May 18, 2015
Matchup: No. 6 seed Ole Miss (30-25, 15-14 SEC)
vs. No. 11 seed Alabama (30-26, 12-18 SEC)
Date: May 19, 2015
Location: Hoover, Ala.
Venue: Hoover Met
Television: SEC Network
Tom Hart, play-by-play
Chris Burke, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
David Kellum, play-by-play
Keith Kessinger, analyst
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com
Series: Alabama leads 195-147-2
Last Series: April 25-26, 2015
Ole Miss won, 2-1
- Ole Miss enters the SEC Tournament winning six of its last 7 games
- The Rebels have won at least 30 games for the 18th-straight season, including all 15 seasons under head coach Mike Bianco
- Ole Miss is currently 24th in RPI with the nation's toughest schedule
- The Rebels went 7-6 against top-10 teams this season
- Ole Miss is making its 20th appearance in the SEC Tournament, winning in 1977 and 2006
- The Rebels took two out of three against the Crimson Tide earlier this season at Swayze Field
- Senior Sikes 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 has 10 saves this season, including eight in SEC play, which leads the conference. His 13 career saves ranks in a tie for sixth in the Ole Miss record books
- The winner of the single-elimination first round game will advance to play No. 3 seed Texas A&M on Wednesday, May 20, at 9:30 a.m. CT
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
TUESDAY, 9:30 A.M.
Alabama - Geoffrey Bramblett, So, RHP, 7-3, 4.13 ERA
Ole Miss - Scott Weathersby, Sr., RHP, 4-1, 2.39 ERA
- Made 47 career relief appearances before starting his last three times out
- In 49.0 innings, has 48 strikeouts compared to just 12 walks, while holding opponents to a .208 average at the plate
- Pitched 7.0 scoreless innings in the Governor's Cup versus Mississippi State, April 28, his first career start
- Kept No. 1 Vanderbilt off the scoreboard in six extra innings, striking out a career-high 10 to cap off a comeback victory; he earned SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week honors for his performance
- Was a finalist for the Ferriss Trophy, presented by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame to the most outstanding baseball player in the state of Mississippi
- Also has been named to the SEC Community Service Team and is a nominee for the SEC's McWhorter Award
A LOOK AT ALABAMA
The Crimson Tide enters the SEC Tournament with a 30-26 record after dropping two of three to Vanderbilt. Despite dropping two out of three at Missouri last weekend, Alabama is 7-3 over its last 10 games. The Crimson Tide is 7-11 in SEC play, winning the series over Georgia and Mississippi State. Junior Mikey White and sophomore Casey Hughston lead Alabama at the plate with averages of .341 and .332, respectively. The duo was selected to the Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List, and White was named to the Brooks Wallace Award Watch List, an honor given to the nation's best shortstop. On the mound, Alabama will go with sophomore Geoffrey Bramblett against the Rebels on Tuesday. The right-hander has a team-high seven wins to go along with a 4.13 ERA.
SEC TOURNAMENT HISTORY
Ole Miss will be making its 20th appearance in the SEC Tournament and is looking for its third title. The Rebels captured the crown in 1977 and 2006, also twice finishing as runner-up. In last season's conference tournament, Ole Miss defeated eventual national champion Vanderbilt before making its run to the College World Series. Ole Miss and Alabama will be meeting for the ninth time in the SEC Tournament with the Rebels holding a 5-3 advantage in the conference tournament series. The Crimson Tide took the most recent matchup in the 2013 SEC Tournament, eliminating the Rebels, 7-5, in 10 innings. When winning the tournament in 2006, Ole Miss defeated Alabama, 9-2, in the semifinals.
REBELS WON SEASON SERIES
Ole Miss swept Alabama in a doubleheader Saturday, April 25, at Swayze Field to clinch the regular season series between the two conference foes, although the Crimson Tide took the final game of the series. In game one, junior right fielder Cameron Dishon went 4-for-5, setting a career high for hits, and sophomore third baseman Colby Bortles tied a career high with five RBI, as the Rebels claimed the series opener, 10-2. Ole Miss pounded out 17 hits as five players recorded multi-hit games. In addition to a career high for hits, Dishon also set a career high with three stolen bases, giving him 15 for the season, to go along with two runs scored. Bortles went 3-for-4 with a double and a home run, a three-run shot in the fourth for his seventh of the season. They were joined by sophomore shortstop Errol Robinson (3-for-4, one run, one walk), freshman second baseman Will Golsan (2-for-3, two runs, one RBI, two walks) and junior designated hitter Connor Cloyd (2-for-5, two runs, two RBI). On the mound, junior left-hander Christian Trent worked a season-long 8.0 innings, giving up two runs -- one earned -- and scattering six hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Junior right-hander Drake Robison worked a scoreless ninth, helped by an outfield assist from left fielder Kyle Watson for the final out of the contest on a play at the plate.
Game two turned out to be a pitcher's duel, with Ole Miss coming out on top by a 4-0 final. In front of 10,119 fans, the largest crowd of the season and sixth-most in Swayze Field history, sophomore Brady Bramlett and senior Scott Weathersby out-dueled Alabama to complete the doubleheader sweep. Bramlett went a career-long 7.1 innings, shutting out Alabama and limiting the Crimson Tide to just four hits. Bramlett also struck out nine batters with no walks, and he was one strikeout shy of recording his third double-digit strikeout game of the season. Weathersby worked a perfect 1.2 innings of relief with two strikeouts to pick up the save. As a team, the Rebels struck out 11 batters compared to zero walks. Cloyd (2-for-3) and senior Austin Knight (2-for-4) each tallied a multi-hit game. Cloyd drove in what proved to be the game-winning run in the contest, while Knight and senior first baseman Sikes Orvis provided some insurance with a pair of home runs in the eighth. Orvis blasted a two-run home run for his ninth of the season, while Knight's solo blast was the first of his Ole Miss career.
ORVIS NAMED SEC CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ole Miss baseball senior Sikes Orvis has been named SEC Co-Player of the Week, the conference office announced Sunday, May 17. The first baseman and team co-captain earns the accolade for the first time in his career after an impressive individual showing at Arkansas State as well as helping lead the Rebels to a victory over No. 6 Texas A&M. The Orlando, Florida native hit .400 in three games last week, registering nine RBI and a slugging percentage of 1.100. Orvis started the week by going 3-for-3 with a career-high eight RBI to lead Ole Miss to a 17-3 midweek win against Arkansas State in a seven-inning game. He hit two home runs, including his first career grand slam, to go along with a double and two walks in the non-conference win. Later in the week, playing in what could end up being his final game at Swayze Field, Orvis produced at the plate to help Ole Miss to a 7-4 win over the No. 6 Aggies. The senior smacked a double and drew a bases-loaded walk to knock in a run as the Rebels won their seventh game of the season against a top-10 nationally ranked team. In his final season as a Rebel, Orvis has led Ole Miss at the dish with team highs in doubles, home runs and RBI. His 16 home runs are second in the SEC, while his 53 RBI and 17 doubles rank third and fifth, respectively, among all conference hitters. Orvis has hit seven home runs in the past seven games, including three multi-homer games, to bring his season total to 16, the seventh-most in a single season in program history. He now has 34 career home runs for 10th all-time in the Ole Miss record book.
SENIOR CLASS CONTINUES WINNING TRADITION
One day after getting recognized for their outstanding careers at Ole Miss, five senior Rebels played their last regular season game at Swayze Field and delivered a win like they have done so many times during their time on campus. Ole Miss knocked off No. 6 Texas A&M, 7-4, in seven innings for the 30th win of the season. The victory marked the 18th consecutive season that the program has reached the 30-win plateau, including all 15 seasons during the Mike Bianco era. Defeating the nationally ranked Aggies also gave the senior class its 153rd win as Rebels, including 48 victories last season on the way to the College World Series. The five-member class of 2015 includes: Scott Ashford, Austin Knight, Sikes Orvis, Sam Smith and Scott Weathersby.
SIKES HITTING EQUALS OLE MISS WINNING
Ole Miss has won six of its past seven games 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 .481 clip during the winning streak along with three multi-homer games. Through the seven games, Orvis has 13 hits, seven home runs, two doubles, 11 runs and 16 RBI. With nine of his 13 hits going for extra bases, the first baseman has boasted a 1.333 slugging percentage to help the Rebels grab momentum heading into the postseason.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
With his two home runs against Arkansas State on last week, 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 34th 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 7th on the list for most walks in a single season with 39 alongside teammate J.B. Woodman.
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.
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 17 saves this season. Short leads the way as the team's primary closer with 10 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.
Only two Rebels have started all 55 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 57 hits to lead the team, while Woodman is third with 54; Woodman has scored 39 times, second on the team, and Robinson's 30 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 21 appearances, Short has a 4-1 record, 10 saves, an impressive 1.49 ERA, 41 strikeouts, only 12 walks and just six earned runs over 36.1 innings. His win total and number of saves are team highs out of Rebel relievers as he had held opposing hitters to a .206 average at the plate. At one point this season, March 1 through April 18, Short surrendered just one run over 21.2 innings spanning 12 appearances. In his last five outings, the southpaw has factored into the decision, recording four saves and one win. He collected two saves and a victory to help Ole Miss sweep rival Mississippi State, May 7-9. Short's 10 saves in 2015 are tied for the fifth-most for a single season in Ole Miss history. With 13 career saves, the sophomore is already tied with Skipper Wright for sixth in the program's record book.
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 646-421-1 (.605) this season. Through 55 games, 19 of those contests came against top-15 teams, including nine against No. 1 teams. The Rebels went 9-10 in games against ranked teams, including 7-6 against top-10 teams and 5-4 versus teams ranked No. 1. 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 as they head into postseason play.