No.5 Ole Miss diamond Rebels travel to the Lone Star State for a Top 20 three-game series tilt with the No. 11 Texas A&M Aggies. The series begins tonight on the SEC Network at 6 p.m.
Ole Miss (20-2, 2-1 SEC) is coming off a 9-4 victory over the University of New Orleans. Sophomore OF Thomas Dillard blasted his sixth home run of the season against UNO. He became a feared power hitter early this season, taking just 21 games to eclipse his HR total of four from last season.
Junior Jacob Adams is coming off a breakthrough week for the Rebels. The junior college transfer hit .636/1.182/.733 last week with two doubles and his second-career HR. He posted a six-for-10 mark in his first SEC series against Tennessee.
Ole Miss is one of just two teams (Vanderbilt) in the nation to rank in the Top 30 nationally in team ERA (3rd), batting average (27th) and fielding percentage (12th).
Texas A&M (17-4, 1-2 SEC) heads into the weekend after playing the longest game in school history. As the Aggies fell to Texas Arlington 5-1 in 18 innings. The Aggies opened up conference action on the Plains of Auburn and in the first two games, A&M struggled. On Sunday, Texas A&M was able to salvage a win, but the series loss to the Tigers dropped the Aggies out of the Top 10 rankings.
Texas A&M has seen impressive offensive outputs from several players, led by Michael Helman, hitting .394 in 22 starts with a team-high 37 hits and six doubles. Helman is fifth in the nation and first in the SEC in hits. The top power-hitting Aggie this season has been Logan Foster, slugging at a .658 clip with six home runs and 27 RBIs in 22 starts. Two-time SEC Freshman of the Week Zach DeLoach has been effective for A&M as well. DeLoach leads the SEC and is second in the nation with five triples on the year.
Ole Miss and Texas A&M are very similar squads on paper—both squads are hitting exactly .300, each with 159 runs scored and team ERAs among the best in the nation at 2.19 (Ole Miss) and 2.32 (Texas A&M).
The probable pitching matchup for this weekend’s conference tilt will showcase the arms of LHP Ryan Rolison (tonight), RHP Brady Feigl (Friday) and RHP James McArthur (Saturday). Texas A&M will matchup with RHP Stephen Kolek (tonight), LHP John Doxakis (Friday) and RHP Mitchell Kilkenny (Saturday). The Aggies three-man rotation has an ERA below 2.00 and a record of 11-2 between the three.
The Rebels and the Aggies have met on the diamond 21 times prior to this series. Texas A&M holds a 12-9 advantage. Last season, Ole Miss took two of three games from A&M in Oxford. The Rebels last won a series in College Station in 2014.
First pitch is set for 6 p.m. tonight and 6 p.m. Friday on SEC Network. Saturday’s game will start at 2 p.m. and can be watched on SEC Network+. Fans can listen to all the action on Ole Miss Radio Network.
Adam Brown is the sports editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Sign up to receive Hottytoddy.com morning and evening headline emails HERE!