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The No. 5 Arkansas Razorbacks are set to welcome rival Ole Miss to Baum-Walker Stadium on Friday to begin a three-game set with the Rebels.
At the beginning of the season, fans of Southeastern Conference baseball circled this series date on their calendars, and they believed that they would be in for a great series between two of the conference’s elite programs. But, since time has passed, the series has lost its shine.
Ole Miss began the season in the top-5 of the national polls and would remain in the top-10 until the week of April 11, when Alabama swept the Rebels in Oxford, dropping them completely out of the top-25 from their No. 8 ranking a week prior.
Since the series loss to the Crimson Tide, Ole Miss has only mustered two wins in SEC games, dropping their last two series to South Carolina and arch-rival Mississippi State. Sandwiched in-between those series losses was a 13-3 thumping by Southeast Missouri State. The Rebels were able to get some revenge on Mississippi State however during a midweek contest, defeating the Bulldogs 5-2 at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss on Tuesday in a non-SEC affair.
Arkansas hopes for an offensive revival this weekend as they return to Baum-Walker Stadium for the first time in four games. The Razorbacks could only tally four runs in the first two games of their most recent conference series at Texas A&M before falling short in an 11-10 game on Sunday, where they lost just their second SEC series of the season.
The bats were relatively quiet during their midweek game with Central Arkansas in Little Rock on Tuesday as well, with the only true run was scored on an RBI single by Dylan Leach. The final run scored thanks to a wild pitch with the bases loaded to give Arkansas the 2-1 walk-off win over the Bears in the 10th inning.
The Razorbacks square off with the Rebels for game one of the three-game set at Baum-Walker Stadium tonight at 6:30 p.m.
Here's when you should tune in to see the game:
Date: Friday, April 29
Time: 6:30 p.m. CT
Location: Baum-Walker Stadium, Fayetteville
Stream: SEC Network+
How to Listen:
Listen to Arkansas Razorbacks baseball all season long on your local Razorbacks Sports Network affiliate. Phil Elson and Bubba Carpenter provide the call.
BASEBALL RADIO AFFILIATES
Hot Springs / Mena
RHP Connor Noland (5-2, 2.54 ERA, 74 K, 14 BB)
RHP Dylan DeLucia (3-0, 4.40 ERA, 41 K, 10 BB)
Noland took just his second loss of the season last Friday at Texas A&M. In a “tough luck” outing, Noland struck out seven batters while allowing two hits and gave up two unearned runs in the Razorbacks’ 2-1 loss to the Aggies in College Station. It was the third game in a row that Noland had pitched at least six innings and struck out seven batters.
Despite Ole Miss’ recent struggles, they have won the series opener in two straight weekends thanks to the efforts of Dylan DeLucia on the mound. In his most recent start, DeLucia struck out eight batters and allowed two earned runs in a complete-game effort as Ole Miss defeated Mississippi State, 4-2 in Oxford. In Ole Miss’ 9-1 win over South Carolina on April 14, DeLucia threw 7.2 innings, allowing an earned run on six hits.
Players to watch:
Average: Michael Turner (.329)
Hits: Cayden Wallace (50)
RBI: Brady Slavens (42)
Home runs: Brady Slavens (10)
Average: Tim Elko (.306)
Hits: Justin Bench (45)
RBI: Tim Elko (51)
Home runs: Tim Elko (16)