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Ole Miss Baseball: Rebels vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs Preview and Open Thread

Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

Ole Miss Rebels vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Well, last week went poorly. The chances of hosting are pretty much gone now. If Ole Miss could win the last two series against MSU and LSU, they would position themselves strongly as a two seed in regional play. This team just doesn't have bats, and that's not going to miraculously change. The only hope for much postseason success comes by winning some very tight games with our strong pitching staff. The relief pitchers haven't been at their best lately, but we know they're capable of strong play. As for Mississippi State, they could be trouble.

Game Times

Friday - 6:30 CT

Saturday - 4:00 CT

Sunday - 1:00 CT (CSS)

Mississippi State Probable Starters

Friday - Luis Pollorena (Sr. LHP) - Luis Pollorena is currently 6-2 with a 3.92 ERA in 15 appearances (8 starts). Through 59.2 innings pitched, Pollorena has allowed 29 runs (26 earned) off 57 hits. Luis has 54 strike outs to go along with 30 walks. He has also allowed a team high 15 extra base hits this season. Opponents are hitting .256 off him this season. Pollorena posts a career record of 16-7.

Saturday - Kendall Graveman (Sr. RHP) - Kendall Graveman is the unquestioned ace of the MSU pitching staff. Graveman is currently 5-4 with a 2.47 ERA through 12 starts. Through 76.2 innings pitched, Graveman has allowed 29 runs (21 earned) off 75 hits. Graveman is giving up more hits this season as compared to the past few seasons, but he is getting a good amount of double plays keeping runners from crossing home plate. Kendall has 50 strike outs to go along with 19 walks. Opponents are hitting .260 off him this season. Graveman has a career 16-12 record.

Sunday - Jacob Lindgren (Soph. LHP) - Jacob Lindgren is currently 4-2 with a 3.44 ERA through 11 starts. Through 59.2 innings pitched, Lindgren has allowed 22 runs (18 earned) off 57 hits. Jacob has struck out 58 batters while walking 14. Opponents are hitting .234 against him this season, and Jacob has only allowed 5 extra-base hits this season.

Other Pitchers to Keep an Eye on:

Ross Mitchell - Mitchell is usually the first man out of the bullpen for the Bulldogs. He has a 9-0 record with a 1.32 ERA this season. The Rebels will be seeing this man a lot over the weekend.

Jonathan Holder - This sophomore close is having another tremendous year. You may remember last year when he set the MSU record for scoreless innings streak at 27.1 innings. He only allowed a single earned run and finished the year with a 0.32 ERA. Thus far this season he is 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA with 13 saves.

Chad Girodo - Girodo has a 4-1 record with a 1.16 ERA. Only allowed 3 earned runs in 23.1 innnigs.

Team Pitching Ranks in Conference:

  • 4th in ERA (2.58) (OM 5th at 2.68)
  • 4th in opposing batting average (.219) (OM 5th at .233)
  • 1st in strikeouts (410) (OM 7th with 353)
  • 3rd in hits allowed (346) (OM 5th with 378)
  • 4th in runs allowed (157) (OM 5th with 169)
  • T-8th in walks allowed (164) (OM 11th with 172)
  • 4th in HR allowed (15) (OM 8th with 21)

Pitching Ranks Nationally

  • MSU is 10th nationally in ERA (OM is 13th nationally)
  • MSU is 14th nationally in WHIP
  • MSU is 8th nationally in Hits Allowed per 9 Innings

As you can see, the MSU staff is pretty similar to the Ole Miss staff, so you should know what to expect out of the MSU pitchers. The biggest thing that stands out is that MSU is 1st in the SEC in strikeouts and 2nd in the SEC in strike outs looking with 146 while Ole Miss has struck out the 3rd least in the SEC this season (I'll be honest, I figured that number would have been more like 3rd most rather than 3rd least). MSU is 12th nationally with 8.4 strike outs per 9 innings. I think that will be a key matchup this weekend as Ole Miss should get some men on base but can they avoid the strike outs in crucial situations (History seems to not be in Ole Miss' favor this weekend). If you like pitching, then this is going to be a fun weekend for you. If State can get the ball to Mitchell and/or Holder with a lead then it may be a rough weekend for the Diamond Rebels.

MSU's Offense

MSU is 7-7 on the road this year and averages 6.3 runs per game this year (4.5 in conference play)

Batting Stats (sorry these don't paste well)

Season Stats Avg HR RBI SLG% OBP% SB/ATT SO/BB
.294 24 275 .406 .394 51/67 316/222
Conference .268 16 107 .369 .359 13/20 173/94

Individual Conference Stats

Hunter Renfroe .368 9 20 .724 .491 3/5 17/21
Brett Pirtle .345 1 12 .417 .444 3/3 12/6
Sam Frost .345 0 1 .379 .375 3/3 7/1
Jacob Robson .294 0 6 .324 .351 0/0 8/3
CT Bradford .290 0 11 .301 .368 1/1 17/8
Wes Rea .284 4 20 .489 .369 0/0 26/8

As you can see, the pop in this lineup comes from Renfroe and Rea as they have hit 13 of the 16 MSU home runs in conference play. MSU does not steal alot of bases and they have a 1.84 SO/BB ratio.

I personally think it's very likely that Mississippi State takes two of these games even playing in Oxford. A sweep isn't out of the question, but Bobby Wahl is just so good.

As always, thanks to those who contributed to this post.