No. 4 Ole Miss makes their debut in the SEC Tournament this afternoon as they take the diamond against the No. 21 Auburn Tigers. First pitch will be thirty minutes following the conclusion of game one on the SEC Network.
Ole Miss (42-14, 18-12 SEC) comes into the conference tournament as the No. 2 seed after defeating Alabama and Georgia taking the series from Arkansas. The diamond Rebels were able to get a bye to the second-round into the double-elimination portion of the tournament.
Five Rebels claimed All-SEC honors this week: Ryan Olenek (First-Team), Parker Caracci (Second-Team), Nick Fortes (Second-Team), Anthony Servideo (All-Freshman), Cole Zabowski (All-Defense).
Ole Miss scored 132 more runs on 114 more hits than in the 2016 regular season. The Rebel offense has added 24 more doubles, 24 more home runs and 128 more RBI, striking out 78 fewer times and increasing their team batting average by .050 points.
Sophomore Thomas Dillard produced more runs than any other player in the SEC with a combined 111 RBI and runs scored.
Auburn (38-19, 15-15 SEC) advanced to the second round of the SEC Tournament with a walk-off 4-3 win in 11 innings over No. 10 seed Kentucky in the first round.
The Tigers are a balanced ballclub, batting .284 on the season with a team ERA of 4.19. They came into the SEC Tournament at No. 1 in league with 405 runs scored. Shortstop Will Holland paces the Auburn offense hitting .329 on the season with 11 home runs, including a leadoff home run in the first inning against Kentucky.
Freshman Edouard Julien led the Tigers with 14 home runs on the year and knocked home the game-winning run in the team’s first-round win over Kentucky. His teammate, Brendan Venter is one of three Tiger starters batting over .300 at .324 coming into the postseason to go with 43 RBI.
The Rebels and Tigers are no strangers on the diamond, with 174 overall meetings. Ole Miss leads the all-time series at 88-85-1 with the Rebels sweeping Auburn earlier this month in Oxford.
The probable pitching matchup for today’s game will showcase the arm of RHP Tanner Burns going for Auburn. Burns is 5-4 on the season with a 3.33 ERA in 67.2 innings pitched. The Rebels will send to the bump LHP Ryan Rolison. Rolison enters with a 3.95 ERA in 82 innings of work with an 8-4 record on the year.
Fans can watch all the action on the SEC Network or listen to the call on the Ole Miss Radio Network. Be sure to follow HottyToddy.com sports on twitter for live updates during the game.
Adam Brown is the sports editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.HERE!