Ole Miss resumes SEC play at home against Mississippi State, taking on the Bulldogs in the first three of four games against the Rebels' in-state rival.
The Rebels are looking to snap a streak of six-consecutive losses to Mississippi State in Oxford and are seeking their first series victory against the Bulldogs since 2015.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State have met up 466 times previously, by far the most played rivalry in the Southeastern Conference.
The Rebels are seeking their first series victory against Mississippi State since 2015.
In its most recent SEC action at South Carolina, Ole Miss dropped the final two games after earning a 9-1 win in the opener on Thursday.
Tim Elko batted .429 during the series to lead Ole Miss. The Rebel slugger also hammered a pair of home runs last Friday and currently ranks second in the SEC with 15 big flies this season. It was the fourth multi-home run game of Elko's career.
lko is batting .407 in league play, the highest average in the Southeastern Conference. The senior's 23 RBIs in conference games also paces the SEC.
Dylan DeLucia earned the win in his second start of the season on Friday at South Carolina, allowing one run on six hits with four strikeouts. DeLucia's 7.2 innings were the most in an outing by a Rebel hurler this season. In two starts this season, DeLucia has allowed just two runs, one earned, over 14.0 innings.
Ole Miss has tallied 61 home runs this season, ranking fourth in the conference and 11th in the nation. The Rebels own a 12-6 record when hitting multiple home runs this season.
ON A HEATER
No player in the Rebel lineup has been hotter in SEC play than Tim Elko. The Rebel captain is batting .407 in conference play to lead the SEC, also pacing the league with 23 runs batted in during conference games. Elko has clobbered eight home runs against SEC opposition, the second most in the conference.
In his only two starts of the season, junior college product Dylan DeLucia has been nothing short of electric. In his first start on the road at Kentucky, DeLucia held the Wildcats to one unearned run and three hits with five strikeouts in 6.1 innings. At South Carolina, DeLucia produced the longest outing by a Rebel this season, tossing 7.2 frames with one run on six hits, striking out four.
DeLucia has been nearly unhittable on the road all season, posting a 1.27 ERA with 20 strikeouts to just three walks in 21.1 innings.
THRICE AS NICE
Sophomore Jacob Gonzalez had himself a day in the Saturday game against Alabama, crushing three long balls to tie the single-game school record and become the first Rebel to hit three home runs in a game since Jude Voltz against Vanderbilt on April 2, 1999. It is the eighth time a Rebel has ever hit three big flies in one game and Gonzalez becomes the 7th different player to accomplish the feat. For his efforts, Gonzalez was one of four nominees for the Golden Spikes Award Performance of the Week.
REBS DIG THE LONG BALL
Ole Miss has been doing much of its damage this season by sending balls over the fence, ranking 11th in the nation with 61 home runs on the year. The Rebels have two double-digit home run hitters in SEC leader Tim Elko (15) and Jacob Gonzalez (11). The Rebels have hit back-to-back home runs three times this season, including launching three in a row at UCF.
Ole Miss has three former players currently on MLB rosters in Lance Lynn (Chicago White Sox), Mike Mayers (Los Angeles Angels) and Drew Pomeranz (San Diego Padres).
Ole Miss ranks fourth in the nation in both total and average attendance this season. In the 22 home games available in the most recent data, 218,848 total fans have packed the stands at Swayze Field, good for an average of 9,948 per game.
Tim Elko has slugged 15 home runs this season, tying for second most in the SEC and ranking sixth in the nation. With two homers on Saturday against South Carolina, Elko moved into a tie for fifth place all-time in Ole Miss career record books with 37 home runs in his career, tying Burney Hutchinson (1999-02) and Stephen Head (2003-05).
Peyton Chatagnier ranks fifth in the nation in sacrifice flies, pacing the SEC with six. Three of Chatagnier's sacrifices came in the same game as the junior plated Reagan Burford three times in the Friday night win over VCU. Meanwhile, Burford ranks 16th in the country and fourth in the SEC with five sacrifice flies, while TJ McCants ranks 18th in the SEC with three of his own. Overall, Ole Miss' 22 sac flies are the 14th most in college baseball, second in the SEC.
WE LOVE FREE BASES
Ole Miss has shown patience at the plate and has made it pay off. The Rebels have received 198 free passes via walks and HBPs, with 94 of those runners coming around to score.
Senior right-handed reliever Brandon Johnson is one of 66 players tabbed to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List. Johnson is one of nine SEC players and one of four from the SEC West named to the watch list.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Ole Miss is one of five programs to host at least 10 NCAA Regional appearances since 2004, joining Florida State, Florida, LSU and North Carolina. The Rebels are also one of eight programs to earn at least five regional hosting bids since 2014, being joined by Florida State, Florida, LSU, Louisville, TCU, Vanderbilt and Texas Tech.
THE BOYS ARE BACK!
Ole Miss returns nearly the entirety of its potent offense from the 2021 season with eight of nine positional starters returning to the Rebel lineup, Ole Miss is poised once again to put up gawdy numbers on the scoreboard.
Percentage Return from 2021
• Games Started - 88.6%
• Runs - 88.5%
• Hits - 91.8%
• Doubles - 91.7%
• Triples - 100%
• Home Runs - 90.6%
• RBIs - 91.3%
• Walks - 85.1%
WHO'S NUMBER ONE?
Despite being picked to tie for second in the SEC West, Ole Miss was also projected as SEC Champions with the most first place votes in the 2022 SEC Preseason Poll, voted on by the league's head coaches. Ole Miss is seeking its first regular season conference title since 2009.
SEC PRESEASON COACHES POLL
East (Championship Votes)
1. Vanderbilt (2)
2. Florida (2)
5. South Carolina
West (Championship Votes)
1. Arkansas (3)
2. Ole Miss (4)
2. Mississippi State (2)
4. LSU (1)
6. Texas A&M
Ole Miss has nine junior college products on the 2022 roster, five of which are new additions. Four of the five JUCO players come from schools within the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference.
THAT'S GOLD, JERRY
Ole Miss' Hayden Dunhurst and Jacob Gonzalez were two of 55 players named to the 2022 Golden Spikes Award Preseason watch list, announced by USA Baseball. The Rebels are one of just eight teams with multiple players on the list, joining LSU, Arizona State, Arkansas, California, Florida, Texas and Vanderbilt.
STARS AND STRIPES
Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco has been tapped as the manager for the 2022 USA Collegiate National Team for this upcoming summer, marking the Rebel skipper's managerial debut for the Red, White and Blue. It will be the second time donning a Team USA uniform for Bianco, who served as the pitching coach for the Collegiate National Team in 2013. Under Bianco's guidance, the USA posted a 1.87 ERA, a 20-3 record and 222 strikeouts. The remaining 2022 Collegiate National Team staff, as well as more information about the 2022 Collegiate National Team schedule, will be announced at a later date.
Of the 41 players on the Ole Miss roster, 11 hail from the state of Mississippi. The 11 local products are tied for the most for the Rebels since 2017.
Ole Miss led the nation in attendance in 2021 with 303,859 fans entering the gates at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field across 40 games. The Rebels' average attendance of 7,596 also ranked first in college baseball, with Ole Miss ranking as one of just three schools to average more than 4,000 fans per game. During the season, Ole Miss welcomed four of the top-10 single game crowds and two of the top-three series crowds ever seen in Oxford, setting the record in the three-game set against Arkansas.
Top-10 Single-Game Crowds
4. April 10 vs. Arkansas - 11,857
5. April 23 vs. LSU - 11,788
7. April 24 vs. LSU - 11,653
8. April 10 vs. Arkansas - 11,524
Top-3 Series Crowds
1. April 10-11 vs. Arkansas - 33,423
3. April 22-24 vs. LSU - 32,476
STARS IN THE MAKING
Ole Miss has six players ranked in D1Baseball's Top 2022 MLB Draft College Prospect Rankings. All six Rebels are ranked inside the top-150, tied for the most in the top-150 in the nation. Additionally, a pair of Rebs find themself in the top-100 for the 2023 rankings.
Rebels in the Top 2022 MLB Draft Prospect Rankings
• Hayden Dunhurst - No. 27
• TJ McCants* - No. 49
• Derek Diamond - No. 63
• Jack Washburn - No. 101
• Kevin Graham - No. 124
• Drew McDaniel - No. 133
Rebels in the Top 2023 MLB Draft Prospect Rankings
• Jacob Gonzalez - No. 2
• Jack Dougherty - No. 55
* - Draft eligible sophomore
STUDS AROUND THE DIAMOND
When D1Baseball released its top-50 position power rankings this offseason, Ole Miss was well represented, landing at least one player at every single position. The Rebels' full rankings can be found below:
Rebels in the Top-50 Position Rankings
• Jacob Gonzalez - No. 2 shortstop
• Hayden Dunhurst - No. 4 catcher
• Tim Elko - No. 5 first baseman
• Peyton Chatagnier - No. 13 second baseman
• Justin Bench - No. 25 third baseman
• Kevin Graham - No. 16 outfielder
• TJ McCants - No. 32 outfielder
• Derek Diamond - No. 40 starting pitcher
• Brandon Johnson - No. 41 relief pitcher
• Jack Dougherty - No. 62 relief pitcher
• Jack Washburn - No. 75 starting pitcher
• John Gaddis - No. 76 starting pitcher
• Drew McDaniel - No. 115 starting pitcher
HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIDE
Ole Miss has bolstered the roster with three new lefties in transfer John Gaddis and true freshmen Hunter Elliott and Luke Ellis. Relief arm Jackson Kimbrell also returns to the Rebel roster.
RESPECT FROM THEIR PEERS
Ole Miss landed a league-high five players on the Preseason All-SEC team, having a player recognized at four of five infield positions.
Ole Miss Preseason All-SEC Selections
• Jacob Gonzalez - Shortstop - First Team
• Hayden Dunhurst - Catcher - Second Team
• Tim Elko - First Base - Second Team
• Peyton Chatagnier - Second Team
• Kevin Graham - Second Team
YOU'RE GONZO GO FAR, KID
Bursting onto the scene last season with one of the greatest true freshmen seasons ever in a Rebel uniform, shortstop Jacob Gonzalez quickly established himself as one of the nation's elite young talents. In addition to being named D1Baseball's National Freshman of the Year, the California native joined Stephen Head as the only Rebs ever to be named an All-American as a freshman, earning the honor from both D1Baseball and the NCBWA. Starting all 67 games at short, Gonzalez led all true freshmen in hits and runs scored. Poised for another big season, the sophomore has reeled in a myriad of preseason honors for 2022.
Gonzalez' Preseason Honor Round Up
• Preseason All-America (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, D1Baseball, NCBWA, Perfect Game)
• First Team Preseason All-SEC
• D1Baseball No. 2 '23 College Draft Prospect
• D1Baseball No. 3 '23 College Draft SEC Prospect
• D1Baseball No. 2 ranked shortstop
COME TO THE SIP
With a pair of electric arms departing for the Major League Baseball Draft in Gunnar Hoglund and Doug Nikhazy, Ole Miss utilized the transfer portal to bring in some talent on the mound in Division I transfers John Gaddis and Jack Washburn. Both bring quality experience to the Rebel roster, with Gaddis pitching four seasons at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Washburn moving to Oxford after two seasons at Oregon State.
The Gaddis File
• 2021 All-Southland Second Team
• 13 appearances with 10 starts in 2021
• Won five games with a team-low 2.25 ERA
• 72 strikeouts in 64.0 innings of work
• 7.0 or more innings in 6-of-last-7 starts
The Washburn File
• Son of former MLB star Jarrod Washburn
• 21 appearances with five starts in 2021
• 3.12 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 34.2 innings