May 16, 2016
The Last Meeting
February 24, 2016
Rebels Rally for Walk-Off Win Over Arkansas State
The No. 21 Ole Miss baseball team rallied from behind with a run in each of the last two innings Wednesday night, keeping its perfect season intact. A Cameron Dishon sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth scored pinch-runner Ray Alejo to lift the Rebels (4-0) to a 4-3 victory over Arkansas State at Swayze Field.
Matchup: No. 6 Ole Miss (39-13) at Arkansas State (24-26)
Date: May 17, 2016
Location: Jonesboro, Ark.
Venue: Tomlinson Stadium-Kell Field
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
David Kellum, play-by-play
Keith Kessinger, analyst
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com
Series: Ole Miss leads 71-21
Last Game: February 24, 2016
Ole Miss won 4-3
- Ole Miss is ranked fifth in the RPI and as high as No. 6 in the national polls.
- The Rebels are coming off a three-game sweep of Kentucky.
- Ole Miss is 22-3 in non-conference games, including 11-2 in midweek games.
- The Rebels defeated ASU earlier this season, 4-3, on a walk-off victory at Swayze Field (Feb. 24).
- Ole Miss has won seven straight meetings against the Red Wolves.
- The Rebels are looking to win 40 regular season games for the fourth time in program history.
- Henri Lartigue leads all SEC catchers with a .351 batting average, including a .390 clip in SEC play.
- J.B. Woodman is a finalist for the C Spire Ferriss Trophy
- Woodman hitting .444 (24-for-54) with runners in scoring position this season.
- Ole Miss is 34-0 in games when leading after the sixth inning.
- The Rebels are 38-1 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 hitting .361 over the last 25 games, recording at least one hit in 23 of those contests.
- Ole Miss is outscoring the opposition 137-68 in the first three innings of games.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
TUESDAY, 6:30 P.M.
Arkansas State - Zach Haake, Jr., RHP, 0-0, 6.75 ERA
Ole Miss - Sean Johnson, R-Jr., RHP, 3-0, 4.26 ERA
- Has made eight starts, while also making one appearance out of the bullpen
- Allowed one hit over six scoreless innings versus Cincinnati, retiring the final 17 batters he faced
- Limited No. 2 Louisville to two runs over 5.1 innings to help the Rebels claim the series
- Earned a victory versus FIU, tossing 5.0 innings in his first start as a Rebel
- Coming off Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss nearly the entire 2015 season
- Named to the 2015 SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll
SCOUTING ARKANSAS STATE
Arkansas State enters the midweek matchup with a 24-26 record after going 3-1 last week. The Red Wolves beat Memphis, 4-3, to start the week before taking two-of-three from Texas State. When the Rebels come to town, A-State will be wrapping up an eight-game homestand. Joe Schrimpf leads Arkansas State at the plate as the only one on the team hitting over the .300 threshold. Along with his .309 batting average, Schrimpf leads the team in RBI (40) and runs (34). Tanner Ring follows closely behind with a .297 average, providing power to the lineup with 13 doubles and seven home runs. On the mound, freshman Zach Haake will make his first career start. Haake has pitched 6.2 innings over eight appearances this season. The Red Wolves are by Tommy Raffo, who is in his eighth season at ASU.
LAST TIME WE MET
Earlier this season (Feb. 24), Ole Miss rallied from behind with a run in each of the last two innings to keep perfect season intact. A Cameron Dishon sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth scored pinch-runner Ray Alejo to lift the Rebels to a 4-3 victory over Arkansas State at Swayze Field. The win over the Red Wolves marked the seventh straight Ole Miss victory when the two opponents have faced off against each other. Tate Blackman continued to shine at the plate with his fourth straight multi-hit game. The second baseman reached base all four times he stepped up to the dish, drawing a pair of walks to go along with two hits. Blackman's two-out single in the bottom of the eighth tied the game and gave Ole Miss life late in the contest. On the mound, freshman Dallas Woolfolk picked up his first career win. As a pitching staff, the Rebel arms struck out a season-high 12 hitters.
BREAKING OUT THE BATS IN JONESBORO
When the Rebels make the 154-mile trek to Jonesboro, Arkansas, they usually remember to bring their bats. Over the past three seasons, Ole Miss has averaged 14.7 runs per game in Jonesboro, outscoring the Red Wolves a combined 44-13 and winning each game. The Rebels won 11-1 in 2013 before claiming a high-scoring affair, 16-9, in 2014. Last season, slugger Sikes Orvis went 3-for-3 with two home runs and eight RBI to lead the Rebels to a 17-3 victory in a seven-inning contest.
Ole Miss is 11-2 in midweek games. The Rebels have won games over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Arkansas State, Murray State, Southern Miss and UT Martin, while also sweeping Memphs, Southeast Missouri and UAB in a pair of midweek contests. Ole Miss has outscored the opposition a combined 84-33 in midweek matchups, averaging 6.5 runs per game. The Rebels won their first eight midweek contests of the season for the third time in program history, also accomplishing the feats in 2007 and 2010. As has been the case throughout the entire season, major credit goes to the bullpen. In midweek games this season, the Rebel bullpen has allowed just 11 earned runs in 47.0 innings, boasting a 2.11 ERA.
MILESTONE RECORDS IN REACH
At 39-13 in 2016 and four games left on the regular season slate, Ole Miss is one victory away from reaching its goal of winning 40 games prior to postseason play. The Rebels have won 40 regular season games three times in program history (2005, 2009, 2014), which stands as the school record. Another mark Ole Miss can reach is its best non-conference record. During the 2002 season, the Rebels went 23-3; with a win over Arkansas State, they will match that program best as well.
WOODMAN TABBED A FERRISS TROPHY FINALIST
Ole Miss junior outfielder J.B. Woodman has been named a finalist for the C Spire Ferriss Trophy, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum announced Monday morning, May 16. Woodman 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 23 at the Cleveland Country Club in Cleveland, Mississippi. Woodman joins Delta State's Will Robertson along with Mississippi State players Dakota Hudson, Reid Humphreys and Jake Mangum as the five finalists. Major League Baseball scouts and college coaches chose the five finalists and also will vote again this week from among the five. As a team captain, Woodman has been a leader on and off the field all season long. Tied for the SEC lead with 12 home runs, the junior also paces Ole Miss in multi-hit games (21), RBI (47), runs (41) and steals (10), while also ranking among the top Rebels in batting average (.325), hits (62) and doubles (12). Moreover, he is hitting .340 during SEC play, cracking the conference's top-10 list. Known for his clutch hitting, Woodman is 24-for-54 (.444) with runners in scoring position this season. He also ranks in the top-25 nationally with six sacrifice flies, always finding a way to get a runner across the plate. As the Rebels' starting center fielder, the Orlando, Florida native has nine outfield assists which is tied for the most in the nation. Seven of his nine outfield assists have been at the plate, keeping runs off the scoreboard. Woodman is looking to become the sixth Rebel to win the Ferriss Trophy. Former Ole Miss outfielder Auston Bousfield took home the honor in 2014, joining previous Rebels Stephen Head (2004), Brian Pettway (2005), Scott Bittle (2008) and Drew Pomeranz (2010) in claiming the award.
SEC NETWORK SELECTS OLE MISS-TEXAS A&M AS WILD CARD GAME
The Southeastern Conference has announced that the May 19 baseball game between No. 6 Ole Miss and No. 2 Texas A&M will air on national television. The series opener between the Rebels and Aggies will be broadcast live on SEC Network with first pitch moved up to 6 p.m. CT at Blue Bell Park. The three-game set against Texas A&M is the final regular-season series for Ole Miss. With the last Thursday of the regular season designated as a wild card selection date for television, the series-opening matchup was chosen over the other six SEC games on the schedule that evening. The matchup will feature a pair of the nation's top teams fighting for the SEC West crown. Along with Saturday's series finale on SEC Network as well, Ole Miss Baseball is slated to finish the 2016 regular season with 11 game that appeared on national television. The Rebels have played nine of those contests thus far, sporting a record of 7-2 that includes a pair of victories over both then-No. 21 Arkansas and then-No. 8 LSU.
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 23 of the last 25 games, putting together 12 multi-hit performances and posting a .361 batting average during that stretch. Robinson is currently riding a season-high 14-game hitting streak. Against Kentucky (May 12), the shortstop went 5-for-6 with four runs, earning new career highs in hits and runs scored in the Rebels' 14-2 victory. With five hits, Robinson became the first Rebel to put together a five-hit game since Auston Bousfield (April 26, 2014) also accomplished the feat against Kentucky.
Never count Ole Miss out of a baseball game. Three times this season, the Rebels have come back to win after being dealt a five-run deficit. On Saturday, Kentucky took an early 5-0 lead through three innings. Ole Miss scored four runs to enter the ninth trailing by one before Henri Lartigue delivered the walk-off three-run homer for the 7-5 victory, completing the sweep of Kentucky. Trailing by five runs through the first seven innings of the series finale versus Auburn, the Rebels made a remarkable comeback with six runs in the last two frames to win 6-5. Colby Bortles started the rally with a two-run home in the eighth, putting Ole Miss on the board. Freshman Ryan Olenek belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, and Lartigue's clutch single provided another walk-off victory. Earlier in the season (March 2), the Rebels trailed Memphis 6-0 before winning by a 9-7 final.
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 38-1 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.
With a three-game sweep of Kentucky, Ole Miss collected its sixth weekend sweep of the 2016 campaign. The Rebels swept Florida International to begin the season, won all three games at the Chanticleer Classic and closed out the weekend non-conference slate with a trio of wins over Grambling State. In conference play, Ole Miss has swept SEC West foes Arkansas and Auburn at Swayze Field. The Rebels also earned two-game sweeps of Memphis, Southeast Missouri and UAB in midweek contests.
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 17 appearances, Short has 10 saves to go along with a 2-1 record and 1.83 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 10 saves have been earned by pitching more than just 1.0 inning. Through 34.1 innings this season, the lefty has recorded 26 strikeouts while only issuing six walks. When pitching at the back end of the bullpen, Short has not blown a save. For his career, Short holds a 1.89 ERA and limits opposing hitters to a .208 average at the plate. His 23 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 fifth 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).
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 .351 batting average. Moreover, Lartigue is raking during conference play, hitting at a .390 clip, which ranks fifth 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 (April 24), Lartigue went 4-for-5, tying a career high in hits which included the game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth. He added another walk-off hit, a three-run homer, against Kentucky (May 14).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.
HENRI, KING OF COMEBACKS
When Henri Lartigue has stepped up to the plate in high-pressure situations with the game on the line, the junior catcher has come through in the clutch. Twice this season, Lartigue has provided walk-off hits to complete a five-run deficit and a three-game sweep over a conference opponent. Against Auburn (April 24), the switch hitter smacked a base hit to knock in Rebels' fourth run of the ninth inning and cap a 6-5 comeback victory. Last weekend versus Kentucky, Lartigue walked to the dish with runners on the corners, one out and his team trailing by one. Battling against UK closer Sean Hjelle, the Ole Miss catcher belted a deep fly ball to right field that cleared the fence for a three-run home run, giving the Rebels a 7-5 win and earning his second walk-off hit of the season.
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 .400 with runners on base, including a remarkable .444 (24-of-54) 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 13 opportunities. He also posts a .571 rate of advancing runners on base.
OLE MISS IN THE POLLS
After another SEC weekend sweep, their third of the season, the Rebels climbed the polls once again. Baseball America, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), Perfect Game and the USA Today coaches poll all have Ole Miss as the sixth-best team in the country. D1Baseball moved the Rebels up to No. 7 in the national rankings. Collegiate Baseball listed Ole Miss 12th in its poll, up eight spots from last week. With the combination of a quality record and strength of schedule, Ole Miss is fifth in the RPI which should help in terms of national seeding for the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
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 leads the team in hits (63), is second on the team in batting average (.333) and multi-hit games (18), while ranking third in runs (40) and RBI (36). The second baseman also has reached base in 48-of-52 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 11th in the country.
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.
Ole Miss wastes no time striking first, outscoring the opposition 52-21 in the first inning. The Rebels have scored in the opening frame 23 times this season, posting a 20-3 record in those ballgames. The first three innings are the Rebels' best in terms of outscoring the opponent. Ole Miss has recorded a combined 137 runs in the first three frames, while only giving up 68 runs through the first third of the game for a +69 advantage. The second inning is the team's best inning offensively, tallying 53 runs. On the mound, Ole Miss has surrendered just 20 runs in 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 13 of the last 16 seasons, including this year with 17 wins in conference play. 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 15 of the last 16 years.
The 2016 Major League Baseball season is now underway, and eight 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. Nine 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. Over the weekend, Ole Miss used a five-run inning to build a double-digit lead and cruise past Kentucky, 14-2 (May 13).
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 averaged 8,502 fans per game, including five contests with the attendance over 10,000, to rank second nationally. In total, 272,081 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 regular 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. Ole Miss finished its regular season homestand at 26-6 and are in prime position to host an NCAA Regional.
Closing out the regular season, the Rebels will head to College Station, Texas to face No. 2 Texas A&M (May 19-21). The series begins Thursday night at 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network. Game two is slated for 6:30 p.m. on SECN+ Friday, while Saturday's series finale is on SEC Network with a 2 p.m. first pitch.