By Adam Brown
No. 13 Ole Miss baseball returns to the diamond this evening as they host the UT Martin Skyhawks in the final regular-season home game at Swayze. The first pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
Ole Miss (36-15, 15-11 SEC) is coming off of a weekend series win over the No. 2 Vanderbilt Commodores. The Rebels took the first game 3-1 on Friday over the Commodores. Vanderbilt used one of their ace pitchers, Kumar Rocker. The Rebels, Doug Nikhazy, out pitched him.
On Sunday, Ole Miss used a 10-run third inning to overcome a 2-0 deficit to Vanderbilt. The Rebels won the series with a 13-10 victory.
Ole Miss’s offense is 19th in the nation and leads the SEC in batting average at .302, including a league-best .297 in conference play. Seven Rebels are hitting over .300 on the season. As a team, Ole Miss has reached double-figure hits 29 times in 51 games. For a total of 527 hits on the season, which leads the SEC and is second in the nation.
UT Martin (17-27, 9-15 OVC) is rolling into Oxford after taking the series from Tennessee Tech over the weekend. The Skyhawks won the first two games and lost the second game of the doubleheader 15-9.
UT Martin is led at the plate by junior Blake Daniels with a .296 batting average. While his teammates, Will Lafollette (12) and Ethan Whitley (10) have double-digit home runs on the season.
As a club, the Skyhawks have a .249 batting average with a total of 52 home runs.
UT Martin will call on the arm of left-hander Boston Smith to face the Rebels lineup. Coach Mike Bianco will send right-hander Josh Mallitz to the mound. Mallitz is 4-1 on the season with a 6.66 ERA with 34 strikeouts and eight walks in 25.2 innings pitching.
This game will be the 20th meeting on the diamond between these two programs. Ole Miss holds an 18-1 advantage in the all-time series.
Follow live updates on the game at @HottyToddySprts on Twitter.