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Series Preview: Alabama at Ole Miss

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The Crimson Tide travels to Oxford to take on the Ole Miss Rebels in a key SEC series this weekend.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama is once again facing an almost must win situation this weekend as they travel to Oxford to take on The Ole Miss Rebels. The Rebels are off to a disappointing 21-20 start, 8-10 in the SEC. 'Bama has to get over the hump and actually win a big series after several near misses. A sweep would be preferable, but two of three would put the team on the right track.

Ole Miss does nothing particularly well, and their record shows it. The Rebels are near the bottom in team batting average in the SEC with a .255 mark. They have an on base percentage of .354, a slugging percentage of .363 and 22 home runs as a team to go along with 69 doubles , five triples and 37 stolen bases (in 57 attempts.) The team averages five runs per game.

Will Golsan is the Rebels leading hitter with a .308 average, the only full time regular over .300. Part time starter Conner Cloyd is hitting .396 in 53 at bats.  J.B. Woodman checks in at .289 and has five home runs and leads the team in runs with 29, hits with 43, walks with 31 and on base percentage at .410. Cody Bortles, brother of NFL quarterback Blake, has six home runs with a .274 average, and leads in RBIs with 32. Firat baseman Sikes Orvis, he of the majestic mustache, leads the team with eight home runs, and has also driven in 32 despite a paltry .232 batting average. Shortstop Erroll Robinson is hitting .265, Cameron Dishon leads in stolen bases with 12 out of 18 attempts and is hitting .233. The Rebels have drawn 182 walks and have struck out 341 times, over eight times per game. There just isn't much to fear in this Ole Miss line up.

The Rebel pitching staff has an ERA of 4.09 in 362 innings, and has allowed 365 hits with 130 walks and 297 strikeouts. Wyatt Short has the best ERA at 0.67 and has six saves and a 3-1 record in 15 appearances. Scott Weathersby has a 2.27 ERA in 12 appearances, and those two along with Jacob Waguespack and his 17 appearances with a  3.13 ERA are the strength of the pitching staff. The starters will be Christain Trent, 5-4 4.09 ERA on Friday, Brady Bramlett, 4-2, 2.47 ERA on Saturday and Will Stokes, 1-4 with a 6.55 ERA on Sunday.

The Tide is hitting .280 as a team with 19 home runs, 76 doubles and 16 triples and has scored 228 runs, an average of 5.7 per game. 'Bama has stolen 48 bases in 65 tries, is slugging .396 and has a .358 on base percentage. Casey Hughston continues to lead in average at .363 and leads the team in home runs with five,and his second with 10 doubles and 31 runs driven in. Mikey White is next with a .353 average and leads the team with 13 doubles, six triples, 37 runs scored, a .600 slugging mark, 90 total bases and a .444 on base percentage. J.C. Wilhite has a .314 average and Kyle Overstreet is at .297 and leads the team with 32 RBIs.Cody Henry has been hot of late and is hitting .294 and leads the team with 18 walks and has a .429 on base percentage. Georgie Salem has been the teams hottest hitter over the last three weeks, and has raised his average to 261 after a slow start. Salem also leads the team with 13 stolen bases to go along with eight doubles, three triples and three home runs. Chandler Avant has a .261 average and nine stolen bases.  Will Haynie has four home runs and has driven in 21.

Alabama has a team ERA of 3.89 in 366 innings pitched and have walked 175 with 308 strikeouts. The staff has allowed only 15 home runs on the season. Saturday starter Jake Walters has a 4-1 record with a team leading 1.38 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 32 innings. Friday starter Taylor Guilbeau has a 2-3 record with a 3.29 ERA and a team leading 56 strikeouts. Sunday starter Geoffrey Bramblett leads the Tide with five wins, and has a 5-2 record with a 4.22 ERA. Ray Castillo is 3-0 Record and four saves with a 2.04 ERA. Thomas Burrows has a team leading 19 appearances and has four saves with a 4.15 ERA. Mitch Greer has a 2.93 ERA in 13 trips to the mound. Nick Eicholtz is 3-0 with 1.86  ERA. Jay Shaw contributes valuable innings and has a 3.38 ERA. Side-armer J.C. Wilhite is a situational contributor and has an ERA of 4.35.

Friday's game is at 6:30 p.m. and will be available on SEC Network Plus. Saturday is a 7 p.m first pitch on the SEC Network and Sunday is set for noon and will be televised on ESPN.    Roll Tide. Bama Baseball Fever Catch It.