Warm Weekend

Finally it appears the Ole Miss baseball team will get to play in some better weather, certainly better baseball weather. Most of the Rebels’ seven games so far have been played in bitterly cold winter conditions in Oxford.

But this weekend in Orlando, the Rebels (5-2) will face Central Florida (8-0) for three games, beginning with today’s 5:30 p.m. (Central time) contest. The other two games are set for Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

A look at the Knights

After starting the season off with an 8-0 record, Coach Terry Rooney’s Central Florida squad is in the national rankings, currently as high as No. 15 in the country.

UCF has been successful at the plate, averaging .351 as a team, including four hitters that are over the .400 mark.

Sophomore Matt Diorio boasts a team-best .517 average, while Kyle Marsh follows closely behind with an average of .483 as well as a team-high 15 RBI.

On the mound, the UCF weekend rotation, all right-handers, is a combined 5-0 led by freshman Cre Finfrock, who is 2-0 with a low 1.54 ERA. Zach Rodgers, who will start Friday night, and Robby Howell, the Sunday starter, round out the Knights’ rotation.

Rebel Starters

Junior Christian Trent and sophomore Brady Bramlett have had strong starts for the Ole Miss pitching staff. The two Rebels have combined for 34 strikeouts, more than any two teammates in the Southeastern Conference.

Bramlett leads the SEC with 19 strikeouts, while Trent has 15 to his credit as both Rebels have made two starts on the mound this season. The pair has also limited walking hitters, surrendering just three base on balls in 23 combined innings.

Senior Sam Smith will again draw a weekend start, and for the second weekend in a row will pitch in the finale.

Heading Home

Sikes Orvis heads quite a list of players going back to central Florida for the weekend’s games.

In addition to the senior slugger, sophomores J.B. Woodman and Colby Bortles are making the trip back home, along with freshman Tate Blackman. All four are from metro Orlando.

The team has hit three home runs through seven games. Orvis has two and Bortles has one.

Offensive Leaders

Freshman Kyle Watson is leading the Rebels in hitting, batting .500 so far this season.

Next are senior catcher Austin Knight, who is hitting .385, and Bortles, who is batting .346.

They are the only Rebels currently batting over the .300 mark.

The Matchups

FRIDAY, 5:30 P.M.

UCF - Zach Rodgers, Sr., RHP, 1-0, 3.00 ERA

Ole Miss - Christian Trent, Jr., LHP, 2-0, 1.64 ERA

SATURDAY 3:00 P.M.

UCF - Cre Finfrock, Fr., RHP, 2-0, 1.54 ERA

Ole Miss - Brady Bramlett, So., RHP, 1-0, 1.50 ERA

SUNDAY 10:30 A.M.

UCF - Robby Howell, So., RHP, 2-0, 2.31 ERA

Ole Miss - Sam Smith, Sr., RHP, 0-1, 8.10 ERA


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