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PREVIEW: Auburn Set to Close Regular Season with Ole Miss

Casey Mize is scheduled to pitch in Friday's game against Ole Miss (Photo: Auburn Athletics/Kenny Moss)

#23 Auburn Baseball (32-21, 14-13 SEC) will continue their journey towards picking up their first win in eight tries beginning Thursday when the Ole Miss Rebels (31-22, 13-14 SEC) pay a visit to Plainsman Park in Auburn for the regular season finale. AUBURN: Head Coach Butch Thompson announced on Wednesday that the “usual” rotation will be presented this weekend, with Keegan Thompson tossing on Thursday, Casey Mize throwing on Friday, and freshman Davis Daniel returning to the rotation on Saturday. The rotation was altered last weekend at LSU, due to the series beginning on Thursday. Andrew Mitchell began the series on Thursday, with Thompson and Mize throwing in the remaining two games respectively. Daniel pitched 1.1 innings on Saturday, allowing two earned runs. Shortstop Luke Jarvis will be a game-time decision on Thursday. Jarvis has battled back spasms since the April 28-30 series at Mississippi State, where he did not start in either game of the series. He returned for the Alabama series, but was lifted in the fifth inning of game one of a Saturday doubleheader, and has not played since. According to Coach Butch Thompson, Jarvis has participated in practice, but only in one session a day. In his absence, Will Holland has hit .138 with four RBI. The only position up for debate is left field. Sam Gillikin broke up a no-hit bid in Baton Rouge on Saturday afternoon with a solo home run. Thompson says that Gillikin could see a start in Thursday’s game with a right-handed pitcher on the mound in sophomore James McArthur for Ole Miss. “He’s got a jump, he has his timing down. He is probably swinging the bat better than he has all year,” said Thompson of Gillikin’s performance in practice over the last three days. Jeremy Johnson and Bo Decker are other possibilities for Thompson and the Auburn defense for left field this weekend. If Jarvis is able to go at any point in the weekend, that frees up Jay Estes to be an available option. Dylan Ingram and Jonah Todd continue to swing a hot stick for Auburn. Ingram leads the team in average with .474 and has two RBI, tied with Estes, Johnson, and Damon Haecker over the last five games. Todd is batting .261 with six hits over the same span. OLE MISS: Mike Bianco’s club enters the series with Auburn with a 31-22 record, 13-14 in SEC play. Most recently, the Rebels took two of three from Texas A&M at Swayze Field in Oxford. Ole Miss has swept one series, Alabama, and has taken two of three from five SEC opponents this season, including Vanderbilt, Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas A&M. The Rebels have lost series’ to Florida, Mississippi State, and Kentucky. The Rebels have two batters hitting over .300, led by Nick Fortes’ .320 average. The key batter to watch for is Colby Bortles, who leads the team in home runs with 10, and RBI with 41. The pitching rotation will feature two lefty’s, and a right-hander. Thursday will see sophomore James McArthur hit the mound. In 11 starts, the 6’7” McArthur is 3-5 with a 4.70 ERA, striking out 56 batters in 61.1 innings. Friday’s starter will be left-hander Ryan Rollison, who is 6-2 with a 2.48 ERA. Rollison is second on the team with 61 strikeouts, allowing ten earned runs in nine starts. Finally, Saturday’s starter is ace David Parkinson. Parkinson leads the Rebels in strikeouts with 68 and has a 3.48 ERA in 13 starts. Another key pitcher to watch is Dallas Woolfolk, the Ole Miss closer. Woolfolk has 12 saves, has struck out 40, and has a 2.00 ERA. Auburn hosts Ole Miss to close out the regular season, beginning Thursday at Plainsman Park. THURSDAY (6PM, WTGZ 93.9) -

THOMPSON (5-4, 2.48 ERA) vs McARTHUR (3-5, 4.70 ERA)

FRIDAY (6 PM, WTGZ 93.9)-

MIZE (6-2, 1.97 ERA) vs ROLLISON (6-2, 2.48 ERA)


DANIEL (3-2, 5.28 ERA) vs PARKINSON (6-3, 3.48 ERA)

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