I can almost smell it…
The first pitch, the first hit, the first 7th inning stretch, the first playing of Sweet Caroline….
BASEBALL SEASON IS ALMOST HERE REBEL FANS!!!!
Now that that is out of the way, I found it appropriate to dive head first into previewing the 2016 version of the Diamond Rebs. Enjoy!
Ole Miss Baseball preseason ranking: #24 – Baseball America
Coach Mike Bianco Record: 687-417-1 (587-347-1 at OleMiss)14 Regionals, 5 Super Regionals, 1 CWS appearance.
Bianco has never had a losing season with the Rebels, missing the postseason in Oxford only twice. Bianco has fully established the Rebels as a yearly postseason player.
Opening Game: 2-19 vs FIU 4:00 PM. Swayze Field (for full schedule)
Player to watch: Colby Bortles- With 7 homeruns and a .281 batting average last season as a Sophomore, Bortles will be a consistent threat for the opposing teams and has out of the park ability at any time. Third year in the program, expect a huge year from the Florida native.
Wildcard player: Sean Johnson, the junior from Durango Colorado, missed last season due to Tommy John surgery. Prior to that, he was 10-1 Iowa Western CC with 88 k’s and 16 bb’s according to his biography per olemisssports.com. If he comes back healthy and 100 percent, he could be a signifcant contributor for the 2016 program.
Weekend of interest: Louisville Cardinals February 26-28
Louisville coach Dan Mcdonell is a former Mike Bianco understudy at OleMiss with a record of 406-177 and has turned Louisville into a national power as Bianco has done in Oxford. This would be a great chance at a signature RPI boost and momentum grab going into March and into SEC play.
What to expect: The Rebels junior nucleus of JB Woodman, Errol Robinson, Colby Bortles, Wyatt Short etc. should be of great benefit. Hosting a Regional at Swayze Field is not farfetched. 38 wins going into the SEC tournament sounds about right at this point. Hotty Toddy Rebel fans! See you at Swayze!