game between Ole Miss and Texas A&M to air on national television. The series opener between the Rebels and Aggies will be broadcast live on ESPNU with first pitch still set for its original time, 6:30 p.m. CT, at Swayze Field. The three-game set against Texas A&M is the final regular-season series for the Rebels. Ole Miss baseball on ESPNU will mark the 12th time this season the Rebels are slated to appear on national television. The Diamond Rebels have played eight of those contests thus far, sporting a record of 4-4 that includes victories over then-No. 1 LSU and then-No. 1 Vanderbilt. Ole Miss will host rival Mississippi State at Swayze Field, May 7-9, with all three games set for broadcast on SEC Network.
Only two Rebels have started all 53 games this season, and they both happen to be sophomores. Errol Robinson has started every game as the Rebels' shortstop, while J.B. Woodman has been penciled in the Ole Miss outfield, splitting time between center field and right field. Robinson and Woodman have made phenomenal plays with their gloves, but the duo also produces at the plate. Robinson has 55 hits to lead the team, while Woodman is third with 52; Woodman has scored 38 times, second on the team, and Robinson's 29 runs are fifth on the Ole Miss ball club.
WEATHERING THE STORM
One of two captains, senior Scott Weathersby has been a leader to a youthful Ole Miss baseball team. On the mound this season, Weathersby has posted a 2.39 ERA in 16 appearances, including the first three starts of his career. Through 49.0 innings of work, he has struck out 48 batters, while only walking 12. Perhaps the most impressive statistic of all by the Hattiesburg, Miss. native is that he is holding opposing hitters to just a .208 average at the plate. Weathersby's veteran presence on the mound showed against No. 1 Vanderbilt, April 10, as he retired 18 of the 21 batters he faced in a six-inning relief appearance. The senior right-hander struck out a career-high 10 hitters and got out of a bases-loaded jam, all while keeping the nation's top-ranked team off the scoreboard. Behind Weathersby, the Rebels stayed alive in the extra-inning contest before winning in the 16th. Weathersby shut the door to collect the win on the road. The performance earned the senior SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week honors, and he built off the accolade in his next appearance, earning the win at Auburn, before tossing 1.2 scoreless innings to collect a save versus Alabama. Weathersby continued his dominance as he got the start against rival Mississippi State in the Governor's Cup. The senior tossed a career-high seven innings without allowing a run, earning MVP honors and leading Ole Miss to an 11-1 victory. After the Governor's Cup win, Weathersby started in the series finale at No. 14 Missouri and picked up the win.
Sophomore southpaw Wyatt Short has been a shutdown reliever out of the Ole Miss bullpen this season. In 20 appearances, Short has a 4-1 record, nine saves, an impressive 1.56 ERA, 39 strikeouts, only 12 walks and just six earned runs over 34.2 innings. His win total and number of saves are team highs out of Rebel relievers as he had held opposing hitters to a .214 average at the plate. Against Tennessee, the Southaven, Miss. native entered the game with the bases loaded and the tying run at the plate, but he pitched out of the jam, allowing just one of the inherited runners to score. He also pitched the final 2.2 innings to earn the save in game one of a doubleheader at Auburn. At one point this season, March 1 through April 18, Short surrendered just one run over 21.2 innings spanning 12 appearances. During the Rebels' four-game winning streak, Short has factored into every game by earning three saves and picking up a victory.
The Rebels have gone through the gauntlet in 2015 with a difficult non-conference schedule as well as facing three teams ranked No. 1 in the country. According to NCAA statistics, Ole Miss has had the nation's toughest schedule to this point as the Rebels' opponents are a combined 590-405-1 (.593) this season. Through 53 games, 17 of those contests came against top-15 teams, including nine against No. 1 teams. The Rebels are 8-9 in games against ranked teams. Ole Miss went through a stretch of playing 8-of-11 games against teams ranked in the top 10, posting an even 4-4 record in those matchups that included a series victory over then-No.1 Florida. The brutal schedule has forced a young Ole Miss team grow up fast, and the Rebels could benefit from the pressure down the final stretch of the 2015 campaign.
SEC TOURNAMENT OUTLOOK
With one week remaining in the regular season, the 2015 SEC Baseball Tournament is on the horizon. For the 18th straight year, the tournament will return to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover Ala., May 19-24. The top 12 teams will qualify for the tournament with the top four seeds earning byes to the double-elimination format. Seeds 5 through 12 will square off on May 19 with the losers of the four games going home and the winners advancing to double-elimination play. If the season ended today, Ole Miss would head to the tournament as the No. 7 seed and face No. 10 seed South Carolina in a single elimination contest.