Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Quick Look at Mizzou

The Rebels take on Mizzour tomorrow morning in what is built up to be a show down on the mound. The game will showcase two of college baseballs top pitchers. While Lance Lynn has been up and down this season, he is still considered one of college baseballs best. While Crow from Missouri is without a doubt one of the top 5 in baseball. Crow holds a 12-0 record and up until the Big 12 tourney had something like 42 scoreless innings or some crazy stat like that.

I don't see the Rebels making it out of the sunshine state. I see the Rebels going 1-2 in Miami and calling it quits on the season. If it was in anohter bracket, that would be a different story, but the Rebels are in too tough of a regional to make it out. They are the three seed in a regional in which three of the four could make it to Omaha. Oh well.

THIS SERIES: Ole Miss and Missouri have faced off six times in the history of the series with a 3-3 record in the overall series. The Rebels and Tigers last met in the 1987 season with Ole Miss claiming the series win two games to one in Oxford. The first time the two teams met was in the 1958 season with the Tigers claiming both games played between the two teams. Ole Miss and Missouri also faced off in a singe game in the 1978 season with the Tigers claiming the victory.

HOW TIGERS GOT HERE: Like the Rebels, Mizzou is making its sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and is 38-19 on the year after finishing fourth in the Big 12 Conference. The Tigers are led by junior RHP Aaron Crow, who was the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year. Crow is tied for the lead nationally with a 12-0 record and led the Big 12 with 117 strikeouts on the year. Joining Crow on the All-Big 12 First Team were sophomore LF Aaron Senne and senior DH/RF Jacob Priday. Senneo is hitting .358 on the year with 13 home runs and a team-best 63 RBI, and Priday leads Mizzou with 16 home runs on the year, hitting .343 with 62 RBI.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Back Again

For the sixth consecutive year, Mike Bianco has taken his Ole Miss baseball team to the postseason. However this year, the Rebs will take their show on the road for this year's regional and will go to arguably the toughest regional of all the 16 host sites. Ole Miss is matched up in the Coral Gables regional with #2 seed Missouri on Friday and would more than likely take on #1 overall seed Miami, should they be able to get passed Mizzou.

Missouri is a very good team that has one of the best pitchers in the country. This will be a huge challenge for the Rebels to take on Missouri in what will probably be the best 2-3 matchup pitching wise in the entire tournament.

Some Rebel fans would like to blame certain AD's or committee's for this draw. While they definitely had a decision in placing the selected schools, they are not the sole reason for the tough draw the Rebs will face. This Ole Miss baseball team did it to themselves. When a team loses to the likes of Central Arkansas and barely gets into their own conference tournament they deserve a low seed. Let's face it just because they won three games in the conference tourney doesn't mean they should automatically make a huge jump up in the polls or seedings.

It's a tough job to get to Omaha no matter where you play.

OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss (37-24) advanced to its sixth consecutive NCAA Regional on Monday when the field of 64 teams for the NCAA Tournament was announced, and the Rebels will open tournament play against Missouri (38-19) on Friday, May 30 at 11 a.m. CDT.

The Rebels are a three seed in the Miami Regional while Missouri is the two seed. Also competing in the regional are host and ACC Champion Miami (46-8), the nation’s top overall seed, and fourth seeded Bethune-Cookman (36-20), who won the MEAC Championship.

“Everyone who has played Miami this season has said they are the best team in the country, so it will be a huge challenge to go to their regional,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “But the thing about this tournament is you have to go somewhere and play someone good.

“They have a great stadium down there in Miami and they will draw well,” Bianco said. “They have a great atmosphere.”

Rebs Fall Short in Hoover

Well it was an eventful tournament for the Rebels that found them one win short of another title. Ole Miss became the first number eight seed to make the tourney finals under the new format, but a strong LSU team fought hard and took control of the championship game on Sunday.

Overall the Rebels had a pretty good tournament. Michael Guerroro was outstanding and carried the Rebs in many of the games. Several other players performed well for the Rebs on the weekend including Jordan Henry, Lance Lynn. The middle of the infield continues to be miserable and is the reason many of the unearned runs cross the plate. Their performance really hurts this team.

All in all an impressive run.

(UMAA)HOOVER, Ala. – The Rebels made a spectacular run to the championship game, but the run came up short as Ole Miss (37-24) fell to eighth-ranked LSU (43-16-1) by a score of 8-2 on Sunday at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.The championship game appearance marked the third time in four years Ole Miss had advanced to the final game and was the first time an eight seed had advanced to the finals. The Rebels won the SEC Tournament in 2006. Nathan Baker (3-5) suffered the loss for the Rebels as he allowed four runs on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts in 4.0 innings of work. Only three of the runs were earned.Louis Coleman (6-0) picked up the relief win for the Tigers as he held the Rebels scoreless after entering the game in the fourth and worked 6.0 innings. Coleman allowed three hits and struck out seven.Michael Guerrero turned in his SEC Tournament leading fifth home run in as many games in the second inning as he went 1-for-4 at the plate and gave the Rebels an early lead.Guerrero was one of three Rebels to garner All-Tournament honors as he joined sophomore outfielder Jordan Henry and junior pitcher Lance Lynn on the All-Tournament team. “I thought we competed hard and am proud of how we went after LSU,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We opened the door in the fifth inning and LSU took advantage of it. That’s why they are the hot team right now. They get the big at bat, they make the plays and they make the pitches.”

Monday, May 19, 2008

Well We Made It

Well the Rebels snuck into the tournament with the eight seed as they inched out a win in the eleventh inning at Lexington on Saturday. The Rebs will take on the #1 Georgia Bulldogs. Some fans were expressing their opinions that they would rather play LSU, however I have to disagree. LSU is the hottest team in the nation right now. Even though we won the series against them I still like my chances more against Georgia who is banged up a little bit and lost two against Alabama last weekend.

What will the outcome be of this tournament? I have no clue. Thi sis probably the most balanced field the SEC has seen in quite sometime. While there are obviously some teams that are hotter than others I think the talent is pretty equal across the board. As in all sports, the postseason is a new season. You never know when a team might get hot and make a run in the post season. While I feel like the Rebels are in the NCAA Tournament some will disagree, however one win in Hoover will probably just about wrap it up for an NCAA bid.

I'll see you all in Hoover.

First Round SEC Tourney Bracket

Game 1
10:00 a.m.
#7 South Carolina vs. #2 LSU [CSS HD] (XM 199)
Game 2
1:00 p.m.
#6 Vanderbilt vs. #3 Florida [CSS HD] (XM 199)
Game 3
5:00 p.m.
#8 Ole Miss vs. #1 Georgia [CSS HD]
Game 4
8:00 p.m.
#5 Alabama vs. #4 Kentucky [CSS HD]

Bittle Wins Ferris Trophy

(UMAA)OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss junior right-hander Scott Bittle claimed the 2008 Cellular South Ferriss Award honoring the top collegiate baseball player in the state of Mississippi, it was announced at Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on Monday.Bittle is the third Rebel player to receive the award in its five year history. He joins former Rebels Stephen Head and Brian Pettway in earning the distinction.“We are very proud of Scott and proud for Ole Miss,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “Certainly it’s a great honor, but one that is very well deserved. He’s a kid who has been dominant from the first game to the last game. We all know as Ole Miss fans what he’s meant to our team and our program.”“It’s a tremendous honor to win this award because it’s named after “Boo” Ferriss and because of who he is,” Bittle said. “Any of the three of us who were finalists for this award would have been deserving winners.”Bittle has been a force on the mound for the Rebels this season as he has posted a 6-1 record on the season and picked up seven saves on the season. His wins include victories over Mississippi State, No. 6 Vanderbilt, at No. 8 Georgia and most recently at No. 20 Kentucky where he pitched a career-long 7.1 innings in relief and struck out a career-high 10 batters.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hanging by a Thread

The Ole Miss baseball team is hanging by a thread with their chances to make the SEC Baseball Tournament next week after a miserable loss tonight to Kentucky. The Rebels never led and aside from one inning were never really a threat. They got base runners on and leadoff batters on base, but as usual seemed to get nothing out of it. It was a bad game for the Rebels and Lance Lynn went out of the game with a hurt leg midway through the game.

Thanks to the Dog$ and the Vols the Rebels are tied for seventh in the overall SEC and still need to win in order to get to Hoover. It isnt looking to good for the Rebels to make the tournament, however they may back their way in with the help of some other teams that have nothing to play for.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Rebels found themselves in a hole early and could never climb out as Ole Miss (33-21, 14-14 SEC) fell to No. 20 Kentucky (40-14, 15-13 SEC) by a score of 12-4 on Thursday in the opening game of the final series of the regular season.
Lance Lynn (6-3) suffered the loss as he allowed eight runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 3.1 innings of work. Lynn left the game due to injury in the fourth inning as Bukvich came in to work in relief.Chris Rusin (6-2) picked up the win for the Wildcats as he allowed three runs, only two earned, on nine hits with one strikeout and one walk.Cody Overbeck led the Rebels at the plate with a 3-for-5 performance, while Jordan Henry and Fuller Smith were both 2-for-5 with an RBI.“You have to credit Kentucky, they really battled at the plate” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “Lance was good early but then he got frustrated and then he got tired. It was a tough night for our pitchers, but I thought Brett Bukvich really did a good job and gave us a chance there before they figured him out. We gave up too many runs early and Kentucky was able to put innings together. We missed out on the big hit tonight.”

Chadwick's Boys at it Again

(UMAA) TULSA, Okla. – The No. 5 seeded Ole Miss men’s tennis team arrived in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, and is preparing to face 12th-seeded North Carolina in the Sweet 16 Friday at 9 a.m., at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.

“We feel like we’re peaking at the right time,” said head coach Billy Chadwick, of his team, winners of 11 straight. “The guys are looking forward to the match with North Carolina. We beat them early in the year. They have consistently stayed ranked around 12th in the country. They’ve had an outstanding year. We took the doubles point from them, and that’s their forte’. So we’re hoping to take the doubles point again from them, and move on from there.”

With four seniors leading the way, the Rebels are in the Sweet Sixteen for the 14th time overall and the fourth year in a row. They are hoping to advance past this round for the first time since their Final Four showing in 2005.

“We want to go and advance,” senior Robbye Poole said. “It was a bad feeling last year not being able to advance. Erling (Tveit) and I stuck around (for individuals), and it was hard watching all of the other teams still playing, because we knew we should have been one of them. That was a terrible feeling, and I don’t want that to happen again, especially my last year.”

Ole Miss dominated Marist College 4-0 in the first round and then downed Vanderbilt 4-1 in the second round to advance. This will be the second meeting between Ole Miss and North Carolina. The Rebels defeated the Tar Heels 4-1 in the first round of the National Team Indoor back in February.

Strong Withdraws from School

Much like Ding Dong another Strong dissapoints the Ole Miss football program as Chris Strong withdrew from school today due to trouble in the classroom. Below is the story from the Clarion Ledger:

(UMAA)OXFORD - Chris Strong, The Clarion-Ledger's Mississippi Mr. Football selection in 2006 out of powerhouse South Panola High School, has withdrawn from Ole Miss after one season with the team.

"We do not expect Chris to be with us this fall, but wish him well in whatever his future holds," Nutt said in a statement released by the university.Strong's mother, Brenda, said last week that her son struggled with his grades throughout his freshman year at Ole Miss. The 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive lineman struggled to qualify academically out of high school, enrolling at controversial prep school Genesis One in the spring semester of his senior year to finish work needed to meet the NCAA minimum standards for freshmen eligibility.On the field, weight problems and ineffectiveness plagued his performance. Despite coming into Oxford as one of the most celebrated recruits in year, he had just 19 tackles, 10 solo, playing at linebacker and defensive line.Under new coach Houston Nutt, Strong focused on the defensive line during spring drills.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Final Weekend

It all comes down to this, the final weekend of SEC Conference play. The winners more than likely go to Hoover and the losers stay home next week. While there are other games that will be played this weekend that could change that statement, Kentucky and Ole Miss are basically playing to stay alive.

Which Ole Miss team will show up will determine if they will continue their season. If the team that drops fly balls, makes fielding errors, and can not bunt shows up then we are doomed. But if the bats and common sense show up the Rebs should win. Kentucky is a good team that has had its ups and downs on the season, but have the talent to make it to Hoover with a series win over the Rebels.

If this Rebel team does not make it to Hoover, it could be the biggest disappointment in modern day Ole Miss athletics. For a team that was once ranked #2 in the nation to not make its own conference tournament is a huge letdown. Many Rebel fans have been frustrated all season long,because of the talent we were told was on this team and the expectations were very high. Two wins could turn this thing around. We all know the post season is a new season and anybody could get hot in baseball and win it all.

The bottom line win two and lets start a new season. It's going to be a tense weekend starting tomorrow.

Thursday, 5:30 p.m.
Ole Miss RHP Lance Lynn (6-2, 3.6 vs. Kentucky LHP Chris Rusin (5-2, 2.85)
Friday, 5:30 p.m.
Ole Miss LHP Drew Pomeranz (4-2, 3.66) vs. Kentucky LHP James Paxton (3-2, 3.15)
Saturday, 12 p.m.
Ole Miss RHP Cody Satterwhite (3-5, 5.01) vs. Kentucky RHP Greg Dombrowski (5-0, 3.57)

Current SEC Standings

Georgia 19-7-1 34-17-1
Vanderbilt 15-11 37-15
Kentucky 14-13 39-14
Florida 14-13 31-20
S. Carolina 13-14 35-18
Tennessee 11-16 26-27
LSU 15-11-1 36-16-1
Alabama 14-13 30-23
Ole Miss 14-13 33-20
Arkansas1 3-13 32-20
Auburn 11-16 28-25
Miss. State 7-20 21-32

Monday, May 12, 2008

3 Down, 3 to Go

It went just about as predicted this weekend as far as the results go. I somewhat figured the Rebels would go 2-1 on the weekend, however I did not think that Auburn would control most of the weekend from a runs standpoint. It took a walk off homer on Friday for the Rebels to win. Saturday was the ugliest game I have ever watched, and Sunday had the Rebels come from behind for the series win. Fuller Smith played well as did Scott Bittle and obviously Tim Ferguson. The errors on Saturday were unbelievable as was the base running on Sunday. It was miserable and if they play like that this weekend, no chance they get to Hoover.

With three games to play the Rebels will be traveling to Kentucky for a Thurs, Fri, Sat series. All in all the Rebels need to win the series to make it to Hoover. The race is too close right now and there are multiple teams trying to keep their slot in the tournament and others very close to playing their way in. The problem is the Rebels lose the tiebreaker to many of those teams they are tied with right now in the race. I will take a look at this in more detail as the week goes.

Fergie Named Freshman of the Week

(UMAA)Rebel shortstop Tim Ferguson didn’t get many swings in the weekend series against Auburn, but the ones he got counted for a lot as the infielder was named Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, the league office announced on Monday.

Ferguson hit a 3-run walk-off home run against Auburn on Friday night in his only at bat to give the Rebels a win in the series opener and set the stage for the Rebels to win the final home series in SEC play for the 2008 season. The Beaumont, Texas, native entered the game in the eighth inning as a defensive substitute before making his one at bat in the game count.

Ferguson hit .500 for the weekend and did not commit a single fielding error at shortstop as he helped the Rebels to the series win over the Auburn Tigers.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

How Will They Finish??

There are six games left in the Ole Miss baseball season, all conference games. Three at home and three on the road. More than likely the last three games at home of the season will be played this weekend at Swayze Field.

Auburn is a team of ups and downs on the season. They made a stretch run through the season where I really thought they were going to be a contender, but they dropped off a good bit. The Rebels are very capable of making a sweep of the Tigers. If they can sweep the Tigers, I feel like that would earn their way into the Hoover, however to be honest I would be surprised to see the Rebels sweep. It has been hard to find a weekend where the Rebels have played three solid games of baseball. With that being said I expect us to win 2 out of 3 and sweat next weekend out at Kentucky to see if the Rebs make the SEC Tourney.

THIS SERIES: Ole Miss and Auburn have faced off 139 times with the Tigers holding a slim lead in the overall series at 70-68-1. Ole Miss took the series last season in Auburn 2-1 and have won two straight weekend sets in the overall series. Auburn last won the series in the 2005 season on the Plains. The two teams first met in the 1938 season , splitting a pair of one run games as Auburn won 6-5 and Ole Miss won 4-3.

FRIDAY, 6:30 P.M.
AU - Grant Dayton, Fr., LH
POM - Lance Lynn, Jr., RHP
NOTING LYNN: Lynn enters the weekend contest looking to pick up his seventh win of the season after taking a tough loss at Georgia last weekend. It was only the second loss in 12 starts for the junior. Lynn has struck out 77 batters this season to take the career strikeout mark and currently sits at 299 strikeouts for his career. For more information on Lynn’s performances in career starts, please see the chart on p. 7.
AU - Taylor Thompson, Soph., RHP
OM - Drew Pomeranz, Fr., LHP
NOTING POMERANZ: Pomeranz took no decision on Saturday aganist Georgia as the Rebels rallied to claim a 9-4 win with a 6-run eighth inning. Pomeranz has struck out 60 and walked only 22 on the season after moving into the weekend rotation against Alabama. He was named SEC Freshman of the Week after posting a shutout of #6 Vanderbilt that kicked off a streak of 21.0 IP that saw him allow only two runs. For more information on Pomeranz’s starting performances, please see the chart on p. 7.

SUNDAY, 1:30 P.M.
AU - Luke Greinke, Jr., RHP
OM - Cody Satterwhite, Jr., RHP
NOTING SATTERWHITE: Satterwhite suffered his fifth loss of the season on Sunday despite walking only one and striking out five as Georgia came up with three home runs off the junior right-hander. Satterwhite moved to the Sunday role against Alabama when Pomeranz moved into the weekend rotation replacing Nathan Baker.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

What is APR??

I have no clue how the formula works, and I am not sure there are too many people that do, but it appears the Rebels are good to go and will not lose any scholarships this year unlike several other schools around the country. I have tried to understand how the system works but I can not understand the formula and where they come up with the rankings.

Below is a piece from the Clarion Ledger blog on the Rebels and their rankings. I understand how the Rebels basketball team is so low, because it seems like every year there are a couple of players that leave the program and the same goes with the Bulldog$. At any rate here is the info if anyone cares:

(C-L)The Academic Progress Rate numbers have been released and Ole Miss will not face penalties in any sport. The lowest results were in men's basketball (917) and men's indoor (908) and outdoor track (915). Schools are supposed to receive penalties for marks of 925 or below, but can avoid them by having some mitigating circumstances (which these three Ole Miss sports obviously had). The goal of APR is to keep athletes academically eligible and in school.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Rebs Lose Series at UGA

The Rebels lost the series at Georgia this weekend, in one they let get away. The Rebs lost by one on Friday night in a game in which they gave up three unearned runs. On Saturday they brought the heat late in the game to get a big win, but fell hard on Sunday to an 11-4 defeat. I did not watch or listen to most of the games, but it is my understanding Satterwhite is still not pitching well and our fielding problems and errors have not been corrected.

With that being said, the Rebs have six SEC games to go, and in my opinion a .500 record of 3-3 will have them crawling into Birmingham, a 4-2 record definitely gets them in and anything less they should go ahead and get ready for the 2009 season. Bianco's boys throughout the years are known for their up and down swings and hopefully an up swing of wins will come in the next month, but don't be surprised if this team does not make it to Birmingham.

One plus is that there are no mid week games this week, so the Rebs when not taking finals will be able to get some good practice in this week. The new NCAA rules which made the season more compact, led to fewer practice sessions and not much time to correct fundamentals. Let's hope more practice will help this team.

ATHENS, Ga. – The Rebels scored first on Sunday, but the Bulldogs answered with a barrage of home runs as No. 25 Ole Miss (31-19, 12-12 SEC) fell 11-4 to No. 8 Georgia on Sunday in the rubber match of the weekend series.Tim Ferguson and Cody Overbeck both hit home runs for the Rebels to pace the Ole Miss offense.Cody Satterwhite (3-5) suffered the loss as he allowed six runs – four earned – on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Three of the seven hits were home runs.Nathan Moreau (2-2) picked up the win for the Bulldogs as he held the Rebels to two runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work.
“We competed hard and were really into the game, they just played a little better than we did,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “They did a few more things better and that got them the runs. That’s why Georgia is in the position they are in our league. They are a good ball club.”

Ole Miss will have the week off for final exams before hosting Auburn in a weekend series at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field First pitch on Friday is set for 6:30 p.m. in the final regular season home games for the Rebels

Current Look at the SEC Standings For Hoover

1) Ga 17-6-1
2) Vandy 14-9
3) Fla 13-11
3) Sou Car 13-11
5) LSU 12-11-1
7) Ala 12-12
7) OM 12-12
8) Ky 11-13
8) Tenn 11-13