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No. 6 Diamond Rebels Head to the Peach State to Face GSU

Thomas Dillard. Photo by Steven Gagliano

The No. 6 Ole Miss Rebels baseball team heads to Atlanta, Georgia to take the diamond against the Georgia State Panthers in a midweek series tilt. The Panthers are the toughest midweek challenge the Rebels have faced so far on the season.

Ole Miss (15-1) is coming off a three-game sweep over Eastern Illinois over the weekend. Junior Chase Cockrell has had the hottest bat on the team as of late. In the final game of the series, Cockrell belted out two home runs.
Sophomore Thomas Dillard has become a feared power hitter early this season, taking just 14 games to match his HR total from all of last season, thanks to a two-homer game against Austin Peay. He drew five walks, including one intentional, against Eastern Illinois this past weekend.
Georgia State has an 11-4 overall record on the season and has won seven of their last eight, including a three-game sweep of Samford this past weekend. The Panthers boasts a strong defensive middle infield, which has turned 20 double plays this season, good for No. 4 in the NCAA.
GSU’s offensive production comes from the bat of first baseman Jack Thompson, who is hitting at a .381 clip including a 12-for-24 mark over the last seven games. His teammate, junior catcher Nick Gatewood, is a Johnny Bench Award watch-lister with three home runs, nine RBIs and a .321 batting average so far this season. He has gunned down seven of the 10 runners who have attempted a steal on him this year. 
Ole Miss holds a 3-2 series lead all-time against Georgia State. The Rebels took the first two meetings to win a three-game series in Oxford in 2014. The Rebels and Panthers split a pair of contests in Oxford last season. Ole Miss won Game 1, 1-0, as Ryan Rolison made his first career start. The Rebels’ lone run came on a Kyle Watson homer to seal the victory. The Panthers took Game 2 in extra innings, 2-0. 
The probable pitching matchup for this series will first showcase the arm of RHP Houston Roth. Roth is 1-0 on the year with a 5.40 ERA and in his last outing, he went four strong innings against the Governors of Austin Peay. On Wednesday, LHP Jordan Fowler will get the nod to take the hill. Fowler is 2-0 on the year with a 1.08 ERA. Last week, he made his first-career start giving up four hits, striking out one batter and allowing one free pass in five innings of work.
The Panthers will turn to RHP Bryan White to face the Rebels tonight. White has a 0-1 record on the season with a 3.96 ERA. Wednesday’s hurler has not been announced yet.
First pitch for tonight’s game is set for 5 p.m., and Wednesday’s game is slated for 2 p.m. Fans can listen to all the action on the Ole Miss Radio Network.

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

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