Published on April 28th, 2016 | by Shelby Rayburn0
Rebel Arms vs. LSU Bats This Weekend at Swayze
Despite the shutout loss to Mississippi State in the annual Governor’s Cup earlier this week, the Ole Miss Rebels (31-11, 10-8 SEC) still remain in 2nd place in the SEC West rankings, a spot ahead of the Bulldogs. Since the Governor’s Cup is technically not considered a conference game, the mid-week loss goes in the overall record and not the SEC record.
Last weekend, the Rebels swept the Auburn Tigers in Oxford, which moved them up to 2nd place in the SEC West and #6 in the Massey Rankings, a composite of 5 national college baseball ranking systems. Auburn joined Florida International, Grambling State, and Arkansas to become the 4th team that the Rebels have swept so far this season. The Rebs have also won both games of two-game series against Southeast Missouri, Alabama–Birmingham, and Memphis. The Saturday win against Auburn also marked the 19th consecutive season that Ole Miss has won at least 30 games, a feat witch only 9 other teams have accomplished.
Next up for the Rebels, the LSU Tigers (27-14, 10-8 SEC) will visit Oxford for a three game series starting Thursday, April 28. The Tigers are currently #4 in the SEC West and #17 in the Massey Rankings.
LSU’s biggest strength is at the plate, where they hold SEC team rankings of 4th in batting average (.303), 5th in slugging percentage (.436), 5th in on-base percentage (.390), 2nd in runs scored (292), 4th in hits (426), and 4th in RBIs (255).
The LSU batters are led by freshman outfielder Antoine Duplantis, who is 8th in the SEC in batting average (.358), 6th in hits (58), and tied for 4th in triples (4). Duplantis is followed by sophomore outfielder Beau Jordan, who has the SEC’s 13th best batting average (.352) and is tied for 15th in RBIs (35); and junior outfielder Jake Fraley, who is 23rd in batting average (.335), 2nd in the SEC in doubles (5), and 3rd in stolen bases (19).
Fortunately for Ole Miss, the Rebels biggest strength is on the mound; where they hold SEC team rankings of 4th in ERA (3.07), 5th in runs allowed (151), 4th in earned runs allowed (123), and 3rd in home runs allowed (14).
The Rebel arms are led by junior right-hander Brady Bramlett, who’s 6 wins have him tied for 6th best in the SEC. He is currently 7th in the SEC with an ERA of 2.28, 11th in opposing batting average (.214), tied for 7th in batters struck out (71), 2nd in batters struck out looking (35), tied for 5th in runs allowed (15), tied for 7th in earned runs allowed (14). Next is freshman right-hander James McArthur, who’s 5 wins have him tied for 13th in the SEC and 2.84 ERA is good enough for 15th in the conference. In the Bullpen, two of the Rebel relievers, Will Stokes and Wyatt Short, are tied with each other for 6th in the SEC in saves, with 6 each.
This is what great baseball series are made of: great pitching versus great hitting. Throw in the fact that it’s Ole Miss versus LSU and you’re in for what could be one of the best series of the year. Game 1 starts at 6 pm on Thursday, Game 2 begins at 6:30 pm on Friday, and Game 3 starts at 11 am Sunday morning. It’s going to be a great weekend of baseball. See you at Swayze.