Ole Miss vs Maryland: 2023 SEC Baseball series preview, prediction

While there were still a few intriguing matchups last week during Opening Weekend, week two of the 2023 SEC baseball season you could say is even better, headlined by a few ranked-vs-ranked showdowns.

Arguably the biggest of those matchups comes in Oxford, MS, as defending national champion Ole Miss is set to host the Maryland Terrapins of the Big Ten.

Ole Miss vs Maryland: 2023 SEC Baseball series preview, prediction

When: Friday, February 24 – Sunday, February 26 on SEC Network+

Where: Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field, Oxford, MS

Ole Miss, the defending national champions, come into the weekend ranked as the No. 4 team in the country according to D1Baseball.com, owning an undefeated 4-0 overall record. The Rebels have begun the season on an impressive note, sweeping Delaware at home last weekend, which was followed by an 11-3 home win over Arkansas State on Tuesday.

All nine of Ole Miss’ top hitters are currently batting for over a .300 AVG this season, a group that is led by infielder Peyton Chatagnier with a .583 AVG. Two others are also batting over .400 in Kemp Alderman and TJ McCants, while star shortstop Jacob Gonzalez leads the Rebels with nine RBI on the year.

The Rebels three starters from last weekend were Hunter Elliott, Xavier Rivas, and Grayson Saunier, with Elliott drawing the start last Friday night. Ole Miss also has two relievers who have each worked at-least two perfect innings this season in Jack Dougherty and Mitch Murrell.

Maryland comes to Oxford ranked as the No. 13 team in the country according to D1Baseball.com, owning a 2-2 overall record. The Terrapins originally began the season last weekend with a 2-1 road series win at South Florida, and would also fall to West Virginia on Tuesday by a final score of 8-6.

The Terrapins lineup enters the weekend batting a combined .279 as a team, led by Matt Shaw, who is MLB Pipeline’s No. 20 overall prospect in the 2023 MLB Draft, with a .500 AVG. Maryland also has two others batting north of .300+ in Ian Petrutz and Elijah Lambros, while Nick Lorusso is currently leading the Terrapins with seven RBI.

As for the pitching, Maryland’s three starters are Nick Dean, Nate Haberthier, and Jason Savacool, with the Terrapins also having two relievers who have appeared in at-least three innings this season. Those two are Nigel Belgrave and Logan Ott, with Belgrave having not allowed an earned run this season.

As for a prediction as to who wins the series, I’ll say that the advantage goes to Ole Miss playing on their home field. This will certainly be an early season test for the Rebels however, with the Terrapins a team that is easily capable of coming into Oxford, and leaving with a series win.

Prediction: Ole Miss 2-1