Back To SEC Play

Ole Miss is at Tennessee beginning tonight in need of wins. The Rebels had a solid weekend against Alabama and need a repeat.

Tennessee is a team that doesn't sport an impressive record. The Volunteers are 17-18 overall and 5-10 in Southeastern Conference play.

Ole Miss (26-12, 7-8) comes into the series off two local non-conference losses – to Memphis and to Southern Mississippi.

But it's the series a week ago against the Crimson Tide the Rebels will have to draw from beginning tonight. And that's always an easy thing to do given it's an SEC series and also that Bobby Wahl is on the mound.

Tennessee is on a three-game win streak, claiming the back two games of the Kentucky series and a non-conference win against Virginia Tech this week.

While the teams are fairly close in offensive overall statistics, they aren't nearly as close as far as pitching goes. Ole Miss has quite the upper glove in that department.

Tennessee is batting .280 overall as a team, while Ole Miss is hitting .270.

In SEC games, however, Tennessee maintains that .280 average, while Ole Miss is last in the league batting .223. In runs scored in SEC games, Ole Miss is 12th and Tennessee fifth.

On the mound, the Rebels are superior. In SEC games, Ole Miss has a ERA of 3.00, third in the league currently, while UT is 14 – dead last – at 7.16. The Rebels should be able to score more runs than usual since that's the case.

Here's the starting pitching rotation for the weekend, with the two teams throwing six right-handed starters:

Aaron Quillen (1-1, 5.40) vs. Bobby Wahl (7-0, 1.40)

Nick Williams (2-2, 5.25) vs. Mike Mayers (2-4, 2.98)

Zack Godley (3-4, 3.26) vs. Sam Smith (2-0, 3.78)

In nine starts, Wahl has held opponents to one earned run or less in seven outings - and one time with two earned runs. In his two no decisions, Wahl allowed two earned runs in a quality start at Florida and no earned runs in a quality start against No. 2 Vanderbilt. The Rebels did not trail in either of those games when Wahl left the game despite him taking no decision.

Some other Tennessee notes:

• Will Maddox is one of four Vols hitting over .300, batting at a .357 clip with 17 RBI as the top hitter for UT.

• The Volunteer offense steals bases at a clip of 61 steals on 85 attempts as an offense that pressures foes.

• Zack Godley is actually the top pitcher for the Vols with a 3-4 record, a 3.26 ERA and two complete-game shutouts.

Ole Miss swept the Vols in Oxford last season.

Game times this weekend are 5 p.m. (CT) Friday, 3 p.m. (CT) Saturday, and 1 p.m. (CT) Sunday.

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