After a weekend sweep of UNCW, the Ole Miss Rebels will take on their rival from up the road today at 4 p.m. with the Memphis Tigers coming to Swayze. With a 7-0 start, the Rebels look like the real deal, and another mid-week game gives them a chance for a final tune-up before heading to Houston to face some of the nation’s top teams.
While much has been said about the youth of the Rebel team, it appears the freshmen are ready to put that talk to rest. Freshmen Thomas Dillard and Cole Zabowski lead the team at the plate, batting .500 and .450 respectively. Behind the plate, Cooper Johnson continues to show his strong arm and has shown an ability to make tough plays. The final out on Sunday saw Johnson lay out to make the grab to end the game.
Other new faces continue to make their pretense known, including freshman Seamster whose home run lifted the Rebels in the 8th inning on Saturday. JUCO transfers Chase Cockrell and Tim Rowe have impressed in their first weeks in Ole Miss uniform as well. The young guys have carried the load in the early going of the season, which has given captains Tate Blackman and Colby Bortles time to bust out of their slumps. While .240 and .208 may not seem like great averages, it’s a step in the right direction for the leaders of the Rebel squad after a difficult start.
The Tigers come in at 4-2, with an active three-game win streak. Memphis swept Illinois State over the weekend, a series which included an extra-inning comeback win after being down 11-0. The Rebels took an 8-2 lead into the 9th over the weekend, and the gap quickly closed. The Tigers’ comeback should ensure the Rebels never assume a lead is big enough in this matchup. With a .292 average, Tyler Webb leads the Tigers at the plate. The Tigers will likely start sophomore James Muse. Muse has posted a 0.00 ERA in 4.1 innings of work this season.
Greer Holston will make its first career start for the Rebels. Holston has made three appearances this season, posting a 0.00 ERA in 1.2 innings of work. Will Ethridge was expected to get the start but is out with the flu according to multiple reports.
First pitch at Swayze is set for 4 p.m.
After a morning filled with rain, the bad weather should be on its way out in time for the first pitch.
Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.