May 01, 2012
OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss starts a busy -- and very important -- week with a trip to Trustmark Park in Pearl to face Southern Miss at 6:30 p.m.
Coming off four losses in five games, the No. 24 Rebels (28-16) play five times in the next six days. The date with the Golden Eagles is a make-up game after their last meeting was postponed due to inclement weather on April 3. Fans with tickets from the rainout earlier this season can exchange them at the stadium box office to receive a ticket for this game.
Ole Miss returns home the rest of the week and begins a seven-game homestand, hosting Murray State on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and No. 4 LSU this weekend in a crucial Southeastern Conference series. Ole Miss is currently in a three-way tie for sixth in the SEC but would be eighth if the conference tournament started today -- due to series losses to Auburn and Mississippi State.
Rebels freshman Josh Laxer will start against USM. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 5.51 ERA. He's pitched 16.1 innings with nine strikeouts and five walks. The Madison Central product last saw action against Arkansas, throwing 2.1 scoreless innings in the series finale.
USM will start left-hander Dillon Day, who hasn't pitched this season. The junior gave up a hit and had a strikeout in a one-inning appearance against the Rebels last season.
The Golden Eagles beat Ole Miss, 10-0, earlier this season in Oxford and are 25-18 on the season. However, their postseason hopes are in jeopardy with a current RPI of 101. Ole Miss has the No. 22 RPI.
Mike Bianco is 12-13 against Southern Miss in his 12 seasons. Ole Miss leads the all-time series 70-43.
REBS NAB 2014 COMMITMENT: Ole Miss picked up a verbal commitment from 2014 right-handed pitcher John Wesley Ray on Monday.
The 6-foot-5, 195-pound right-handed pitcher chose the Rebels over Vanderbilt, Tennessee, USM and Mississippi State. The Collierville (Christian Brothers), Tenn., sophomore will be eligible to sign in fall of 2013.
Ray topped out at 87 MPH during the World Wood Bat Association 18U National Championship last July. He's highly projectable moving forward.
Altamonte Springs (Lake Brantley), Fla., middle infielder Tate Blackman is also committed to Ole Miss in that class.