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No. 16 Diamond Rebels welcome Memphis for mid-week showdown

Alex Edwards/The Daily Mississippian


Scouting Memphis

Ole Miss will continue its 13-game home stand this week with five contests at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. 

The Rebels (5-1) welcome Memphis (3-3) today at 3 p.m. for a mid-week rivalry game before hosting Jackson State (3-4) at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday in a make-up game from a rainout against TCU earlier this season. Ole Miss then hosts Miami (Ohio) (3-3) for a three-game weekend series.

“It’s the grind,” head coach Bianco said of playing eight games in 10 days. ”We’ve worked six or seven months for this. You have to enjoy the grind. You have to enjoy that just about every day, you’re coming to the ballpark, putting on the uniform and playing.”

Ole Miss and Memphis are very familiar with each other, and the Rebels hold a 88-47 lead in the all-time series against the Tigers.

The home team has won every game between the two schools the past two seasons, including a 4-2 Ole Miss win in Oxford and a 9-2 Memphis win in Memphis this past season. Ole Miss has won 17 of the previous 18 meetings dating back to the 2001 season.

Memphis enters today’s game coming off a series win against Kennesaw State.

Freshman right-hander Sam Smith will get the start today against the Tigers after a solid outing in his first career this past week against Arkansas State. He worked four innings and gave up just one run on three hits with a walk and a strikeout.

For Memphis, junior right-hander Michael Wills will take the mound and make his first start of the season. It will be his second appearance of the season after giving up two runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning in relief against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

The Tigers are batting .308 as a team and average 6.7 runs per game. Memphis had to replace Chad Zurcher, the nation’s leading hitter this past season, who was drafted in the 31st round by the New York Mets in last year’s MLB Draft. They are led at the plate by senior infielder/outfielder Adam McClain, who has a .417 batting average in 24 at-bats this season. 

Wahl honored by SEC

Sophomore right-hander Bobby Wahl was honored by the Southeastern Conference when he was named the SEC’s Co-Pitcher of the Week in an announcement put out by the league office on Monday.

The Springfield, Va., native struck out a career-high nine batters and gave up just one hit in a career-high seven innings of work to lead Ole Miss to a 2-0 win in the series opener against UNC-Wilmington this past Friday.

Rebels move up the rankings

After going a perfect 4-0 last week, Ole Miss has moved up in the polls. The Rebels moved up four spots from No. 20 to No. 16 in Baseball America’s most recent poll and moved up six spots from No. 28 to. 22 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s (NCBWA) poll.

Ole Miss also entered Collegiate Baseball’s poll at No. 23 and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ poll at No. 25 after not being ranked in either poll a week ago.