Baseball Central: No. 23 Tennessee vs. No. 15 Ole Miss

Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – No. 23 Tennessee wraps up its regular-season slate with another important SEC series against No. 15 Ole Miss this Thursday through Saturday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

The Volunteers enter the series riding a three-game win streak and will look to finish the season strong before entering postseason play at the SEC Tournament next week in Hoover, Ala.

Broadcast Info
Thursday (Game 1)

TV: SEC Network
Talent: Dave Neal (PxP) | Chris Burke (Color)

Radio: Vol Network (FM 99.1/AM 990 | UTSports.com | UT Gameday App)
Talent: John Wilkerson & Vince Ferrara

Friday (Game 2)
TV: SEC Network+ / ESPN App

Radio: Vol Network (FM 99.1/AM 990 | UTSports.com | UT Gameday App)
Talent: John Wilkerson & Vince Ferrara

Saturday (Game 3)
TV: SEC Network
Talent: Dave Neal (PxP) | Chris Burke (Color)

Radio: Vol Network (FM 99.1/AM 990 | UTSports.com | UT Gameday App)
Talent: John Wilkerson & Vince Ferrara

Projected Starting Pitchers
Thursday: RHP Garrett Stallings (7-3, 3.46 ERA) vs. RHP Will Ethridge (5-5, 2.82 ERA)
Friday: LHP Garrett Crochet (4-3, 4.29 ERA)  vs. LHP Doug Nikhazy (6-3, 3.20 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Zach Linginfelter (6-4, 4.73 ERA) vs. TBA

Series History vs. Ole Miss
Overall: Ole Miss leads, 47-37-1
In Knoxville: Ole Miss leads, 19-16
In Oxford: Ole Miss leads, 24-18-1
Neutral Sites: Ole Miss leads, 3-1
Site Unknown: Tennessee leads, 2-1
Last Meeting: March 18, 2018 in Oxford (L, 5-0)

The Rebels hold a 10-game lead in the all-time series and have gotten the better of the Vols in recent years. Ole Miss has won seven of the last 10 games between the two programs, including taking two of three games in last year’s series in Oxford.

Need to Know

  • Tennessee is coming off a 3-1 week with a win over Austin Peay and a massive road series win against Florida in Gainesville, bouncing back to win the final two games of the series after giving up a seven-run lead in the opener.
  • All three games against the Gators were decided by one run as the Vols improved to 4-4 on the year in one-run games.
  • The Vols finished their regular-season non-conference slate with a 15-10 victory over Tennessee Tech on Tuesday. UT went 24-2 in non-conference games and 13-1 is midweek contests this season.
  • Tennessee enters the series holding strong at No. 10 in the RPI. The Vols are one of five SEC teams in the top 10.
  • Tennessee secured its first winning record against SEC Eastern Division opponents since the 2010 team went 8-7 in such games. With two wins last weekend, UT finished this season with an 11-7 record against the SEC East.
  • Andre Lipcius led the way offensively for Tennessee last week and was named SEC Player of the Week on Monday for his efforts. He is the first Vol to garner conference player of the week honors since Nick Senzel in May of 2016.
  • Lipcius had a career day at the plate in Saturday’s 8-7 win. The Virginia native tied a career high with four hits and had three extra-base knocks, finishing a triple short of the cycle while driving in three runs.
  • With five runs batted in last week, Lipcius became the first Tennessee player since 2016 to have 50-plus RBI in a season when Senzel (59), Vincent Jackson (57) and Jordan Rodgers (56) all accomplished the feat.
  • Ricky Martinez had the biggest hit of the week, blasting his first home run of the year in Sunday’s rubber game at UF. The junior shortstop’s three-run homer in the top of the seventh tied the game at four.
  • Tennessee stole 13 bases in Tuesday’s midweek win over Tennessee Tech, one shy of the single-game program record that was set back in 1990. Jay Charleston had a career-high five steals by himself to move into sole possession of fifth place on UT’s career steals list with 62. The junior leads the SEC and ranks seventh in the nation with 36 stolen bases this year.
  • The Vols have been red hot at the plate over the last 15 games, scoring double-digit runs seven times in that span while averaging 7.6 runs per game.

Opponent Scout
No. 15 Ole Miss Rebels (32-21, 15-12 SEC)

  • 2018 Record: 48-17 (18-12 SEC)
  • 2018 Postseason: NCAA Oxford Regional (2-2)
  • The Rebels were picked to finish second in the Western Division in the SEC Preseason Coaches’ Poll after tying for first in the division last season. They enter this week’s series in a tied for third in the west with LSU after being swept by in-state rival Mississippi State last weekend.
  • Ole Miss is led by Mike Bianco, who is in his 19th season as head coach of the program. The Rebels have made 15 NCAA postseason appearances under Bianco, including five Super Regionals and a trip to Omaha in 2014.
  • The Rebels are one of the top offensive teams in the SEC, ranking among the top five in the conference in batting average (.286), slugging percentage (.438), on-base percentage (.392), runs scored (384), hits (518), RBI (338) and total bases (794).
  • Do-it-all junior shortstop Grae Kessinger leads the Rebels and ranks among the top 10 in the SEC in batting average (.349), runs (55), hits (76), doubles (17) and on-base percentage (.440).
  • Tyler Keenan is one of three Ole Miss players with double-digit home runs and also leads the team with 56 RBI.
  • Junior right hander Will Ethridge leads the Rebels’ weekend rotation with a 2.82 ERA while freshman lefty Doug Nikhazy leads the team with six wins and 64 strikeouts this season.

Game Promotions
Upcoming promotions for all Tennessee athletics home events can be found on the UT Fan Experience page by clicking HERE.

ALL GAMES THIS SEASON

  • Kids Combo: Corn dog, chips and a drink for just $6!

THURSDAY

  • Picnic on the Patio: All you can eat hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad and desserts out on the Patio.
  • Fan Appreciation Night: Various prizes will be given out to fans during each inning.
  • High School Night: High school baseball teams (plus two coaches) receive free admission with the submission of a team roster.
  • Ceremonial First Pitch: Joe Nathan (Former MLB All Star)

FRIDAY

  • Grilling at the Yard: First 200 fans receive a free Vol Baseball apron.
  • Food Truck Fridays: Gallo Loco and Big O’s BBQ food trucks located in the parking lot down the left-field line.
  • Big Orange Friday: Buy one general admission ticket, get one general admission ticket FREE! Print your Big Orange Friday voucher HERE(PDF) and be sure to wear ORANGE to the game.
  • High School Night: High school baseball teams (plus two coaches) receive free admission with the submission of a team roster.

SATURDAY

  • Tennessee Baseball Senior Day: Pregame recognition for the Vols’ seniors prior to first pitch.
  • Kids Day: All kids 12 and under receive free admission. Run the bases and get postgame autographs from select players (Weather Permitting).
  • Jr. Vols Carnival: All Jr. Vols Kids Club members are invited to an end of the year carnival in the area behind the playground. First 150 members will receive a free ice cream in a souvenir baseball helmet.

UT Athletics

Blogs

Weather

  • Forecast
  • Currents
  • Planner