Entering the weekend at No. 4, Ole Miss baseball hosts No. 5 Arkansas in the first game of a three-game series tonight at Swayze Field.
Ole Miss comes into the series with recent history on its side. The last time these two teams faced one another was in April of the 2016-17 season, when the Rebels won a series that included 9-1 and 4-1 wins, and they have not lost a two-out-of-three to the Razorbacks since the 2014-15 season at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
History aside, both teams have had notable 2018 seasons and are evenly matched in terms of talent. Ole Miss currently holds a 23-3 overall record and has only lost one game at home this year. Arkansas has a record of 18-7 but matches Ole Miss’ 4-2 record in conference play.
However, Ole Miss marks Arkansas’ third consecutive SEC opponent ranked fourth or better nationally. Arkansas opened SEC play two weekends ago and swept then-No. 4 Kentucky at Baum Stadium before losing two of three to the No. 2 Gators in Gainesville.
After winning series against Tennessee and then No. 12 Texas A&M, Ole Miss comes off an impressive comeback win in its game against No. 14 Southern Mississippi on Tuesday night. Ole Miss was down 5-0 by the third inning but rallied back to take the game 7-6 behind a Thomas Dillard three-run home run. Dillard is riding a 15-game hitting streak and looks to extend his streak to 16 games Thursday night.
Additionally, the midweek victory marked the first time the Rebels came back from a 5-0 deficit since their game against Kentucky on May 14, 2016.
In Tuesday’s game, sophomore Greer Holston picked up his first win of the season on his ninth relief appearance, and Parker Caracci earned his fourth save of the season, which now puts him only two behind the team leader, Dallas Woolfolk.
Arkansas comes off of a similar win Tuesday night when it beat the Memphis Tigers 8-7 in a game that traded leads five times. Redshirt senior Carson Shaddy had a big game that ended with three RBIs. This is the fifth game this season that Shaddy has had three or more RBIs, and in his past 12 games, he holds a .419 average on 18 hits, with 13 RBIs and four home runs. There is no doubt the 5-foot-11 infielder will be a tough hitter for the Rebel staff to pitch around.
Casey Martin is another Arkansas player the Rebels need to watch out for. Thus far, in his first season with the Razorbacks, the freshman from Lonoke, Arkansas, has a .346 average with 27 hits and seven home runs.
The first pitch for Thursday’s game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CST. All of the games in this series will be streamed on SEC Network+.