SEC TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND #6 Seed Ole Miss (36-20) vs. #11 Seed Kentucky (30-24)
Date: May 21, 2013 Times: 9:30 a.m. Location: Hoover, Ala. Venue: Hoover Metropolitan Stadium Capacity: 10,800 Surface: Grass Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network Satellite Radio: XM 199/Sirius 158 Television: Fox Sports Net Announcers: Dave Neal & Larry Conley Internet Video: ESPN3.com (Subject to Blackout In Some Areas) Live Audio: OleMissSports.com Live Stats: OleMissSports.com Twitter Updates: @OleMissBSB
OLE MISS QUICK HITS Ole Miss enters the SEC Tournament as the six seed with a 15-15 record in conference play this season. UM has finished .500 or above in SEC play 10 of the last 13 seasons, second most in that time behind only USC. The Rebels posted a 21-5 record in non-conference games, the third best non-conference record in Bianco era. Ole Miss hit four home runs in the series finale at No. 2 LSU, scoring 10-of-11 runs on hits that left the ballpark. Stuart Turner and Bobby Wahl were both named to the midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List recently. Turner was also named as one of the semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy as announced last week. Turner was named one of 15 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award honoring the nation's top catcher. Senior RHP Brett Huber was named to the midseason Stopper of the Year Watch List honoring the nation's top closer. Ole Miss has posted a sweep in 6-of-8 series wins this season, winning 2-1 vs. #11 Arkansas and #13 Miss. State as the only series wins without a sweep. Tanner Bailey was named to the SEC Community Service team on Monday as one of 12 league r representatives. Bobby Wahl remained on the Pitcher of the Year watch list when it was cut to 22 candidates last Wednesday. The Rebels are 28-8 this season when scoring first and are 17-5 when scoring a run in the first inning this year.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS TUESDAY, 9:30 AM (FOX SPORTS NET) UK - Jerad Grundy, Sr. LHP Ole Miss - Mike Mayers, Jr., RHP NOTING MAYERS: Mayers makes his 14th start and 15th appearance of the season against Kentucky on Tuesday. In two starts against Kentucky, he is 2-0 with a 3.21 ERA, nine strikeouts and a .188 batting average against. Earlier this year, Mayers picked up the win as the Rebels defeated Kentucky 11-5 in game two of the series. Mayers has turned in seven quality starts this season and allowed two or fewer earned runs in 10 outings. His most dominant outing came with 7.0 scoreless IP in relief against #13 Mississippi State in series opener.
REBELS vs. KENTUCKY IN SEC TOURNAMENT Ole Miss and Kentucky have faced each other twice in the SEC Tournament as one of the least played series in the annual event for the Rebels. The two teams had not met in the SEC Tournament until the 2008 season and didn't play again until the tournament opener in game one of the 2012 Tournament. Ole Miss won the first meeting between the two teams in 2008, facing off in the second round. The Rebels won 8-7 on a walk-off, two-run home run from Michael Guerrero with one out in the ninth. Ole Miss dropped the second meeting in last year's tournament, falling 2-0 in the opening game. Bobby Wahl psoted a quality start, but A.J. Reed went 4-for-4 with a solo shot to make the difference.
REBELS IN THE SEC TOURNAMENT Ole Miss has played in the SEC Tournament a total of 15 times in the history of the event, with the SEC Tournament taking a hiatus for three years (1993-95) in favor of divisional tournaments. All-told, the Rebels have played in 15-of-34 SEC Tournament - 11 of them in the last 13 seasons. Ole Miss hosted the first SEC Tournament at the old Swayze Field on campus in Oxford. UM holds an all-time record of 26-25 in the tournament, not including divisional tourney games. Florida is the most played foe for the Rebels in the tournament, with UM leading 6-4 in those games. Auburn, Georgia and Kentucky are the least faced foes with UM going 1-1 against each of the three.
OLE MISS IN THE SEC TOURNAMENT UNDER Mike Bianco Ole Miss has played in 11 of 13 SEC Tournaments in the 13 year tenure of head coach Mike Bianco and posted a 19-18 mark in those appearances, facing every team in the conference at least once in the post-season event in that time. The Rebels claimed the 2006 Tournament, going undefeated to claim first tourney title since 1977. UM has played in the Tournament Championship three times under Bianco (2005, 2006, 2008). The Rebels have advanced to the semifinals six times (2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010). Ole Miss only missed the tournament twice, in 2002 and in the 2011 seasons under Bianco.
A LOOK AT KENTUCKY Kentucky enters the SEC Tournament with an overall record of 30-24 and an 11-19 mark in SEC play. The Wildcats secured the 11th seed in the tournament with a win at Missouri in the series finale, despite dropping the weekend series. Kyle Barrett leads the Wildcats at the plate with a .352 average - one of two Cats hitting above .300 As a team, UK hits at a .256 clip this season, but have drawn 224 walks and have 86 HBP. LHP Jerad Grundy is 6-5 this year with a 4.75 ERA, 60 strikeouts and 20 walks through 77.2 IP Opponents are hitting at a .286 clip against Grundy and the Rebels are 2-0 all-time vs. the LHP As a pitching staff, UK holds a 3.56 ERA with a .271 opponent batting average and 244 runs allowed.
FAST STARTS KEY REBEL SUCCESS Quick starts to games have been a key to Rebel success this season. When the Rebels get on the board often and early, Ole Miss tends to win. Through the first four innings, Ole Miss is outscoring its opponents by a whopping 159-to-86 margin. Ole Miss is 28-8 when scoring first this season and is 17-5 when scoring in the first inning. The Rebels outscore foes 56-23 in the first and 34-15 in the third inning.
MULTIPLE-HIT AND MULTIPLE-RBI GAMES Stuart Turner does a little bit of everything for the Rebels and currently leads the team in multiple-hit games and multiple-RBI games. To date, Turner has posted 25 multiple-hit games and 14 multiple-RBI games. Eleven Rebels have posted multiple-hit games in 2013, while 12 Rebels have posted multiple-RBI games this season. Andrew Mistone (18), Austin Anderson (17) and Auston Bousfield (14) are behind him in multiple hit games this season. Will Allen (13), Tanner Mathis (13), Will Jamison (11), Preston Overbey (11) and Sikes Orvis (10) make seven Rebels with double-digit multiple-hit games this season.
BIANCO'S REBELS ONE OF SEC'S MOST CONSISTENT PROGRAMS Under the direction of Mike Bianco the last 13 seasons, the Rebels have posted one of the most consistently successful records. When the Rebels defeated No. 2 LSU in the series finale, it moved Ole Miss to 15-15 in SEC play. That marks the 10th time in 13 years that the Rebels have finished .500 or better under Bianco. In the 13 years that Bianco has been at Ole Miss, only one program has posted more than 10 seasons with a .500 or better record in conference play - South Carolina (13). Florida is tied with Ole Miss, having posted 10 seasons with a .500 or better mark in the SEC. Fourth on that list is LSU (9) and rounding out the top five are Vanderbilt and Alabama (8). In those seasons, the Rebels have been above the .500 mark in SEC play eight of those 10 seasons.
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