Rebels travel to Missouri to face Tigers in weekend series

Posted on May 1 2015 - 2:18pm by Brian Scott Rippee 
Colby Burtles steps off the plate to throw at the April 15 game.

Colby Burtles steps off the plate to throw at the April 15 game.

The Ole Miss baseball team will travel to Columbia this weekend to face Missouri for a three-game series.

Ole Miss comes into the game with a 24-22 overall record and 10-11 in Southeastern Conference play. Ole Miss is coming off of a midweek win against in-state rival Mississippi State and have won five of their last seven games.

The Rebels will look to add to their NCAA tournament resumé with a series win against the Tigers.

Missouri comes into the game trending in the opposite direction. The Tigers are 26-19 on the year and 12-9 in SEC play, but have lost five straight games including being swept at Vanderbilt last weekend.

Junior left-hander Christian Trent will take the ball for the Rebels on Friday night and will be going up against junior right-hander Reggie McClain for Missouri. Trent comes into the game with a record of 6-4 with a 3.75 ERA and is coming off of a win against Alabama in his last start.

McClain is 5-5 on the year and is coming off of a loss against Florida in his last start. The junior owns a 5-5 overall record with a 3.79 ERA.

Ole Miss will throw sophomore right-hander Brady Bramlett on Saturday. Bramlett comes into the game with a record of 5-2 and a 2.18 ERA. Bramlett’s ERA of 2.18 ranks third in the conference holds opponents to just a .216 average at the plate.

Ole Miss is still undecided between senior left-hander Sam Smith and freshman left-hander Will Stokes for Sunday. Senior right-hander Scott Weatherby is also an option.

Missouri will throw freshman right-hander Tanner Houck on Saturday. Houck is 6-3 on the year with a 3.54 ERA and will be looking to bounce back after giving up seven runs in last week’s loss to Vanderbilt. Junior right-hander Peter Fairbanks will start for the Tigers on Sunday. Fairbanks owns a 4-3 record with a 2.52 ERA.

The Tigers are led offensively by the top of their order, who have particularly hit well in the recent weeks.

Over the last 12 games, the Tigers have been led by their 2-4 hitters in sophomore outfielder Jake Ring, sophomore infielder Ryan Howard and junior infielder Josh Lester.

Howard is hitting .340 with seven RBIs and six runs while tallying a pair of doubles and a homer. Lester is hitting .341, hitting safely in 11 of the last 12 games with seven runs and eight RBIs. Lester has also totaled three homers and three doubles. Ring is hitting .298 with nine RBIs and eight runs scored while slugging six extra-base hits during the 12 game span.

Ole Miss will look to continue production from a couple of hitters that have been swinging a hot bat over the last couple of weeks. Junior outfielder Connor Cloyd has been hitting well and has recorded seven straight multi-hit games and 11 alone during the month of April.

Sophomore third baseman Colby Bortles is coming off of a multi-hit game as well as two RBIs in the midweek win over Mississippi State and has swung well over the last two weeks, providing a spark for the Rebel offense.

Ole Miss will need to continue to keep the momentum going on their way to earning a bid to the NCAA tournament. The Rebels have ten games remaining in the 2015 schedule and would greatly benefit from a road series win this weekend.

First pitch Friday is set for 6 p.m.

Brian Scott Rippee