By Adam Brown
No. 9 Ole Miss baseball will open Grove Bowl weekend on Thursday with a three-game series tilt against the LSU Tigers at Swayze field. The first pitch is set for 7 p.m. on ESPNU.
Ole Miss (27-10, 9-6 SEC) is coming off of an 11-6 midweek win over Little Rock on Tuesday night. The Rebels hit four doubles in the game from the bats of Kevin Graham, Jacob Gonzalez, John Rhys Plumlee and Knox Loposer.
Last weekend, the Rebels dropped a series to Mississippi State by losing two out of three games. On Saturday, junior Doug Nikhazy threw a one-hit shutout to complete a game that earned him National and SEC Player of the Week honors in a 9-0 win.
This season, the Rebels offense leads the SEC and ranks second nationally with 377 hits and is second in the league and fourth nationally in runs scored with 290.
LSU rolls into Oxford with a 22-14 overall record and a 4-11 mark in conference play. The Tigers defeated ULM 5-0 on Tuesday night following taking one game from South Carolina at home over the weekend.
At the plate, the Tigers have three batters with an average over .300 led by freshman Dylan Crews with a .348 average. Junior Davin Dugas leads the club with 10 home runs and is tied for the team-high 38 RBI with Cade Doughty.
LSU’s pitching matchup for this weekend will likely showcase the arms of RHP Landon Marceaux (Thursday) and RHP AJ Labas (Friday). Saturday’s hurler has not been announced for the Tigers. For the Rebels, Coach Mike Bianco will send to the mound Gunnar Hoglund (Thursday), Doug Nikhazy (Friday) and Drew McDaniel.
When the two programs step on the diamond, it will be the 343rd meeting between Ole Miss and LSU. The Tigers hold a 181-160-1 advantage in the all-time series. The Rebels have won the last two series between the two teams, as well as the last two series in Oxford.