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Diamond Rebels Ready for Postseason Baseball at Swayze

Thomas Dillard. Photo by Steven Gagliano

The No. 2 Ole Miss baseball team opens their road to Omaha in the opening round of the Oxford Regional against Saint Louis on Friday. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.

Ole Miss (46-15) enters the Oxford Regional as the SEC Tournament Champion, SEC West Regular-Season Champion and No. 4 national seed with the best record in the conference. The Rebels have more wins than any team in program history going into the NCAA Tournament and are two wins shy of the all-time record of 48.
The Rebels enter the postseason with tied for their highest ranking in program history at No. 2 according to NCBWA. Ole Miss is a consensus top-five team, at No. 3 according to D1Baseball and Perfect Game and No. 4 according to Baseball America and ESPN/USA Today.
Ole Miss is on a four-game win streak, reeling off four straight victories to claim the SEC Tournament title. The championship run saw Nick Fortes named SEC Tournament MVP. He was joined by Will Golsan and Thomas Dillard on the All-Tournament team.
The Rebels offense ranks in the top 15 nationally in hits (8th), doubles (8th), runs scored (11th), slugging percentage, (11th), home runs (11th) and batting average (14th). Every Ole Miss batter who has started a game has hit a home run this season. In total, 14 different Rebs have gone yard this year.
Dillard has produced more runs than any other player in the SEC with a combined 120 RBI and runs scored.
Saint Louis won both the Atlantic 10 Regular Season and Tournament titles in 2018 and are 9-1 in their last 10. Last week in Arlington, Virginia, the Billikens won three straight games, including a come-from-behind 5-4 win in 11 innings over George Mason on Saturday, May 26.
The Billikens enter the Oxford Regional with one of the top starting rotations in the nation. Saint Louis features three starters with nine wins or more, two of which are 10-game winners in Miller Hogan and Drew Reveno. The Billikens join Stetson as the only two programs with two, 10-win starters. They also join New Mexico State as the only programs with three starters with nine wins or more.
Hogan, who will get the ball on Friday, enters as the All-Time record holder for strikeouts in a season with 129, a record which stood for 53 years at 120 until his start on Thursday (May 24) in Arlington. He is holding batters to a .196 batting average and is ranked fourth in the nation in strikeout-walk ratio (10.75). Jake Garella has become one of the top players in the Atlantic 10 in just his sophomore season. The right fielder is hitting .362 entering the NCAA Regional.
“They are really good,” said Mike Bianco, Ole Miss head coach. “(Hogan) is a real ace that is going to get drafted on Monday or Tuesday. He has a big fastball that he can really locate along with a big breaking ball and a good changeup. (Hogan) is a guy that put more than two pitches in the strike zone and locate them. I think it will be a big challenge for our guys.”
The probable pitching matchup for the Rebels and the Billikens will showcase the arms of RHP Miller Miller Hogan for Saint Louis on the mound. Hogan is 10-3 on the season with a 2.19 ERA. Ole Miss will send to the bump LHP Ryan Rolison. The southpaw is 9-4 on the season with a 3.79 ERA in 90.1 innings pitched.
The winner will go into the winners’ bracket and play at 6 p.m. on Saturday and loser returns to the diamond at Noon on Saturday.
Fans can watch the game on the SEC Network or listen to the call on the Ole Miss Sports Radio Network.

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

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