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Hard-Slugging No. 9 Ole Miss Hosts Memphis on the Diamond Today

James McArthur. Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

The No. 9 Ole Miss baseball team returns to the diamond this afternoon as they play host to the Memphis Tigers. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.

Ole Miss (3-0) comes into this game after a three-game sweep over the Winthrop Eagles. The Rebel offense came to life in the opening weekend, scoring a total of 18 runs. Ole Miss slugged eight extra-base hits, including six doubles and two home runs, all of which came from eight different players.
On the mound against the Eagles, the Rebels had a dominating performance by LHP Ryan Rolison, who put on a clinic in the season opener, striking out a career-high 12 with only one hit allowed in five innings. It marked the most strikeouts in a Rebel opener since Lance Lynn had a dozen back in the 2008 opener. Brady Feigl and James McArthur followed Rolison with solid debuts on the mound, striking out a combined 13 batters with no earned runs allowed.
The Rebels’ pitching staff logged 39 strikeouts across 27 innings, holding Winthrop to just a .168 clip. The staff also gave up only 16 hits in three games to tally a 0.33 ERA in the opening weekend.
Memphis comes into this matchup with a 2-1 record after an opening series win over Western Kentucky. The Tigers return 17 letter-winners from a year ago, including 10 returning pitchers and six position starters. Memphis won its season opener, which got pushed back to Saturday, 4-0, over the Hilltoppers before splitting a Sunday doubleheader in a 3-1 defeat and 7-1 victory.
Offensively, Memphis returns its top hitter, Preseason All-AAC selection Tyler Webb, who leads the team early on with a .500 clip and three doubles. The senior OF hit .305 a year ago with 25 RBIs and 63 hits. Alec Trela also returns on the infield where he hit .263 in 2017 with eight home runs and drove in 34. As a team, the Tigers hit .225 in opening weekend with one home run and 10 RBI. They drew 17 walks and tallied 20 hits against the Hilltoppers. They weren’t as successful on the base paths, stealing just one base in five attempts.
The Tigers’ pitching staff was effective in opening weekend, allowing only four runs to WKU. They held opposing hitters to a .191 clip with 30 strikeouts to just seven walks and gave up only three earned runs. LHP Danny Denz, a sophomore who has yet to make an appearance this year, is expected to start for Memphis on Tuesday. In seven outings last season, the southpaw went 1-1 with a 4.71 ERA in 21.0 IP. He struck out 20 and started three contests, allowing 11 earned runs with a .295 average against.
Ole Miss and Memphis will meet for the 148th time this evening. It’s the fifth-most played series of all time for Ole Miss and the most of any non-conference opponent.
The probable pitching matchup for today’s game will showcase the arms of southpaw Danny Denz for Memphis, while Coach Mike Bianco will give the nod to sophomore RHP Houston Roth. As a freshman, Roth held the lowest ERA on the team (1.57) to go along with a perfect 3-0 record.

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

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