No. 4 Ole Miss Set to Tangle with No. 15 Vandy

Ryan Olenek. Photo by Steven Gagliano

The No. 4 Ole Miss Rebel baseball team remains on the road this weekend as they step back into conference play against the No. 15 Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville. First pitch of the three-game series will be tonight at 6:30 p.m.

Ole Miss (28-6, 7-5 SEC) is coming off of an 11-3 midweek win over No. 12 Southern Miss at Trustmark Park. The Rebel offense had a tremendous day against Southern Miss in Pearl on Tuesday, recording double-figure hits for the fifth time in the last six games. Five Rebels had multi-hit days and all nine starters reached base.

Ole Miss’ right fielder Ryan Olenek stayed hot Tuesday against Southern Miss, extending his team-best hitting streak to 12 games. In that span, Olenek has posted a slash line of .490/.612/.490 with 24 H, 6 2B, 8 R. He’s reached base successfully in 14-straight contests.

The Ole Miss pitching staff remains No. 1 in the SEC in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.34). The Rebels have struck out more batters (337) and walked fewer batters (101) than any team in the conference.

Vanderbilt (20-13, 7-5 SEC) enters after a 3-2 victory over Western Kentucky on Tuesday. Last weekend, the Commodores took two-of-three games from Georgia.

Vanderbilt is led offensively by JJ Bleday and Austin Martin, the only two regular starters hitting over .300. Bleday leads Vandy with .372 average, while Martin trails at .340. Their top power hitter this season has been Ethan Paul, who leads the team with 30 RBI, 10 2B and 5 HR. Pat DeMarco represents one of Vandy’s top bats, hitting .298 with eight doubles and 23 RBI.

The Commodores rank third in the nation and second in the conference in fielding percentage at .984. Vandy also has a strong pitching staff ranks 10th in the nation, first in SEC in K/9 at 10.3.

When Ole Miss and Vanderbilt step between the chalk this evening it will be the 125 meeting all-time between the two clubs. The Rebels lead the series at 65-57-2. Last season, Ole Miss took two of three from Vandy in Oxford.

The probable pitching matchup for this weekend will have LHP Ryan Rolison (Friday), RHP Brady Feigl (Saturday) and RHP James McArthur (Sunday) for the Rebels. The Commodores will send to the hill RHP Drake Fellows (Friday) and RHP Patrick Raby (Saturday) with Sunday’s hurler not named yet.

Fans can watch Friday (6:30 p.m.) and Saturday’s (2 p.m.) games on the SEC Network+ and Sunday’s (4 p.m.) game will be on ESPNU. Listen to every pitch on the Ole Miss Radio Network.


Adam Brown is the sports editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.

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