"We've been eyeballing the weather since probably the beginning of the weekend," Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. "It's going to get really chilly tomorrow and tomorrow evening, so we figured it was best to try and play a little earlier."
Probable starters for the intrastate tilt are Rory McKean for Ole Miss and Todd McInnis of the Golden Eagles.
McKean, a sophomore right-hander, is making his first career start and has pitched 6.2 innings thus far this season. The Montgomery, Ala., native has allowed three unearned runs and has struckout eight opposing hitters. McKean locates three pitches and has featured pinpoint control.
"Rory throws strikes, and that is immensely valuable," Bianco said. "He makes you put the ball in play and limits the free passes. His fastball has also gained some velocity; is now a complete pitcher.
McInnis is 2-0 this season and boasts a 1.86 ERA through 9.2 innings. He has fanned 12 and walked six, allowing two runs. The redshirt freshman has had success against SEC teams, no-hitting Alabama for eight innings during a USM victory in 2007. He was 4-1 before suffering a season-ending injury.
Southern Miss is led at the plate by Brian Dozier (.429) and Drew Carson (.368), but the Golden Eagles are hitting a lackluster .238 as a team. They have hit just four home runs and have scored only 33 runs in eight games. USM is also 4-9 in stolen base attempts. However, McInnis does a good job of holding runners, with only one stolen base off him in four tries.
USM is fielding at an impressive .983 clip, after committing just five errors going into the week.
Ole Miss won last year's season series 2-1, with victories in Pearl and during the 2007 Oxford Regional. The Golden Eagles took the game in Hattiesburg.
The Rebels lead the overall series 66-38.
Rebels host Golden Eagles Tuesday
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