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No. 8 Ole Miss Opens Conference Play on Rocky Top

Junior Colby Bortles  Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics
Junior Colby Bortles
Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

This weekend, No. 8 Ole Miss will step into conference play as they face Tennessee Vols in a three-game series. This is the fourth straight season the Rebs will open SEC play on the road.

Ole Miss (17-1) enters the start of SEC play after sweeping the University of Alabama-Birmingham earlier in the week. The Rebels outscored the Blazers 13-2 in two games.

After Wednesday’s victory the Rebels have won their last 12 games. As a club, Ole Miss is hitting .307 on the year and holding a 1.82 ERA. With runners on base they are slugging .330 and .387 with ducks on the pond.

Coming into conference play, Colby Bortles and Will Golsan are riding hitting streaks of 10 and nine games, respectively.

Let’s take a deeper look at the Vols.

The Volunteers begin SEC play with an 11-5 record, winning four of their last five games. Tennessee has faced two non-conference opponents that the Rebels have also played in this young season. UT took two-of-three from Memphis to kick off the 2016 season and also beat Cincinnati in a midweek matchup.

At the plate, Tennessee is hitting .320 as a team led by a pair of seniors in Jeff Moberg (.415) and Chris Hall (.404). Moberg, the team’s leadoff hitter, leads the conference with 28 runs scored. Junior Jordan Rogers has tallied 31 RBI to pace SEC hitters. On the mound, UT ace Zach Warren is 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA. Closer Jon Lipinksi has earned three saves in five apperances, holding opposing hitters to a .120 average. Tennessee is also a threat on the base path, swiping a SEC-best 36 stolen bases.

The Volunteers are coach by Dave Serrano, who enters his fifth season at the helm of the SEC East program.

This weekend’s probable starters are Zach Warren (Friday), Hunter Martin Jr (Saturday) and the Vols have not announced the Sunday’s hurler yet. Coach Mike Bianco is going to send to the mound Brady Bramlett, Chad Smith and Sean Johnson. All three have been stellar on the hill this season.

Bracelet comes into Friday’s starter leading conference with 17 strikeouts looming.

Ole Miss and Tennessee are use to stepping in between the chalk and facing one another as they have played 82 times prior. The Rebels lead the series 45-36-1. Last season, the Vols defeated Ole Miss 2-out of-3 games.

Game times are slated for Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. All listed times here are central. Fans can watch all the action on SEC Network+ or listen to the call from the “Voice of the Rebels” David Kellum and Keith Kessinger.


Adam Brown is the sports editor for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.

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Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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