May 23, 2016
The Last Meeting
May 8, 2016
Baseball Drops Series Finale at Georgia
A pair of five-run innings by Georgia doomed No. 7 Ole Miss in a 13-2 series finale setback Sunday afternoon at Foley Field. The Bulldogs (23-25, 8-16 SEC) hit three homers and recorded seven RBI with the bases loaded to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Rebels (36-13, 14-10).
Matchup: No. 7 seed Ole Miss (40-16, 18-12 SEC) vs. No. 10 seed Georgia (27-29, 11-19 SEC)
Date: May 24, 2015
Location: Hoover, Ala.
Venue: Hoover Met
Television: SEC Network
Clay Matvick, play-by-play
Ben McDonald, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
David Kellum, play-by-play
Keith Kessinger, analyst
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com
Series: Ole Miss leads 39-38
Last Series: May 6-8, 2016
Ole Miss won two-of-three
- Ole Miss won 40 regular season games for the fourth time in school history, all within the last 12 years.
- The Rebels won the season series against Georgia, taking two-of-three in Athens (May 6-8).
- Ole Miss is making its 21st SEC Tournament appearance; won the tournament in 1977 and 2006.
- Henri Lartigue leads all SEC catchers with a .358 batting average, including a .371 clip in SEC play.
- Lartigue is a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, awarded to the nation's best catcher.
- J.B. Woodman leads the SEC with 13 home runs.
- Woodman hitting .407 (24-for-59) with runners in scoring position.
- Wyatt Short is tied atop the conference charts with 11 saves.
- Short's 11 saves are the fourth-most in a single season at Ole Miss, while his 24 career saves rank third on the Rebels' all-time list.
- Ole Miss is 35-0 in games when leading after the sixth inning.
- The Rebels are 38-3 this season when scoring at least four runs in a game.
- Ole Miss is outscoring the opposition 142-78 in the first three innings of games.
- The Rebels are 8-3 in nationally televised contests this season.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
TUESDAY, 1 P.M.
Georgia - Heath Holder, Sr., RHP, 4-4, 3.34 ERA
Ole Miss - Brady Bramlett, R-Jr., RHP, 7-3, 3.19 ERA
- Ranks second in the SEC with 40 strikeouts looking
- CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree as a biological science major
- Tied a personal best with 12 strikeouts over a season-high 7.0 scoreless innings in win over No. 21 Arkansas (April 8), earning a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week honor
- Struck out eight in a victory over No. 2 Louisville (February 26)
- Named to the University of Mississippi Hall of Fame and 2015-16 Who's Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges
- Serves as the vice-chair of the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)
- Sings in the university choir and serves as the president of Ole Miss SAAC
OLE MISS IN THE SEC TOURNAMENT
Ole Miss will be making its 21st appearance in the SEC Tournament and is looking for its third title. The Rebels captured the crown in 1977 and 2006, also finishing runner-up twice. Under head coach Mike Bianco, Ole Miss has made the tournament in 14 of his 16 seasons guiding the program. Before the SEC grew to 14 teams in 2012-13, only eight teams qualified for the SEC Tournament, and the majority of those teams ended up making the NCAA Tournament. In six of those seasons, the Rebels won at least two games in the difficult conference tournament. Last season, Ole Miss fell 6-1 to Alabama in the first round.
Playing one of the toughest schedules in the country, Georgia enters the tournament with a 27-29 record, including 11-19 in SEC play. Closing out the regular season, the Bulldogs lost two-of-three at home to Tennessee. Junior Skyler Weber leads Georgia with team highs in batting average (.315), doubles (13) and steals (13). Michael Curry provides power at the plate, ranking among the conference leaders in home runs with 11. On the mound, senior Heath Holder (4-4, 3.34 ERA) holds the best record among UGA's starting pitchers, and he will get the ball against the Rebels. Scott Stricklin is in his third season as the Bulldogs' head coach.
REBELS CLAIM SEASON SERIES
Ole Miss won the series against Georgia, taking two-of-three from the Bulldogs in Athens, Georgia. In game one, Errol Robinson accounted for all of the Rebels' runs, going 3-for-5 with two runs and a career-high four RBI, finishing just a home run shy of the cycle in a 6-4 victory. Ole Miss used three home runs, including two by junior J.B. Woodman, to power past Georgia 7-3 in game two. Senior Holt Perdzock hit the first career home run as well, helping the Rebels clinch the weekend series. In the series finale, the Bulldogs broke out the bats to salvage a victory on the weekend. Claiming the season series also gave Ole Miss a 39-38 advantage in the all-time series between the two programs.
Traditionally known as the best conference in college baseball, the SEC has once again lived up to that expectation again this season with seven teams finishing with at least 18 wins in conference play, including Ole Miss. Prior to this season, five teams have never won 18 SEC games in one season, let alone seven. 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.
40 REGULAR SEASON WINS
With a 3-2 victory over No. 2 Texas A&M in the regular season finale, Ole Miss earned its 40th victory of the season. The Rebels have won 40 regular season games four times in program history (2005, 2009, 2014, 2016). The 40-win plateau usually results in postseason success for Ole Miss. In 2005 and 2009, the Rebels advanced to the Super Regionals; the 2014 campaign resulted in Ole Miss' first College World Series appearance in 42 years.
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 to become a 2016 Johnny Bench Award semifinalist. The Southaven, Mississippi native is the team's top hitter at the plate and leads all SEC catchers with a .348 batting average. Moreover, Lartigue is raking during conference play, hitting at a .371 clip, which ranks fifth among all hitters. He has put together 10 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).
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 26 of the last 29 games, putting together 12 multi-hit performances and posting a .336 batting average during that stretch. 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.
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 38-3 when scoring at least four runs in a game.
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 18 appearances, Short has 11 saves to go along with a 2-1 record and 1.75 ERA. While the junior southpaw holds the team lead in saves, the third most in a single season in Ole Miss history, 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, eight of his 11 saves have been earned by pitching more than just 1.0 inning. Through 36.0 innings this season, the lefty has recorded 26 strikeouts while only issuing eight walks. When pitching at the back end of the bullpen, Short has not blown a save. For his career, Short holds a 1.86 ERA and limits opposing hitters to a .209 average at the plate. His 23 career saves already rank third on the Ole Miss all-time charts.
Junior Colby Bortles has blasted 17 doubles thus far in 2016, four more than his nearest teammate. His 17 doubles rank fourth among SEC sluggers. The Oviedo, Florida native is two doubles away from cracking the Ole Miss single season top 10 list. He needs eight more to break the single season record, currently 24 by Brad Henderson (1999) and Will Allen (2014).
The Ole Miss outfield has had its fair share of assists this season, especially as of late. Rebel outfielders have tallied 17 assists in 2016. Out of the 17 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 four as well.
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 .373 with runners on base, including a remarkable .407 (24-of-59) 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 11 out of 14 opportunities. He also posts a .558 rate of advancing runners on base.
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 (68), is second on the team in batting average (.332), runs (42) and multi-hit games (19), while ranking third in RBI (37). The second baseman also has reached base in 52-of-56 games this season.
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 55-24 in the first inning. The Rebels have scored in the opening frame 24 times this season, posting a 20-4 record in those ballgames. The first three innings are the Rebels' best in terms of outscoring the opponent. Ole Miss has recorded a combined 142 runs in the first three frames, while only giving up 78 runs through the first third of the game for a +64 advantage. The Rebels have scored 55 runs in both the first and second innings. On the mound, Ole Miss has surrendered just 20 runs in the third inning of contests.
|Score by Innings
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.
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 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.
BRAMLETT NAMED TO SEC COMMUNITY SERVICE TEAM
The Southeastern Conference has recognized redshirt-junior Brady Bramlett for his work off the field as the Ole Miss Baseball ace was named to the SEC Community Service Team Wednesday morning (May 18). Representing the Rebels and being active in the community, Bramlett earned his spot on the team for the first time in his career. The Bartlett, Tennessee native has been an active member of the surrounding community since setting foot on campus. He was a primary student leader with the Batesville Supply Drive after Batesville Elementary School suffered a substantial loss of supplies due to a devastating fire. An avid reader, Bramlett has shared his love of books with local children. He has been active in Ole Miss' Reading with the Rebels program, and he has made appearances reading books at a local pre-school as well as the Gingerbread Village event. As the ace of the pitching staff, Bramlett has been a leader on and off the field. He led the Rebels in volunteering at the Bats and Balls Clinic in coordination with the Junior Auxiliary of Oxford. Using his talents on the diamond, he has coached baseball and mentored youth in summer baseball clinics as well.
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).
BRAMLETT ELECTED TO HALL OF FAME, WHO'S WHO HONOREE
While on the road with the team (March 4), starting pitcher Brady Bramlett received some major recognition on campus. A redshirt-junior on the field but a senior academically, Bramlett was named to the 2015-16 University of Mississippi Hall of Fame. The Bartlett, Tennessee native was one of 10 seniors throughout the entire university that earned the honor. He was also just the first student-athlete elected into the university's hall of fame since Maggie McFerrin of women's basketball (2013). Bramlett was selected based on his academic achievement, community service and potential for future success. He represents the SEC and serves as the Vice-Chair of the NCAA National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and is a representative on the NCAA Strategic Vision and Planning Committee, a subcommittee of the NCAA Division I Council. Bramlett is also a representative on the NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee. Bramlett's busy schedule off the field includes serving as president of the Ole Miss SAAC, singing in the university choir and working towards his degree as a biological science major. He also donates his time to the community, going to local elementary schools as part of the Reading with the Rebels program. Along with his hall of fame induction, Bramlett was also chosen to represent Ole Miss on the 2015-16 Who's Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
If the Rebels survive the single elimination first round of the SEC Tournament, they'll be guaranteed two more games in Hoover. An Ole Miss win over Georgia would set up a matchup against No. 2 seed and SEC East champion South Carolina on Wednesday, May 25, at 1 p.m. CT on SEC Network. Following the SEC Tournament, the Rebels will await their fate for the NCAA Tournament, seeing if they'll host a regional round or have to travel to continue postseason play. The 2016 NCAA Baseball Tournament Selection Show is Monday, May 30.