On Deck: Memphis

Ole Miss baseball has a chance to win its seventh consecutive game Tuesday against Memphis.

Last season, the Rebels had two streaks of eight wins, but it took until early March for the team to really hit its stride.

This year, however, Mike Bianco has led this squad screaming out of the gate at 6-1, only dropping the season opener to Louisiana-Monroe, 6-5.

For more on the cesspool that is the Memphis Tigers baseball program, follow the jump.

Every game the Tigers have played in this season have been one run decisions, capturing two wins out of six games. I wouldn't consider any of their foes significant baseball programs(Middle Tennessee State, Bradley, UT-Martin, Toledo and Pittsburgh). 

Memphis will probably offer our pitching a bit more of a challenge than the Oakland Golden Grizzlies did this weekend. The Tigers have three players batting over .400 but have only hit three HRs on the year as a team.

Meanwhile, Tanner Mathis and David Phillips are out to blazing starts, batting .500 and .400 respectively. Ole Miss has hit 12 HRs on the year with a .515 slugging percentage.

Really, the most surprising thing about this Ole Miss team so far, has been the pitching. A 2.14 ERA bolstered by 70 K's over 63 innings most likely has some Rebel fans in disbelief.

Wasn't pitching supposed to be our weak point? I mean, Aaron Barrett had the control of Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn without the velocity last season. Trent Rothlin had never pitched on this level before. Matt Tracy...who? 

The only pitcher who has struggled thus far has been Rory McKean, but there's a long season ahead. I can't imagine Bianco backing out on McKean this early, only a couple innings of work. 

A well-rounded and deep pitching staff is what builds fantastic overall season records. It was a main worry for Brian Walker's Elbow and myself and will remain so until the season is over or Matt Tracy throws two shutouts.

The Rebels have won 12 in a row against the Tigers and 20 of the last 23 in the series. Memphis used to get me a little worried in midweek play, but this year should continue the winning streak. Ole Miss has superior pitching and defense but don't expect a blowout as it seems Memphis has some good hitting throughout its line-up.

Tyler Huelsing, a senior for Memphis, has got some pop in his bat and has the fourth highest batting average. If he comes to the dish with runners on, he's a dangerous offensive player. Huelsing leads the team with four doubles.

If David Phillips hits a home run tonight, I'm going to grow a mustache in honor of his amazing start. Players on the team are doing it, plus I'll look extra creepy for when I go grocery shopping.

Starters for Tuesday Night's Game

UM- Matt Tracy- Jr, LHP: (1-0) 0.96 ERA

Memphis- Heith "Not like the candy bar" Hatfield- Soph., RHP: (1-1) 9.00 ERA

Final Prediction

Ole Miss 6

Memphis 3

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