April 17, 2012
First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
It's the Rebels' second trip to the Braves' AA stadium, but that contest against Southern Miss was postponed to May 1 due to inclement weather. Today could be an encore, as more than an inch of rain is expected in the area throughout the day.
The in-state game begins a generous travel stretch for the Rebels, with 15 of Ole Miss' next 16 games inside Mississippi -- 10 in Oxford, two in Pearl and three in Starkville. The lone exception is an April 24 game at Memphis. It comes at a good time after Ole Miss spent the past two weekends going 2-4 in Lexington, Ky., and Athens, Ga.
Should the weather cooperate, UM head coach Mike Bianco said his Rebels are excited for the game, even though it has no bearing on the Southeastern Conference standings.
"It's terrific," Bianco said. "We get to play on a Tuesday night down there in front of a lot of people that we don't normally get to play in front of and it's usually a great crowd."
While it's a rivalry game, the Rebels and Bulldogs are staying with their normal midweek starters. Ole Miss freshman right-hander Sam Smith (2-2, 3.60) will oppose MSU freshman right-hander Brandon Woodruff (0-0, 2.70).
Bianco is 25-23 against Mississippi State as Ole Miss' head coach. He's 7-4 against the Bulldogs in Mayor's Trophy/Governor's Cup games.
Ole Miss and MSU carry RPIs of No. 20 and No. 48 into the game, respectively.