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Ole Miss and its elite staff welcome in Arkansas and its dangerous offense

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This one might get weird.

Josh McCoy-Ole Miss Athletics

The No. 4 Cardiac Rebels (23-3, 4-2) needed a come-from-behind 7-6 victory against No. 14 Southern Miss in Oxford on Tuesday, while No. 5 Arkansas (18-7, 4-2) plated a run in the ninth inning to get the win on the road against Memphis at AutoZone Park. So both have had their fair share of drama this week. Well, one can assume it’ll be more of the same at Swayze this weekend.

The two teams will face off Thursday in the first ever matchup between two top five teams in Swayze Field history. It’ll be Arkansas’ hot bats against the Rebels electric arms.

Before we get there though, let’s take a quick peek at Ole Miss by the numbers.

97 extra base hits in 26 games at the plate for Ole Miss, only had 148 during 57 games last season.

27.39 percent of batters struck out by the Rebel pitching staff, 8th nationally

17 strikeouts per walk allowed for breakout pitcher Parker Caracci

14.57 percent of total at bats which Ole Miss hitters strike out, 12th nationally

9.51 percent of plate appearances which Rebel hitters turn into an extra base hit, 9th nationally

.916 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) Rebel hitters have produced through 26 games, 14th nationally

.421 Chase Cockrell’s batting average, 2nd in the SEC behind only Jonathan India of Florida.

2.68 walks allowed per nine innings, 7th nationally

1.159 walks and hits per inning pitched allowed, 13th nationally.

1.109 OPS for Thomas Dillard, leads the team with 15 extra base hits and is 8th in the conference in slugging

1 team nationally ranked top 15 in ERA, WHIP, K/9, and BB/9

0 teams ranked top 15 nationally outside of Oxford, Mississippi in ERA, WHIP, K/9, and BB/9


This weekend’s series is for the lead in the SEC West. But, win or lose the series is not going to derail this team’s mission to the postseason. And honestly, you shouldn’t worry too much. Because Ole Miss is fucking good. Like really good.

This match up is going to be a fun one because Arkansas can really swing it and the Rebs can really sling it. It’s not like last weekend in College Station because the Aggies can sling it as well. Arkansas, not so much. Now, tonight’s starter Blaine Knight is damn good. And their closer, Matt Cronin, is a nice stopper on the back end. But, as a team, they’re not as loaded top to bottom in the rotation like A&M was.

There in lies the key. Again. It’s going to get annoying, but Ole Miss can win this top five match up on the bump. And then at the plate. Because don’t forget...

[whispers] Ole Miss can really swing it, too.

Not only are the Rebs hitting a blistering .300 as a team, but they are lacing baseballs left and right in almost every scenario. As we mentioned on this week’s podcast, the Rebs are tied for 6th in the country in doubles with 63(!). Might be off-base here, but I would venture to say that the 11 doubles we had against Texas A&M last weekend helped.

The Rebs also lead the SEC in hitting with the bases loaded (.579) and are swinging at a .717(!) clip with runner on 3rd and less than two outs. That’s insane. I’m literally laughing out loud. And most importantly, Ole Miss has left the LEAST amount of runners on. Which means not only are they lights out on the mound, but they are taking advantage of opportune times to score runs.

That’s a problem for people.

The Razorbacks have also been a problem for people. And they hit it at a .311 clip as a team, led by Heston Kjerstad (.395, 6 HR, 27 RBI), Casey Martin (.346, 7 HR, 25 RBI), Jax Biggers (.341, .500 slugging, .473 on-base), and Carson Shaddy (.338, 6 HR, 22 RBI). But the rest of the crew ain’t no slouch. They’ve hit 47 home runs and slug at a .537 clip as a team.

Wow.

On the mound they sport a team earned run average of 3.35 and opponents are hitting .237 against them. The one area this weekend could really blow up is on the field. The Hogs field at a .971 clip, good enough for 12th in the conference.

Giddy up.

The numbers

Complete Ole Miss stats | Complete Arkansas stats

How to watch

Thursday

First pitch: 6:30 p.m. CT
TV: NONE
Online streaming: SECN+
Game-time weather: 64°, rain, 90% chance of rain
Projected pitchers
Ole Miss: LHP Ryan Rolison (3-2, 2.88 ERA)
Arkansas: RHP Blaine Knight (4-0, 1.83 ERA)

Friday

First pitch: 6:30 p.m. CT
TV: NONE
Online streaming: SECN+
Game-time weather: 63°, partly cloudy, 10% chance of rain
Projected pitchers
Ole Miss: RHP Brady Feigl (5-1, 2.08 ERA)
Arkansas: LHP Evan Lee (1-1, 5.19 ERA)

Saturday

First pitch: 1:30 p.m. CT
TV: NONE
Online streaming: SECN+
Game-time weather: 71°, sunny, 10% chance of rain
Projected pitchers
Ole Miss: RHP James McArthur (3-0, 1.93 ERA)
Arkansas: LHP Kacey Murphy (3-1, 2.28 ERA)