Baseball Heads to Jonesboro for Final Midweek Game
May 15, 2018

TUESDAY - 6:30 p.m.
Ole Miss: LHP Jordan Fowler 
5-0, 4.08 ERA, 28.2 IP
Arkansas State: RHP Zachary Patterson
0-3, 7.50 ERA, 24.0 IP

Date: May 15, 2018
First Pitch: 6:30 p.m. CT
Location: Jonesboro, Arkansas
Venue: Tomlinson Stadium (1,200)
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
     David Kellum (Play by Play) 
     Keith Kessinger (Analyst)
Live Audio:
Live Stats:
Twitter Updates: @OleMissBSB
Series History: Ole Miss leads 73-23 
Last Meeting: April 18, 2018 - Ole Miss 10, ASU 3
     In Jonesboro: May 16, 2017 - ASU 5, Ole Miss 0

• No. 4 Ole Miss enters its final midweek game of the season coming off its first SEC series sweep of the year, taking all three games from No. 16 Auburn to close the regular season with a 28-4 record at home.
• The Rebels are 12-1 in midweek games this season and can tie the program mark for the best midweek record with a win Tuesday.
• Ole Miss is No. 4 in the nation according to Baseball America and is a unanimous top-10 team. The Rebels are fifth according to D1Baseball and ESPN/USA Today, as well as sixth by Perfect Game and eighth in the RPI.
• The Rebels are one of two teams in college baseball to rank in the top 15 nationally in batting average and fielding percentage.
• The Ole Miss offense ranks in the top 15 nationally in doubles (11th), home runs (11th), batting average (12th), slugging percentage (12th), hits (13th) and runs scored (15th). 
• Ole Miss has scored 114 more runs on 100 more hits than this point last year. The Rebel offense has added 24 more doubles, 18 more home runs and 112 more RBI. Ole Miss has also struck out 67 fewer times than it did through 52 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’ 39 wins this season, 17 have been come-from-behind victories.
• The Rebel pitching staff is No. 1 in the SEC in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 2.91 and also leads the league with 498 total strikeouts.
Tyler Keenan hit .556 with two home runs, two doubles and six RBI last week to earn SEC Player of the Week honors to go along with back-to-back Freshman of the Week nods in April. He’s the only freshman in the conference to be named POTW this season.
Ryan Olenek recently wrapped up a 23-game hitting streak, during which he had 17 multi-hit games, batting .516 with 48 hits, 18 runs scored and just five strikeouts. He’s statistically the toughest player to strike out in the SEC with just 13 Ks on the year.
Thomas Dillard is one of just two players in the SEC with 49 or more RBI and runs scored with 49 and 53, respectively.

Tuesday • 6:30 p.m.

LHP Jordan Fowler (Ole Miss) | 5-0, 4.08 ERA, 28.2 IP
RHP Zachary Patterson (Arkansas State) | 0-3, 7.50 ERA, 24.0 IP

• Making seventh career start
• Last start (vs. Arkansas Pine Bluff): 1-0, 4.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 extra-base hit
• Previous start vs. Arkansas State (April 18): 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K
• Opposing hitters are 11-for-44 (.250) against Fowler with runners on base and 5-for-29 (.172) with two outs.
• Critical relief performance in Game 3 at Texas A&M, inheriting and cleanly escaping a bases-loaded, one-out jam by pitching into an inning-ending double play in the Rebels’ 7-6 win.
• Earned first-career win in a start at Georgia State: 5.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K
• Had fantastic first-career start vs. Little Rock: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
• Two wins early this season in relief of Sunday starter James McArthur
• Drafted in 26th round of 2017 MLB Draft by Texas Rangers
• Overcame a broken vertebra in his back and fractured vertebra in his neck in a car accident in high school.
• Was 20-2 in high school career, tossing two no-hitters

• Kyle MacDonald has paced the A-State offense this season, leading the Red Wolves in batting average (.349), home runs (11), RBI (44), slugging percentage (.629) and on-base percentage (.455).
• Jeremy Brown is the team’s only other .300 hitter at .320 on the season. Brown has a team-high 17 doubles.
• Grant Hawkins has been the team’s top running threat with 10 stolen bases in 13 attempts, as well as three triples.
• Ole Miss caught A-State amid its toughest stretch of the season earlier this year—12 losses in 13 games.
• The Red Wolves have been 6-5 since that spell, including series wins over South Alabama and Texas State.
• Arkansas State is coming off a series defeat to Georgia Southern and has lost two straight.
• The Red Wolves are 5-6 in midweek games this season.
• Arkansas State is 11-13 at home this season. 

For the 13th consecutive season, the Rebels and Red Wolves are playing a home-and-home series. The Rebels took the first half of the slate with a 10-3 victory in Oxford on April 18. The teams have played in the regular season for 25 years running now, every year since 1993. Ole Miss leads the all-time series with Arkansas State 73-23. The Red Wolves took the last two meetings between the schools in Jonesboro, 5-0 in 2017 and 8-6 in 2016. The Rebels are 26-10 against A-State under head coach Mike Bianco.

Ole Miss is tied for the fourth-most wins in college baseball, behind Tennessee Tech (44), Florida (41) and Stetson (40). The Rebels are tied for ninth in the nation in win percentage at .750. Ole Miss (39-13) trails just Florida (41-12) in the SEC for the most wins, fewest losses and best win percentage.

Ole Miss closed its regular-season home schedule with its highest average attendance in program history at 8,759, beating the previous record (8,579) by 180, set in 2016. The Rebels will close the season second in the nation in average and total attendance at 280,305, trailing just LSU nationally. Rebel Nation also 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.

Ole Miss has won its last 11 series at Swayze Field. The Rebels have also won their last nine series against ranked teams in front of the Swayze Crazies. The Rebels closed their regular season at 28-4 at home this season, including a perfect 8-0 in midweek games.

Ole Miss, joined by UNCG, is one of two teams in the nation to rank in the top 15 nationally in batting average and fielding percentage. The Rebels are 12th in batting and 14th 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.

Ole Miss added its fifth SEC Weekly Honor of year last week as Tyler Keenan was named SEC Player of the Week. He’s the only freshman this season to win SEC Player of the Week, and he’s the first Rebel rookie to do it since Alex Presley in 2004. In April, Keenan was named Freshman of the Week in two straight weeks. 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.

Also this week, Ryan Olenek was named a finalist for the Ferriss Trophy, which is awarded to the most outstanding college baseball player in Mississippi.

The week prior, closer Parker Caracci was named SEC Pitcher of the Week after earning the save in all three of the Rebels’ wins. Caracci also earned Midseason All-American honors from Perfect Game/Rawlings and D1Baseball, and he was named to the Stopper of the Year watch list by the NCBWA.

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. This week, Feigl was also tabbed as a candidate for the Golden Spikes Award Performance of the Week after going eight innings to outduel projected top MLB Draft pick Casey Mize of Auburn.

Senior Will Golsan was named a Senior CLASS Award candidate earlier in the season, though he did not make the final list for the honor.

Ole Miss remains No. 1 in the SEC in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 2.91, good for 12th in the nation. The Rebels lead the SEC in total strikeouts at 498, besting second-place Missouri by 10. The Rebels have issued just 171 walks, the fourth-best figure in the league behind Florida, Texas A&M and Arkansas.

Compared to last season, the Rebels have found another level of production at the plate. Through 52 games this season, Ole Miss has scored 114 more runs on 100 more hits than this point last year. The Rebel offense has added 24 more doubles, 18 more home runs and 112 more RBI. Ole Miss has also struck out 67 fewer times than it did through 52 games last season. The Rebels are batting nearly .050 points better and slugging nearly .090 points better than they did a year ago.

Ole Miss is 15th in college baseball in runs scored with 372. The Rebels are third in the SEC in that category, just behind Florida (382) and Auburn (373). 

Of the Rebels’ 39 wins this season, 17 have been come-from-behind victories. 

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.

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. 

The 2018 Ole Miss offense is on pace to be one of the program’s best. Hitting .304 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 .304, Ole Miss is up to second in the SEC and 25th in the nation. The Rebels rank in the top 15 nationally in seven offensive categories.

Ole Miss is No. 11 in the nation with 111 doubles on the year. The Rebels are No. 2 the SEC in that category behind Mississippi State (116). They’re No. 19 in the nation and second in the league with 2.13 doubles per game. To this point last season, the Rebels had 87 doubles, and they had 96 all of last year.

Ole Miss has been one of the best power-hitting teams in college baseball this season. The Rebels are No. 12 nationally in slugging percentage at .483. They’re 11th in the nation and fourth in the SEC with 64 home runs on the season. The Rebels are averaging 1.23 homers per game, good for 11th in the country and fourth in the conference.

Thomas Dillard and Nick Fortes lead Ole Miss, each with 11 homers on the year. Chase Cockrell is next with eight to his name, while Tyler Keenan and Cole Zabowski each have seven. 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.

Ole Miss has had a knack for two-out hitting this season. Of the Rebels’ 340 RBI, 118 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 72 two-out RBI. Through 52 games last season, Ole Miss had 90 two-out RBI. 

Six Rebels have 10 or more two-out RBI this season, led by Will Golsan at 20 and Thomas Dillard with 17.

Ryan Olenek is swinging one of the hottest bats in college baseball right now. The junior out of Winter Park, Florida, leads the SEC and is No. 19 in the nation, batting .396 on the year. He’s also hitting .451 in conference play.

Olenek recently wrapped up a 23-game hitting streak, spanning 49 days from March 22 to May 9. It was the second-longest all year in the conference behind Florida’s Jonathan India (24). During his hit streak, Olenek hit .516 with 48 hits, 18 runs scored, 17 multi-hit games, 10 doubles, just five strikeouts and an OPS of 1.228. 

Olenek is the toughest player to strike out in the SEC, having struck out just 13 times in 186 at-bats for a K rating of 14.4.

In addition to a web-gem-filled season defensively at shortstop, sophomore Grae Kessinger has raised his level offensively. He’s hitting .306 on the season with 14 doubles. He homered twice last weekend at South Carolina and is 15-for-41 (.366) with 12 runs scored and eight RBI in the last 10 games. Kessinger is No. 100 nationally and is ninth in the SEC with 47 runs scored.

Thomas Dillard delivered one of the biggest home runs of the 2018 season in Saturday’s Game 3 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 11 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 second-hardest-hit ball at Swayze Field this season. 

Dillard and Florida’s Wil Dalton (51 R, 50 RBI) are the only two players in the SEC with 49 or more RBI and runs scored. Dillard ranks 35th nationally in runs scored with 53.

Tyler Keenan been one of the top freshmen in the country this season, earning SEC Player of the Week this week as well as back-to-back SEC Freshman of the Week honors for Weeks 7 and 8. Keenan is the first Rebel to win FOTW in back-to-back weeks, and he joins Alex Yarbrough as just the second Rebel ever to win it twice. He’s the only freshman to win Player of the Week this season and is the first Rebel freshman to accomplish the feat since Alex Presley in 2004.

Keenan hit .556 last week with two doubles, two home runs, four runs scored and six RBI. He slugged 1.444 and carried an astounding 2.111 OPS in the Auburn series.

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

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 a Tuesday night meeting with 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. His excellent pinch-hit resume grew again last week when he clubbed a two-RBI double to the warning track as part of a six-run eighth inning that put Auburn away and clinched a series sweep.

Will Ethridge came through with his second crucial long-relief outing of the season on Saturday against Auburn to clinch a series sweep. Ethridge inherited a bases-loaded, one-out situation and fanned two Tiger batters to escape the jam cleanly. He proceeded to throw six more innings of two-hit baseball, striking out a career-high 10 batters while walking just one. He became the first Rebel reliever to strike out 10 in a game since Scott Weathersby seated 10 against Vanderbilt in 2010.

Ethridge put together a similar performance against LSU, going 5.2 innings, allowing just one run to set the stage for a Rebel comeback in Game 3 to win the series.






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