Hogs Come Calling

Three Southeastern Conference weekends remain before the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. Ole Miss and Arkansas meet in Oxford to try to make a run at something special prior to the gathering at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium later this month.

The Rebels stumbled coming into this weekend. Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco used ten pitchers in a 7-6 loss to Southern Mississippi in Oxford Wednesday night. It was one of those games that the Rebels couldn't muster enough offense, although with 14 hits, to counter pitching that couldn't get the job done.

Bianco admitted ten was likely the most pitchers he's ever used in a game as head coach at Ole Miss. And it didn't work out. The Rebels fell to 33-13 and are 13-8 in SEC play after sweeping Kentucky last weekend.

So Ole Miss, with a RPI still among the national top eight, needs wins. Winning the series with Arkansas won't be an easy task, although the Razorbacks are only 10-11 in the SEC and overall stand 29-18. The Hogs lost two of three games to Auburn at home last weekend and this midweek won at Missouri State 4-1.

Arkansas highlights

Sophomore right-hander Trey Killian starts for Arkansas Friday night. He's 2-7 record with a 2.30 ERA, 12 walks and 36 strikeouts in nine starts this year.

Junior Brian Anderson leads the Arkansas offense with a .329 average, four home runs and 39 RBI to lead the team.

As a staff, UA holds a 2.28 ERA with 149 walks, 320 strikeouts and .204 opponent batting average through the first 47 games; they rank 9th in the country in ERA. The seven shutouts already rank in the program's top 10 for a single season, with the record being set with 13 shutouts in 51 games during the 1977 season. The 2.23 ERA currently ranks second in program history, sitting only behind a 1.89 ERA in 61 games last season.

Left-hander Jalen Beeks, the Saturday starter, has a 5-3 record with a 1.60 ERA, 58 strikeouts and 16 walks in 11 starts.

Right-hander Chris Oliver, the Sunday starter, is 5-4 on the season with a 3.05 ERA, 41 strikeouts and 23 walks in 11 starts.

On the mound

The Rebels counter with their usual weekend starters: Chris Ellis, Christian Trent, and Sam Smith.

Trey Killian
File Photo

Ellis has seven quality starts on the year, including two shutouts and a complete-game vs. Georgia State. He has not allowed an earned run in 5-of-11 starts this season and holds a 1.81 ERA in 11 starts. The junior has allowed 22 walks with 46 strikeouts and holds opponents to a .245 batting average.

Trent, who will be making his 12th start this season, has allowed only 12 walks through 72.0 innings of work and 11 starts this season. He is 6-0 on the season with wins vs. Stetson, Georgia State, Missouri, Auburn, LSU and Kentucky. The sophomore holds a .223 batting average against and his 58 strikeouts is eighth in the SEC. Trent threw a complete-game shutout against Auburn with a career-high seven strikeouts.

Smith, the junior right-hander, has allowed 22 runs in 11 starts while working 64.2 innings in those outings. He has only five losses in his last 30 starts for the Rebels across the last three seasons. The RHP saw a streak of eight consecutive quality starts snapped at Kentucky this past weekend.

Stats of note

The Rebels are second in the SEC in batting (.308), second in home runs (33) and second in scoring (285 runs).

Ole Miss is fourth in ERA as a staff (2.48) and has posted 33 wins through the first 11 weeks of competition.

Three Rebels rank in the top three in the SEC in hits: Auston Bousfield (1st - 73), Will Allen (2nd - 67) and Austin Anderson (T3rd - 63).

Bousfield was named SEC Player of the Week and the NCBWA Hitter of the Week after his .714 outing at Kentucky.

Allen is second in the SEC in RBI (50) and is tied for third in the league in home runs (7) this season.

Sikes Orvis is second in the SEC in home runs (11) and has hit in 19 consecutive SEC games entering the week.

Bousfield leads the SEC in hits (73) and is in the top five in average (2nd), runs (3rd), bases (3rd) and steals (5th).

The 39 runs scored at Kentucky was the most in a three-game SEC series in school history for the Rebels.

Gametimes are 6:30 p.m. Friday, 2:15 p.m. Saturday on FSN, and 1:30 p.m. Sunday on CSS.

OM Spirit Top Stories