Ole Miss Rebel Baseball: Lafayette, Louisiana Super Regional Preview

USA TODAY Sports

The Rebels are two games away from either Omaha, or O.M.A.H.A.

One last test stands between the Ole Miss Rebels and the College World Series. This weekend, the Rebels will take on what is arguably the best team in college baseball right now, the Ragin' Cajuns from Louisiana-Lafayette, in the best two-of-three series that is the Lafayette Super Regional.

This series on paper sets up as potentially one of the more entertaining super regional match ups.  With all three games being nationally broadcast on ESPN2, and with many of the heavy hitters of college baseball coverage (such as Kendall Rodgers) announcing that they will be in attendance, this one is sure to have a lot of eyes on it. With the Rebels and Vanderbilt being just two of the ten(!) SEC teams still left in the NCAA baseball postseason, the pressure for Ole Miss to succeed is as high as it has been in a long time.

Yes, if that makes you nervous as hell, then you're an Ole Miss fan. That's just how it goes.

Digging into the numbers, it becomes apparent why ULL has done so well this year, and why this is such an intriguing matchup. Offensively, both teams can really get on base and score points. Both teams have eight players with a .297 average or higher, and both teams closed the regular season near the top of their respective conferences in most major offensive statistics.

Offensive Statistics:

ULL Individual Hitting Statistics

Name

Avg

HR

RBI

SLG%

OBP%

SB/ATT

SO/BB

Caleb Adams

387

11

42

689

509

6/12/

56/45

Jace Conrad

377

9

65

587

450

22/26

24/17

Blake Trahan

357

4

47

471

458

14/26

36/44

Tyler Giroud

335

2

28

461

448

4/7/

24/28

Ryan Leonards

323

4

34

458

394

18/21

28/26

Seth Harrison

317

9

63

551

375

15/20

60/19

Team

Average

HR

RBI

OBP%

SLG%

SB/ATT

SO/BB

319

66

467

497

411

107/148

392/270

Ole Miss Individual Hitting Statistics

Name

Avg

HR

RBI

SLG%

OBP%

SB/ATT

SO/BB

Austin Bousfield

352

5

47

490

401

17/18

22/15

Will Allen

350

7

59

525

385

0/1

40/13

Austin Anderson

332

4

39

468

420

10/16/

22/29

JB Woodman

331

2

18

475

370

10/14/

22/9

Errol Robinson

311

0

18

344

394

5/8/

25/23

Brantley Bell

307

0

11

366

369

2/2/

14/6

SIkes Orvis

300

13

49

552

402

1/1/

40/32

Team

Avg

HR

RBI

SLG%

OBP%

SB/ATT

SO/BB

305

37

335

419

372

90/118

342/189

Pitching Matchups:

Louisiana-Lafayette's Saturday starter, Austin Robichaux, is a right handed junior who is 7-3 on the year in 12 starts with a 2.83 ERA. Through 82.2 innings of work, Robichaux has allowed 30 runs (26 earned) off 62 hits (19 extra base hits). Opponents are hitting .206 off Robichaux this season. Austin has 76 strikeouts to go along with 21 walks. He can be off the mark with his pitches with four wild pitches and nine hit batters. In the Lafayette regional, Robichaux took the loss to Jackson State by going 8 innings and allowing one run off four hits while striking out six. Have we mentioned that win-loss stats can be funny like that? Because they can.

Austin Robichaux will face off against righty Chris Ellis who is currently 10-1 with a 2.16 ERA for the Rebels. Chris has 62 strikeouts in 104.1 innings pitched, and opponents are hitting .262 against him this season.

Sunday starter Carson Baranik, a right handed junior, has an 11-1 record with a 3.27 ERA. In 99.0 innings of work, Carson has allowed 38 runs (36 earned) off 87 hits (18 extra base hits). Opponents are hitting .234 off Baranik this season. Carson has 70 strikeouts to go along with 23 walks. In last weekend's regional, Baranik got a win against San Diego State going 6.1 innings allowing two runs off six hits with only one strikeout and walk.

Carson Baranik will face off against lefty Christian Trent who is 9-0 with a 2.37 ERA. Through 95.0 innings, Trent has struck out 73 men while only allowing 17 walks. Opponents are hitting .282 this season off Christian.

Monday (if necessary) starter Cody Boutte, a left handed senior, has a 9-0 record on the year with a 3.09 ERA. In 81.2 innings of work, Boutte has allowed 31 runs (28 earned) off 76 hits (17 extra base hits). Opponents are hitting .250 off Cody this season. Cody has had command issues at times with four wild pitches and a team high 10 plunked batters. In last weekend's regional, Boutte took the win against Mississippi State, pitching 6.1 innings and allowing five runs off of 10 hits.  Cody had four strikeouts with two walks in that outing.

Cody Boutte will be facing off against Sam Smith.  Sam is currently 5-4 on the season with a 3.39 ERA.  In 87.2 innings of work, Sam has 47 strikeouts to go along with 18 walks.  Opponents are hitting .282 against Sam this season.

Team Pitching Stats:

  • ERA: ULL 3.38
    Ole Miss 2.67
  • Opposing Batting Average: ULL .240
    Ole Miss .245
  • Strikeouts: ULL 457
    Ole Miss 456
  • Runs Allowed: ULL 245
    Ole Miss 206
  • Hits Allowed: ULL 518
    Ole Miss 517

RPI, SOS, and Other Notes:

Rebel fans should be careful to think that ULL is not good or their record is only a product of their schedule (or playing on a turf field - what is this, the 1980's?). This is a very good baseball team that is one of the most talented in the country. That's why they're here. Additionally they are at home and will no doubt have the full support of the roughly 4,000 fans that are expected to be in attendance. Per Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork, Ole Miss by contrast will only receive 400 of the 1200 requested tickets. We'll have a good group of visiting fans, but we'll still be in a raucous, hostile environment.

Keep in mind, the Cajuns have won five of six games played against the SEC West this year, taking one from LSU and two from both Alabama and MSU. Ole Miss is 3-6 against those teams.

In looking at both the polls and RPI, the Cajuns are a better team than the Rebs. ULL's RPI is as high as No. 3, and is ranked as high as No. 1. The Rebels, on the other hand, have an RPI of 11 and a ranking as high as No. 6, depending on who you ask. Where the Rebs really outshine Louisiana-Lafayette is the strength of schedule, with Ole Miss boasting the 16th toughest slate of opponents in the country, compared to just the 103rd for ULL.

Our Prediction:

Rebs dominate in two games and go to Omaha. No turning back now. To the doubters...

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