The No.12 Ole Miss Rebels baseball team travels to Columbia, S.C. this weekend to face the No.1 South Carolina Gamecocks in a three-game series to begin conference play.
Ole Miss (16-2) rolls into their first SEC series after a midweek sweep of Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond, La. The Rebels are led at the plate this season by freshman Brantley Bell who is hitting .500, scored eight runs and drove in five RBI.
Senior Rebel catcher Will Allen leads the team in RBI with 23, which is second in the SEC right behind A.J. Reed of Kentucky who has set the conference pace with 28 RBI. Junior Auston Bousfield comes into the weekend with a .413 batting average He is in the top 10 of the SEC in slugging percentage and hits on the season.
South Carolina (16-0) shut out Furman in a midweek game and a weekend sweep of Brown last weekend. The Gamecocks are lead by Connor Bright at the plate who has a .434 average on the year. While teammate Grayson Greiner leads with 19 RBI.
In the first 16 games on the season, USC has posted eight shutout victories, including four straight shutouts. As a club, the Gamecocks enter conference play hitting .316 clip on 12 home runs and 109 RBI.
South Carolina pitchers are hold a 1.19 ERA with 34 walks and 144 strikeouts through 144.0 innings worked.
The probable pitching match ups for the first SEC conference weekend look like this: USC will send junior LHP Jordan Montgomery (Friday), sophomore LHP Jack Wynkoop (Saturday) and freshman RHP Will Crowe (Sunday) to the hill. While Coach Mike Bianco will match the Gamecock pitching staff with: junior RHP Chris Ellis (Friday), sophomore LHP Christian Trent (Saturday) and junior RHP Sam Smith (Sunday).
Ole Miss and South Carolina have faced each other on the diamond 51 times. The Gamecocks lead the Rebels 31-20 in the all-time series. In the Coach Bianco era the Rebels are 15-17 against USC. Ole Miss has only won a single series against South Carolina in Columbia, back in 1995.
Fans can catch all the action between Ole Miss and South Carolina on Rebel Vision, ESPN3.com, or the Ole Miss Baseball Network. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. (Fri), 3:00 p.m. (Sat) and 12:30 p.m. (Sun).
—Adam Brown, Sports Editor of Hottytoddy.com
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