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

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The Rebs look to bounce back from a midweek loss and make a statement to the NCAA committee as No. 12 LSU comes to town.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

In the grand scheme of college baseball things, this week's midweek loss wasn't all that bad. Losing to Mississippi State is never fun, but they're damn good this season and are ranked 12th in Warren Nolan's latest RPI rankings. Ole Miss (31-11, 10-8) is still sitting No. 7 in the RPI rankings and can make up plenty of ground on State and the others ahead of them in the SEC for a potential host spot. I only say this because anything is possible.

First step to try and bolster that tournament resume will be to take care of the visiting LSU Tigers (27-14, 10-8) in a Thursday, Friday, Saturday series in Oxford. Ole Miss, LSU and the aforementioned Bulldogs are all tied for second place in the SEC West and there is not much room for error (like at all) if the Rebs want to host postseason baseball at Swayze this year. Ole Miss has won six straight SEC games at home with sweeps over lowly Arkansas and Auburn but the competition is much more stiff this weekend. Paul Mainieri's club is young but extremely explosive in all facets.

That youth has led to some expected inconsistency. LSU took two of three from a top 10 Vanderbilt team and swept Missouri, but lost series to Alabama, Texas A&M and Mississippi State. They've also been uncharacteristically sporadic in the midweek, losing four games, including a couple to Tulane. But, make no mistake about it, this is a dangerous opponent who is aggressive as all get out at the plate and on the base paths.

At the plate, the Tigers are lead by Antoine Duplantis (.358, 25 RBI, 10 stolen bases), who has the most LSU name ever. Beau Jordan (.342, four homers, 35 RBI), Jake Fraley (.333, 21 RBI, 19 stolen bases), Kramer Robertson (and Jordan Romero (.318, six homers, .591 slugging) are the other big names to know in the lineup. On the mound, Jared Poche and Alex Lange are an experienced one-two punch and have pitched a lot of innings in the SEC. Parker Bugg and Hunter Newman have combined for four saves, 45 strikeouts and a 2.79 ERA out of the bullpen.

EDITOR'S NOTE: LSU also has a fantastic collection of student-athletes who have Seinfeld character names. It's awesome.

3 big questions

1. Can David Parkinson do it again?

After being moved to the weekend rotation, Parky has been as impressive as it gets for three straight weekends. He has the lowest ERA on the team and only allowed one earned run in 7.0 IP in just his second start at Alabama. Despite allowing two earned runs to Auburn last week, he still managed to get into the fifth inning which is all you can ask for at this point in the season. Parky has done a phenomenal job of being consistent with his stuff and living on the corners, but he'll need to be very sharp against a Tigers team that doesn't strike out very often (4.68 per game, lowest in the SEC).

2. How will James McArthur look in his first weekend start?

The midweek ace has grown up before our eyes and will be gracing the mound with his presence in the series finale this weekend. McArthur has been dominant on Tuesdays and Wednesdays this season, allowing the third-fewest runs in the conference (14) and while putting together a 1.62 ERA in his last seven starts. During that stretch, Jimmy Lone Star has struck out 39 batters and won five straight.

Tex has looked much more comfortable on the mound and just has a different look about him now. Swagger, if you will. He will need it this weekend as LSU will be a little tougher than a midweek opponent. The reigning SEC Freshman of the Week made his first SEC appearance last weekend in relief as he tamed a dangerous Auburn club for 4.2 IP and held them scoreless, keeping Ole Miss in the game and setting them up for the sweep.

3. Will anyone step up in left field?

In 2014, the Rebels were spoiled with the arrival of Braxton Lee. The Goon from Picayune was a welcomed addition to the corner outfield spot and the top of the lineup as he hit .302 in conference play (his first year, mind you) and stole 30 bases. Turn the page to 2016 and, well...it hasn't been great.

Connor Cloyd hit .369 in 2015 and figured to be a shoe in for the spot but has struggled mightily (.234). Veteran Cameron Dishon has yet to take hold of the spot and despite slapping four dingers, he hasn't done much else (.222). And Kyle Watson shows flashes but still looks lost at times in the field and even more so at the plate (.191). To make things even worse, all three are hitting under .200 in conference play.

The numbers

Complete Ole Miss statsComplete LSU stats

Team pitching
Ole Miss LSU
ERA 3.05 4.19
Strikeouts 342 358
Walks 137 155
Opponent average .247 .258
Team batting
Ole Miss LSU
Runs per game 6.0 7.1
Batting average .274 .300
On-base % .361 .387
Slugging % .392 .431
Dingers 27 29
Steals-Attempts 28-47 69-94

How to watch

Thursday

First pitch: 6 p.m. CT
TV: SEC Network
Online streaming: WatchESPN.com
Projected pitchers
Ole Miss: RHP Brady Bramlett (6-2, 2.28 ERA)
LSU: LHP Jared Poche (5-4, 3.26 ERA)

Friday

First pitch: 6:30 p.m. CT
TV: nope
Online streaming: WatchESPN.com
Projected pitchers
Ole Miss: LHP David Parkinson (2-1, 1.70 ERA)
LSU: RHP Alex Lange (4-3, 4.34 ERA)

Saturday

First pitch: 11 a.m. CT
TV: ESPN2
Online streaming: WatchESPN.com
Projected pitchers
Ole Miss: RHP James McArthur (5-0, 2.84 ERA)
LSU: LHP John Valek, III (6-1, 3.78 ERA)