Tuesday, March 28, 2023

No. 1 Ole Miss Opens Conference Action on the Plains of Auburn

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

No. 1 Ole Miss cranks up SEC play on Thursday on the road against the Auburn Tigers in a three-game slate. The first pitch is set for 6 p.m. on SEC Network.

Ole Miss (13-3 0-0 SEC) is looking to bounce back from a 5-1 loss at Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday.

This season, coming into conference action the Rebels have scored 152 runs which is a program-record entering SEC play.

Ole Miss ranks in the top-20 in several statistical categories, including walks (17th), earned run average (12th), home runs (20th), on-base percentage (15th), runs (14th), slugging percentage (15th) and strikeouts per nine innings (9th).

Auburn steps into league play with a 13-4 overall record on the young season. The Tigers are coming off a series loss to Middle Tennessee last weekend.

This season Auburn is led at the dish by senior Sonny DiChiara with a .462 batting average in 13 games. DiChiara has five home runs and 11 RBIs. His teammate Blake Rambusch has a .379 average on the season with two home runs.

As a club the Tigers are hitting at a .306 clip through the first 17 games on the diamond.

The probable pitching matchup for this weekend will have southpaw John Gaddis (Thursday), right-hander Derek Diamond (Friday) and Saturday’s hurler to be announced for the Rebels. Auburn will send right-hander Mason Barnett (Thursday), Friday’s pitcher is TBA and on Saturday RHP Trace Bright will be on the mound.

Under coach Mike Bianco in the opening weekend of SEC play Ole Miss is 34-26. The Rebels have won each of the last 5 opening series.

In the Bianco era Ole Miss holds a 37-27 overall record against the Tigers. he Rebels have won seven of the last 10, nine of the last 15 and 13 of the last 20 matchups.

Last season, Ole Miss swept Auburn in Oxford. 

Game times for this series are set for Thursday at 6 p.m. (SEC Network), Friday at 6 p.m. (SEC Network +) and Saturday at 2 p.m. (SEC Network +).