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No. 5 Ole Miss Host LSU in a Conference Series Tilt

Will Golsan. Photo by Steven Gagliano

Ole Miss returns to conference action this evening as they play host to the LSU Tigers in a three-game SEC series tilt. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. on the SEC Network.

Ole Miss (32-10, 10-8 SEC) enters this weekend tied for the lead in the SEC West at 10-8 in conference play. The Rebels are coming off of a 7-6 loss to the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the annual Governor’s Cup on Tuesday night.
Of the Rebels’ 10 defeats this season, nine have come by two runs or fewer.
Sophomore left fielder Thomas Dillard is one of just two players in the SEC and 19 players in the nation in college baseball’s 40/40 club with more than 40 RBI and 40 runs scored. Dillard hit his ninth home run of the season Tuesday night to add to those totals. His teammate, Will Golsan has reached base in 11 straight games for the Rebels. Over the past two weeks, the senior captain is batting .483 with an astounding OPS of 1.357, three home runs (all in SEC play), 10 RBI, 14 hits and eight runs scored.
Through 42 games this season, Ole Miss has scored 100 more runs on 86 more hits than this point last year. The Rebel offense has added 25 more doubles, 12 more home runs while striking out 61 fewer times.
The Rebel pitching staff is No. 1 in the SEC in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 3.02. With 399 strikeouts and 132 walks issued, the Rebels are second in the SEC in both categories. On the other side, the Rebs have struck out the second-fewest times in the league.
LSU enters the weekend coming off an 8-0 midweek win over Lamar. In their last SEC action, the Tigers were swept on the road at South Carolina. LSU is 2-10 on the road this season.
The Tigers will throw Zack Hess on Thursday night in what could be a strikeout-heavy matchup. Hess boasts 73 strikeouts on the season while Ole Miss’ Thursday night starter, Ryan Rolison, is just ahead with 77. LSU remains undecided on its Saturday night starter. Ma’Khail Hilliard will throw Friday night. Hilliard shared SEC Freshman of the Week honors with Tyler Keenan in Week 8.
LSU has a strong offensive lineup, led by Antoine Duplantis, Zach Watson and Austin Bain who are each hitting over .315. Duplantis is hitting .341 with four triples and 33 RBI. Watson is hitting .331 with a slugging percentage of .534 with five home runs. Bain has cracked 13 doubles and driven in 29 runs.
Ole Miss and LSU is a rivalry that’s 112 years old, dating back to 1906. The Tigers lead the all-time series 173-152. LSU took last year’s meeting as the eighth-ranked Tigers won two of three in Baton Rouge. In 2016, the Rebels downed the No. 8 Tigers in two of three in Oxford.
The probable pitching matchup for this weekends series tilt will showcase the arms RHP Zack Hess (tonight) and RHP Ma’Khail Hilliard (Friday) for LSU. The Tigers have not set a starter for game three on Saturday. The Rebels will send to the mound LHP Ryan Rolison (tonight), RHP Brady Feigl (Friday) and RHP James McArthur (Saturday).
Game times for this weekends series are slated for 7 p.m. tonight (SEC Network), 6:30 p.m. Friday (SEC Network+) and 3 p.m. Saturday (ESPNU). Fans can listen to every pitch of the series 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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