The No. 8 Ole Miss Rebels baseball team returns to the diamond this afternoon as they host the Eastern Illinois Panthers in a weekend series tilt. Due to inclement weather moving into Oxford on Saturday, the Rebels and Panthers will play a doubleheader today.
Ole Miss (12-1) comes in perfect at home after a 10-2 victory over Little Rock. Junior Chase Cockrell has had the hottest bat on the team as of late. His slash line (batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage) is a team-best at .478/.520/.783.
The Rebels have scored 10 plus runs in three straight games — a first since 2009 when the Rebels tallied double-figures in six straight contests. Ole Miss has also outscored their opponents 93-39 with a .300 team batting average through the first 13 games of the season.
Eastern Illinois rolls into Oxford with a 5-5 record after being swept by Georgia State last weekend. The Panthers are led at the plate by Hunter Morris with a .357 batting average. Morris has also belted out three home runs on the season with a team-high 12 RBIs. His teammate Jimmy Huber has swung the bat well for Eastern Illinois with a .333 batting average.
The Rebels and Panthers have met on the diamond six times prior to this weekend with Ole Miss winning each time. The last meeting in 2004 also featured a Friday doubleheader. The Rebels amassed 36 runs over three games for the sweep. In 2002, the Rebels swept the Panthers by a combined score of 23-5.
The probable pitching matchup for this weekend will be RHP Alex Stevenson (game one) for the Panthers. Stevenson is 1-1 on the year with a 4.51 ERA in 17.1 innings of work. In game two, RHP Carson Haws will get the start for Eastern Illinois. Haws has a 5.40 ERA in 16.2 innings pitched with a record of 1-1. Sunday’s hurler has not been decided at this time. Coach Mike Bianco will go with his usual weekend rotation of LHP Ryan Rolison, RHP Brady Feigl and RHP James McArthur.
First pitch of the doubleheader on this afternoon is slated for 3 p.m., and game two will begin 45 minutes after the last out of game one. The conclusion of this series will be Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Adam Brown is the sports editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.HERE!