Monday, March 20, 2023

No. 4 Ole Miss Hosts No. 13 Maryland for Weekend Series

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Jacob Gonzalez hits his grand slam in the second inning against Delaware on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Josh McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics

No. 4 Ole Miss returns to the diamond this afternoon as they play host to the No. 13 Maryland Terrapins out of the Big Ten for a three-game tilt. The first pitch is set for 4 p.m. and can be streamed on the SEC Network+.

Ole Miss (4-0, 0-0 SEC) is off to a hot start to open the 2023 season after sweeping Delaware on the opening weekend and defeating Arkansas State 11-3 on Tuesday night.

This season, the Rebels’ offense has outscored its opponents 46-9 over the first four games.

The Rebels are currently ranked second in the SEC and third nationally in slugging percentage, slugging .733 through their first four games. Ole Miss has 23 extra-base hits over that stretch, averaging 5.75 per game. They have also hit at least one home run in every game with 11 total big flies, second in the SEC to only South Carolina’s 19.

On the base path, senior transfer Ethan Groff leads the SEC in stolen bases per game and is second in total steals, having swiped five bags in his first four games as a Rebel. His five total stolen bases are tied for fifth-most in the NCAA. He is just two steals short of tying his single-season career-high, having stolen just seven bases in both 2021 and 2022 with Tulane.

Maryland (2-2, 0-0 Big Ten) rolls into Oxford after defeating West Virginia 8-6 on Tuesday before winning the backend of the series over South Florida on the opening weekend.

The Terrapins have three batters hitting over .350 coming into the weekend Matt Shaw at .500, Ian Petrutz at .389 and Elijah Lambros at .364. Petrutz leads the club in home runs with two on the young season.

As a team, Maryland has hit a total of eight home runs.

On the mound this weekend, Maryland will send right-hander Jason Savacool (Friday), RHP Nick Dean (Saturday) and RHP Nate Haberthier (Sunday).

The Rebels’ sophomore ace left-hander Hunter Elliott was dealing with forearm tightness earlier in the week and will miss this weekend’s start. Coach Mike Bianco will matchup with right-hander Jack Dougherty (Friday), RHP Grayson Saunier (Saturday) and southpaw Xavier Rivas (Sunday).

This weekend marks just the second time in program history that Ole Miss and Maryland have matched up, the last coming in 2015.

Gametimes for the series are set for Friday at 4 p.m. CT, Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. with all games streamed on the SEC Network+.