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Auburn vs. Ole Miss baseball 2016: TV, online streaming and preview

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Auburn ain't very good, and the Rebs really need to pull out three wins to keep their head above water in the West.

Josh McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

After a tough trip to Tuscaloosa, Ole Miss baseball heads back to Swayze to take on the other Alabama team. Looking at Auburn's offensive stats, you'd think they were one of the best teams in the conference: the Tigers rank second in the SEC in batting average, slugging percentage on-base percentage and have two guys (Anfernee Grier and Josh Palacios) among the top 30 batting averages in the country. Then you take a look at their pitching numbers and immediately understand why they're 5-10 in the SEC and a game below .500 overall: Auburn's in the bottom five of the SEC in ERA, opponent batting average and runs allowed.

3 big questions

1. Can David Parkinson do it again?

After starting the year as a matchup lefty out of the bullpen, Ole Miss' struggles on the weekend forced Parky into the Saturday starting spot. In his first two starts against SEC foes, Parkinson allowed 10 hits, two earned runs and eight strikeouts over 12.1 innings. He's sporting a 1.42 ERA (tops on the team) and looks extremely comfortable on the hill as a starter.

This weekend will be a fantastic test for Parky. Auburn's top three hitters all hit .373 or better and have hit a combined 15 dingers and 77 RBIs. But, it is encouraging to see that during his first two starts, albeit not against quality opponents, he always remained composed and worked deep into each game. For the Rebs to be successful down the stretch, they're going to need Parkinson to give them at least five or six innings every Saturday. Let's see if he can do it for a third week in a row.

2. Does Errol Robinson have his MOJO back?

There is no way to get around it, Errol had a disastrous start to the season. His average slumped below .200 in March and he was starting to let it affect his play in the field. Now, all of a sudden, he hit .500 for the week that saw Ole Miss go 5-0 against Southern Miss and Arkansas and now we find ourselves staring at an Errol Robinson that's hitting .253 and has had multi-hit games in seven of the last 11 games.

Despite the average not being around the normal .290 that we're accustomed to seeing him at after two years in Oxford, Errol has shown a much different approach at the plate as of late and his play in the field has improved as well. We talk all the time about if Ole Miss wants to make a run in the postseason, they are going to need veteran guys to step up. Errol is one of those vets who is going to need to continue to get better at the dish in order for the Rebs to pack a punch at the bottom of the order.

3. How long before James McArthur gets his audition for the weekend?

We all saw the two rocky starts in February and March and thought the same thing. But, those thoughts have disappeared as quick as opposing hitters have when Big Tex is on the hill. Since those two bad outings against Arkansas State and Memphis, McArthur has done nothing but dazzle (5-0 record, 38.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 BB, 35K). His ERA, once up above 15.00, has come down to a comfy 3.18 after a six-week stretch that is as good as I've ever seen. His pitch location has been fantastic and he's routinely danced his way out of any jams he's gotten into. Hell, he was even touching 94 mph against Memphis this week.

With Sunday still up in the air and Wyatt Short being a much more suitable option out of the pen, Jimmy Lone Star might be the answer. You have to think Bianco wants McAruthur on the bump against State next week for the Governor's Cup, but after that maybe we see him against Georgia, Kentucky and Texas A&M. Remember, a fourth starter is HUGE in regional and super regional play.

The numbers

Complete Ole Miss statsComplete Auburn stats

Team pitching
Ole Miss Auburn
ERA 2.97 4.27
Strikeouts 312 285
Walks 122 142
Opponent average .246 .255
Team batting
Ole Miss Auburn
Runs per game 6.2 7.1
Batting average .272 .317
On-base % .363 .407
Slugging % .394 .451
Dingers 25 27
Steals-Attempts 26-44 50-57

How to watch

Friday

First pitch: 6:30 p.m. CT
TV: nope
Online streaming: WatchESPN.com
Projected pitchers
Ole Miss: RHP Brady Bramlett (6-2, 2.19 ERA)
Auburn: RHP Cole Lipscomb (1-3, 6.34 ERA)

Saturday

First pitch: 2 p.m. CT
TV: SEC Network
Online streaming: WatchESPN.com
Projected pitchers
Ole Miss: LHP David Parkinson (1-1, 1.42 ERA)
Auburn: RHP Justin Camp (3-2, 3.30 ERA)

Sunday

First pitch: 1 p.m. CT
TV: SEC Network
Online streaming: WatchESPN.com
Projected pitchers
Ole Miss: TBA
Auburn: TBA