Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Diamond Rebels Face Southern Miss on the Road

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Tyler Keenan at the dish. Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics.

The No. 13 Ole Miss Rebels baseball team travels down I-55 to take on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles in Hattiesburg this evening. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.

Ole Miss (30-15) comes into tonight’s contest after sweeping the No. 6 Texas A&M Aggies over the weekend. Junior Thomas Dillard led the Rebels with two walk-offs on Thursday and Saturday. Dillard has either scored or driven in the deciding run in the Rebels’ last five walk-offs, dating back to 2018.

The Rebels are third in the SEC and No. 21 in the country with a .400 team on-base percentage. The Rebels have drawn 240 walks on the season, good for 17th in the nation and third in the conference. This season Ole Miss’ pitching staff is No. 11 in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 2.95.

Southern Miss enters with a 29-13 record on the season. This past weekend USM swept Middle Tennessee on the road.

The Golden Eagles are led at the plate by juniors Bryant Bowen and Hunter Slater. Bowen leads the club with a .365 batting average along with eight home runs and 39 RBIs. Slater was voted National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball when he tied two school records versus New Orleans with three home runs and eight RBIs. He ranks second in hitting at .331 with nine homers and a team-best 46 RBIs.

Ole Miss and Southern Miss have met 127 times on the diamond, with Ole Miss holding the all-time series lead at 77-50 including wins in each of the last five meetings. The Rebels extended that streak to five earlier this season, scoring 10 unanswered runs in the final three innings of an 11-2 win at Trustmark Park in Pearl.

The probable starters for this evening’s game will be southpaw Zack Phillips on the mound for the red and blue. Phillips enters with a 4-2 record on the season with a 4.43 ERA. Southern Miss will go with right-hander Jared Wright who is 0-2 with a 6.05 ERA.

Fans can listen to all the action on the Ole Miss Radio Network.