Ole Miss Rebel Baseball vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs Series Preview

USA TODAY Sports

It's Super Bulldog Weekend in Starkville, y'all. #Hashtags

Get ready for a healthy dose of #HAILSTATE, #OURSTATE and #CLANGA this weekend, because Super Bulldog Weekend (which is just totally super, you guys) will set the stage for Ole Miss' trip to face the rival Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville. I'm sure there will be many Golden Egg selfies to go around, and obligatory shots at Ole Miss appearing on the Dudy Noble jumbotron between every inning.

But, aside from the obvious reasons, the series is a big one for both teams. The Rebs and Bulldogs are separated by only a half of a game in the SEC West. At the beginning of the year, the Bulldogs were a consensus top 5 team after their run to the National Title game in the 2013 College World Series; the Rebels were a consensus middle-to-bottom of the pack SEC team. So both have surprised a bit, but in different ways, meaning that both are capable of taking this series with little surprise.

Both teams will enter this weekend series ranked in the top 20 by most polls and with top 40 RPI's (Ole Miss #8, MSU #40). MSU is coming off a tough series in Baton Rouge where the Bulldogs were swept. Outside of that, though, they've impressed, winning series against Vandy, UGA and Arkansas.

Here's what to expect out of the bats for both clubs:

Mississippi State Individual Hitting Statistics

Name

Avg

HR

RBI

SLG%

OBP%

SB/ATT

SO/BB

Derrick Armstrong

333

0

10

347

404

11/13/

16/11

Brett Pirtle

320

0

13

367

385

3/5/

13/7

CT Bradford

312

0

15

455

337

2/4/

9/2/

Gavin Collins

306

0

4

449

375

0/1

5/4/

Demarcus Henderson

306

0

6

333

444

9/10/

16/16

Team

Average

HR

RBI

OBP%

SLG%

SB/ATT

SO/BB

262

6

148

324

369

48/64

199/159

[As of the drafting of this preview, the stats on the Ole Miss website have not been updated since Saturday. Therefore, the numbers from Tuesday and Wednesday's games are not reflected here.]

Ole Miss Individual Hitting Statistics

Name

Avg

HR

RBI

SLG%

OBP%

SB/ATT

SO/BB

Austin Anderson

352

4

19

512

447

7/9/

10/17/

Brantley Bell

351

0

6

421

403

1/1/

9/3/

Will Allen

333

4

35

519

378

0/0

24/9

Austin Bousfield

324

3

22

475

383

11/11/

11/9/

Sikes Orvis

315

6

23

541

406

1/1/

25/13

Errol Robinson

304

0

6

348

404

3/5/

13/12

Team

Avg

HR

RBI

SLG%

OBP%

SB/ATT

SO/BB

299

22

165

406

369

51/66

197/100

Rebounding from being swept by Alabama, the Rebel bats come into the weekend having scored 47 runs and pounded out 73 hits over the last six games. However, they'll have to step up their game even more against a typically solid John Cohen rotation.

Friday starter Ross Mitchell, a left handed junior, is having another good year for the MSU Bulldogs.  Ross is currently 5-2 with a 1.54 ERA in four starts and 11 appearances. Through 58.1 innings pitched, Mitchell has allowed 40 hits and 10 earned runs.  He has struck out 28 men while walking 14.  Ross has allowed six extra base hits this season and opponents are hitting .198 off him this season. He's a soft tossing lefty, something which has troubled Ole Miss in the past. Last season, Mitchell was named to at least one first team, second team, and third team All-American roster, going 13-0 over 34 relief appearances, becoming the only pitcher in the country with 13+ wins and zero losses.

Ross Mitchell will face off against righty Chris Ellis who is currently 4-0 with a 1.88 ERA for the Rebels.  Chris has 33 strikeouts in 48 innings pitched, and opponents are hitting .235 against him this season.


Saturday starter Trevor Fitts, a right handed junior, is currently 2-2 on the year with a 3.41 ERA in eight starts.  In 37.0 innings of work, Trevor has allowed 41 hits. He has struck out 41 men while only walking seven.  Opponents are hitting .273 off him this season.  Fitts has allowed nine extra base hits this season.  Last season, Fitts was 0-1 with a 3.03 ERA in 29.2 innings pitched.

Trevor Fitts will face off against lefty Christian Trent who is 4-0 with a 2.41 ERA.  Through 52.1 innings, Trent has struck out 46 men while only allowing six walks.  Opponents are hitting .250 this season off Christian.

At the time of this writing, State's announced Sunday's starter is ‘TBA' but Sunday will more than likely be done by committee for the Bulldogs. Assuming the Bulldogs don't have to use many pitchers during the first two games, it is likely you will see a healthy mix of Dakota "If Only He Were a Prescott" Hudson, Jacob Lindgren, Myles Gentry, and Jonathan Holder. Dakota Hudson is currently 1-2 on the season with a 4.96 ERA.  Opponents are hitting .362 off Hudson this season. Jacob Lindgren, probably their best pitcher this season, is 3-0 on the year with a 1.16 ERA.  He has struck out 44 batters in only 23.1 innings. Opponents are only hitting .136 off him this season. We may not see Lindgren Sunday if he is needed Friday night or Saturday night. Myles Gentry is currently 0-0 on the year with a 4.91 ERA. Through 14.2 innings pitched, Gentry has struck out 14 men and walked 10. Jonathan Holder, last season's phenom, isn't having as good of a season thus far this season. He is currently 3-1 with a 2.79 ERA with four saves on the season.

The committee will face off against Sam Smith, who is currently 4-2 with a 2.22 ERA. Smith has 27 strikeouts to nine walks in 48.2 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .250 off him this season.

Team Stats:

  • ERA: MSU 3.12 (9th in SEC)
    Ole Miss 2.16 (3rd in SEC)
  • Opposing Batting Average: MSU .249 (10th SEC)
    Ole Miss .220 (6th SEC)
  • Strikeouts: MSU 271 (2nd SEC)
    Ole Miss 254 (5th SEC)
  • Runs Allowed: MSU 119 (T-8th SEC)
    Ole Miss 91 (4th SEC)
  • Hits Allowed: MSU 274 (10th SEC)
    Ole Miss 237 (7th SEC)

Our prediction? The Rebels win one game, losing the series. The Rebels have not played well in Starkville and there will be plenty of electricity in the crowd to work against Ole Miss and for the Bulldogs. We will get a firsthand test of the toughness mantra that has been preached by Coach Bianco and staff since the start of the season, as this is the series for Mississippi State and their Starkville supporters.

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