Baseball Releases 2018 Walk Out Songs

| No TrackBacks
Blog Photo Size Template.jpg
With the first pitch of the 2018 season just days away, check out the much-anticipated walk out music list. Which song is your favorite? Let us know on Twitter by tagging @OleMissBSB and using the hashtag #RebWalkOuts.

#1 Jacob Adams: "Bar, Guitar, and a Honky Tonk Crowd" by Whiskey Myers
#2 Ryan Olenek: "Danger" by Migos and Marshmello
#3 Anthony Servideo: "Soul Survivor" by Jeezy
#4 Emanuel Fernandez: "Public Service Announcement" by Jay Z
#6 Thomas Dillard: "Blessings" by Lecrae and Ty Dolla Sign
#7 Nick Fortes: "Night Call" by Migos and Steve Aoki
#8 Will Golsan: "Silence" by Marshmello
#9 Michael Spears: "Good Life" by Kanye West ft. T-Pain
#10 Tyler Keenan: "Finesse (Remix)" by Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B
#11 Chase Cockrell: "Kings of Summer" by Ayokay
#12 Greer Holston: "Closer" by Lemaitre 
#13 Cooper Johnson: "With My Team" by Creek Boys
#14 Cole Zabowski: "Crew" by Goldlink
#15 Grae Kessinger: "Butterfly Effect" by Travis Scott
#17 Will Stokes: "Icky Thump" by The White Stripes
#18 Connor Green: "Believer" by Imagine Dragons
#20 Will Ethridge: "Godzilla" by Blue Oyster Cult
#21 Jordan Fowler: "Metalingus" byAlter Bridge
#22 Ryan Rolison: "Silence (Codeko Remix)" by Marshmello ft Khalid
#24 Dallas Woolfolk: "Bad Company" by Five Finger Death Punch
#25 Tim Elko: "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC
#26 James McArthur: "Loud and Heavy" by Cody Jinks
#27 Bryan Seamster: "Lose Yourself" by Eminem
#28 Austin Miller: "Shoot to Thrill" by AC/DC
#29 Max Cioffi: "Chicago's Finest" by Yoshi
#31 Colin Coates: "Arsonist's Lullabye" by Hozier
#32 Michael Fitzsimmons: "Great Example" by Kevin Gates
#33 Golston Gillespie: "Changed" by Gucci Mane ft. Big Sean
#39 Brady Feigl: "Ain't No Grave" by Johnny Cash
#40 Houston Roth: "Slow Ride" by Foghat
#41 Pierce Smith: "No Option" by Post Malone
#42 Tim Rowe: "Danza Kuduro" by Don Omar
#44 Carl Gindl: "Whatever It Takes" by Imagine Dragons
#56 Matt Myers: "The Biggest in the World" by Changer
#65 Parker Caracci: "May We All" by Florida Georgia Line

Bianco Previews 2018 Team At Media Day

| No TrackBacks

10106170.jpeg

By Brian Scott Rippee, OleMissSports.com

Mike Bianco spoke with a sense of excitement in his voice as he stood at a podium in the Diamond Club seating area at Swayze Field at media day. Ole Miss opens its 2018 season against Winthrop on Friday afternoon.

The Rebels return seven starters in the field from a young group last season and also return the bulk of their pitching both in the rotation and bullpen.

Bianco gave a preview of a potential starting lineup, starting with the outfield. Thomas Dillard will be the opening day left fielder, Will Golsan will be in center and Ryan Olenek will man right field. Olenek played center field in 2017, but Bianco anticipates the junior to play some infield as well and preferred to have some stability in center field, hence the flip between Golsan and Olenek. Aside from that, it is the same outfield personnel-wise from last year.

With Colby Bortles and Tate Blackman being the only everyday position players Ole Miss needed to replace, both of the open positions are in the infield at second and third base. At third base Bianco said both Tyler Keenan and Tim Elko could see action there this weekend. Both are freshmen and Keenan bats left-handed. Jacob Adams and Anthony Servideo will be the primary candidates to replace Blackman at second base. Servideo is a true freshman out of Miami, Florida, and Adams is a junior by way of Crowder Community College. A healthy Grae Kessinger returns at shortstop and Nick Fortes will play first base after sliding over to that position from catcher last year. Cole Zabowski could also see time at first base as well. Sophomore backstop Cooper Johnson will be behind the plate for the Rebels as well.

Bianco said lefty Tim Rowe and right-hander Chase Cockrell will see time at DH this weekend, giving him two solid bats with some power and a match-up option depending on the opposing pitcher.

"Chase had a great fall, and Tim showed us what he could do last year, and look for him to add to that his senior campaign," Bianco said.

Ryan Rolison will grab the baseball for the Rebels on opening day. The sophomore lefty is coming off of a dominant summer in the Cape Cod League and has plenty of experience pitching in the SEC after sliding in to the rotation early on in SEC play last year.

"Last year, as good as we were on the mound, we weren't good enough to compete on Friday night in the SEC," Bianco said."And if you want to compete in our league, you have to compete on Friday night and I think Ryan gives us the best shot to do that right away."

Rolison's developed his changeup as a formidable third pitch along with a really good breaking ball.

"It has come a long way," Rolison said. "I feel comfortable throwing it for a strike in any count. I have gained a lot of confidence in it."

Junior righty Brady Feigl will start on Saturday and fellow junior right-hander James McArthur will be getting the nod on Sunday. Feigl got a taste of the rotation a year ago, but was mostly an effective option for Bianco out of the bullpen and all 12 of McArthur's outings in 2017 were weekend starts.

"The biggest thing for me going back into the fall was gaining consistency with my slider," Feigl said. "When I was good last year, I had my slider. It bumped up all of my other pitches."

This group has 14 upperclassmen compared to six from a season ago and has a lot of talent on the mound mound in particular.

All-American closer Dallas Woolfolk and senior Will Stokes are experienced pieces on the back end of the Ole Miss bullpen and the team also returns the likes of sophomores Will Ethridge and Houston Roth who were effective for the Rebels out of the pen as freshmen. Bianco said freshman left-hander Jordan Fowler turned some heads in the fall and that fellow freshman Max Cioffi pitched well, too. Throw in an experienced junior in Connor Green and Cal Ripkin Summer League Pitching MVP Parker Caracci, and Bianco will have a number of options to go to in the later innings.

"When you look at the pitching staff, they really did pitch it pretty well last year," Bianco said. "I think we were ranked fourth in the SEC in ERA, and we return seven of the nine best earned run averages from last year. An experienced staff, and experienced position players usually makes for a pretty good team."

Ole Miss tweaked the top of its lineup a good bit last year as it tried to find a natural fit at leadoff hitter. Golsan and Olenek spent time hitting in the leadoff spot, but ideally Bianco would like to slot them behind the leadoff guy and is hoping one of the candidates at second base could assume that role.

"Leadoff is the tough one," Bianco said. "I think there's a good chance that one of those second basemen, maybe Servideo or Adams leads off opening day, but we'll have to play with it. Some of those other guys that run well probably aren't your prototypical leadoff guy, like Olenek and Golsan. They're good hitters, but I think Servideo and Adams did that for us, and I think they're ready for that position."

Bianco is excited with the fact he returns a lot from last year's team as this was not the case this time last year with the number one-ranked recruiting class headlining a slew of newcomers. There's a nice blend of experience and depth on this team.

Kennedy Leaves Ole Miss Better Than He Found It

| No Comments | No TrackBacks


031713_Florida_MBB_3326.JPG

By Brian Scott Rippee, OleMissSports.com


One of the first things Andy Kennedy said on Monday afternoon following the announcement that he would step down at the end of next season is that he felt a sense of calmness and peace about this imminent reality. 


Last Saturday afternoon in the hours before Ole Miss lost 82-66 to LSU in Baton Rouge for its 5th consecutive defeat, Kennedy got the opportunity to catch up with former LSU head coach and current Tiger radio broadcaster John Brady, a man who has known, supported and mentored Kennedy since he was in high school. 


Brady asked Kennedy if he was alright, knowing the weight of a disappointing season can carry. That's when Kennedy realized there was an "ominous cloud" forming over his future and the future of the program. He woke up Sunday morning with a sense of conviction that it needed to be addressed. After a conversation with Vice Chancellor for Collegiate Athletics Ross Bjork, a decision was reached that this season would be Kennedy's last in Oxford.


"The thing I love about Andy, he is a realist," Bjork said. "He is not afraid of expectations. He is not afraid of reality... We met again on Friday and discussed the last few weeks of this season and then he called me on Sunday and said he was ready to step down at the end of the season. We both agreed it was best for the program.


These final six games of the season will mark the end of a remarkable 12-year-run in which Kennedy brought stability to a program that had never felt consistent success. He arrived in 2006 to an old, gloomy office inside an outdated building in which the team practiced and played its games in. He'll leave behind a 51,000 square foot practice facility and a $96 million arena.


If those two buildings aren't enough of an indicator of Kennedy's remarkable success, his on-court accolades speak pretty loudly as well. He's the all-time winningest coaching in program history and is responsible for a quarter of Ole Miss' NCAA Tournament appearances. Kennedy compiled nine 20-win seasons in his tenure. In the 96 years before his arrival, the Rebels had a total of seven. He owns a winning recorder over 10 of 13 SEC schools and only two SEC schools have won more games than Ole Miss during Kennedy's tenure-- Florida and Kentucky. It's worth noting that while the Rebels sit third in the SEC in wins in the Kennedy era, its resources and assistant-coaching salary pool rank towards the bottom.


Ole Miss Basketball looks a lot different both internally and externally now than it did a dozen years ago. Kennedy laid a foundation for success at Ole Miss and faced an uphill battle the majority of the way.  He no longer feels that's the case and thinks the program is ready to take the next step forward. He raised expectations amongst the fans and that is part of what led to this crossroads.


The only mention of regret was that he won't be the guy to help the Rebels make that leap.


"The landscape has changed and I think, honestly, the foundation is set. It is ready to take that next step.," Kennedy said. "I am regretful that I couldn't get it there, but I am also accountable for that. I want to see it get there and I think that it can."


Kennedy has always been honest, up front and self-aware about things, and that is largely what drove this decision to happen now. He felt as if it was becoming a distraction for his players and the program and that a sense of tangible sense of clarity regarding the future was the only way to address that. 


"I have always prided myself on being direct and being accountable and with that I would like to address this ominous cloud that seems to be hanging over this program," Kennedy said as he opened the press conference. "I woke up Sunday morning with a true conviction that there needed to be some clarity as it pertains the future of Ole Miss Basketball."



Bjork spoke about what is next for the program is it tries to take that next jump forward and acknowledged some things will need to be addressed in order for that to happen.


"We are going to ask donors to invest in this program," Bjork said. "That is obviously resources, money, we now that the salary pool needs to be increased. We are going to look at what the market is telling us. Money is a part of it, but also mentality. We need our fans to continue to make this a home court atmosphere.



Kennedy took the program on quite a ride and one of the benefits of going in this direction in Mid-February is the ability to reflect on his 12-year journey over the final weeks of the season.


"Whether he likes it or not, we will walk down memory lane these next few weeks and thank him," Bjork said. "He deserves that."


Kennedy won 21 games in his first season in Oxford and posted 11 straight winning seasons after Ole Miss had endured four consecutive losing seasons before his arrival. He was a two-time SEC Coach of the Year and won an SEC title as part of a 27 win season in 2013.  


He reached the the NCAA Tournament twice with the help of some prolific scorers in Marshall Henderson and Stefan Moody, along with the school's all-time leading shot blocker in Reginald Buckner and all-time leading rebounder Murphy Holloway. Those were exciting and entertaining teams that helped the program reach one of its highest peaks of success, with Kennedy's vibrant personality and sharp sense of humor at the helm.


When asked if he would like to coach next season, Kennedy didn't want to venture too far into the future and his joking nature surfaced once more.


"I would like to coach today," Kennedy said. "I am going to coach today. Ross just made me put a jacket on."


He didn't want to reflect on the past on this day either, but said there will be a time and a place for that. Whenever that moment is for Kennedy, whenever it is he does decide to take a moment to look back on his 12-year run, it will consist of mostly fond memories of a run of consistent success that hadn't been achieved before, making that sense of peace easier to maintain.


"I have been truly blessed to have the opportunity to be a head coach in the Southeastern Conference in my home state for 12 years," Kennedy said. "That is a true blessing, this I know."

Softball Season Preview: Outfield

| No TrackBacks
051317_SEC_Alabama_SB_01025.JPG_CROP.jpg
The final edition of our Ole Miss softball preview looks at the Rebel outfield, a speedy and athletic group that head coach Mike Smith is excited about heading into the 2018 season.

Left Field: Elantra Cox
The senior is an electric leadoff hitter that batted a staggering .429 and accumulated a NCAA-leading 93 hits for the Rebels a year ago. Cox is a speedy defender as well as a nightmare for opponents on the base paths. Cox swiped 25 bases in 32 tries in 2017. She's got great hands and struck out just 30 times in 233 plate appearances. She was an invaluable piece at the top of the Ole Miss order and will be again this season as well as a plus defender with a lot of speed.

Center Field: Kylan Becker
Becker is probably the best overall athlete on the roster. She played right field predominantly a year ago and hit .375 with two home runs and 31 RBIs. Becker and Cox accounted for 165 of the team's 495 hits and the pair are a strong tandem in the Ole Miss lineup. She'll make the transition from right field to center in an effort to replace Miranda Strother. Becker will play for the US Women's National Team this summer and will be an athletic defender as well as a productive hitter for the Rebels in her junior year.

Right Field: Celeste Wood/Kaylee Horton/ Mary Terral
You'll likely see all three of these players in right field in some capacity this season. Smith called Wood - a junior transfer from Michigan State - one of the best pure hitters on the team. She hit .387 for the Spartans a year ago and has a good enough bat to be able to stay in the lineup pretty consistently. Horton is seen as a quality defender and will be a valuable utility piece for the Rebels this season across the diamond. Horton could potentially play third base, shortstop or second base if needed. She hit .270 in 126 at bats a year ago. Horton is a good defender and makes the Rebels a better defensive team when she is inserted into the lineup. She gives Smith a lot of flexibility of what he can do on a game-by-game basis. Terral is a true freshman from Ruston, Louisiana that will have an opportunity to play in mulitple different spots in the outfield if needed.

Softball Season Preview: Pitchers

| No TrackBacks
101117_MGCCC_SB_00382_CROP.jpg
Part two of our Ole Miss softball preview takes a look at the Rebel pitchers. This group was headlined by Kaitlin Lee last season with Brittany Finney, Morgan Bruce and others providing solid options as well. Head Coach Mike Smith believes this year's team will be even deeper inside the circle. See below for an idea of what to expect.

Kaitlin Lee
As Ole Miss began to garner more national attention during its 2017 postseason run, Lee became a fan-favorite and was seen as a major driving force the Rebels' postseason success. Transferring from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Lee posted a 23-11 record with a 1.82 ERA. She logged 249.2 innings, struck out 118 and walked just 37 hitters. Lee pitches to contact with good command and can work both sides of the plate. She earned Second Team All-SEC honors and has garnered a reputation as one of the better pitchers in the toughest conference in college softball. She will be the Rebels' primary arm once again in 2018 in her final collegiate season.

Brittany Finney
Finney won a national championship as a freshman at Oklahoma before transferring to Ole Miss last year. The Kansas native immediately became an important piece of the puzzle for the Rebels. She swings a good bat and contributed at first base and designated player while also posting a 6-1 record with a 1.80 ERA in 11 appearances and six starts. Finney whiffed 33 batters in 42.2 innings and was the usual secondary option for the Rebels in the postseason. She allowed one run in Ole Miss' final game at UCLA and gave the Rebels a good opportunity to pull out a win. She will be used in a variety of different ways this year, including in the circle.

Morgan Bruce
Bruce posted an 8-5 record as a freshman with a 2.85 ERA in 21 appearances and 12 starts. She tossed 5.1 innings of shutout, three-hit ball in a win over a ranked LSU team and did not allow an earned run in each of her first five collegiate starts. Bruce had a promising freshman campaign and proved to be more than capable of being a viable option when Smith needs one.

Alyssa Clayton
A senior lefty, Clayton complied a 6-2 record with a 2.74 ERA in limited innings coming off an injury in 2016. She made seven starts and totaled two shutouts with three complete games. Opponents hit .215 off of the senior in her 46 innings of work. When Smith talks about being deeper in the circle this year, a healthy Clayton is certainly a big part of that. 

Elisha Jahnke
Jahnke, a senior right-hander, made eight appearances a year ago with one start. She logged 12.1 innings and struck out 12 hitters in that span and posted a 1.70 ERA. Jahnke will provide depth to the Rebel rotation and may see some starts in spot duty.

Anna Borgen and Ava Tillmann
The Ole Miss pitching staff will have tremendous experience with all five pitchers back from a year ago. However, Borgen and Tillmann will also have plenty of opportunities to see action during their freshman campaigns. Borgen, a lefty out of Dallas Christian School in Texas, was a three-time first team all-state honoree, posting a 44-7 career record. Tillmann, meanwhile, garnered all-state honors her junior and senior years at Cedartown High School in Georgia and concluded her career as the school's all-time leader with 817 strikeouts. 
For all Ole Miss softball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball, on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball and on Instagram at Instagram.com/olemisssoftball. Fans can also follow head coach Mike Smith on Twitter at @msmithsb16. Additionally, fans can get a behind the scenes look at Ole Miss softball and all of Ole Miss athletics on Snapchat under the handle, @WeAreOleMiss.

Softball Season Preview: Infield

| No TrackBacks
040217_Kentucky_SB_00878_CROP.jpg
Coming off the most successful season in program history, Ole Miss Softball begins its 2018 season on Friday. The Rebels come into the season ranked as high as 15th in the country and were on the cusp of reaching Oklahoma City for the Women's College World Series. Looking to take the next step this season, expectations are high for Mike Smith and the Rebels this season.

See below for a look at what you can expect to see from the Rebel infield this season.
 
1st base: Brittany Finney/Alex Schneider
You will likely see both Finney and Schneider at this position in some capacity. In 2017, Finney split time here with Dakota Matiko and Alyssa Gonzalez, hitting six home runs and driving in 27 runs a year ago, making her bat a hard one to remove from the lineup. Schneider is seen as a defensive stopper and could see time here when Finney is pitching in relief of Kaitlin Lee. 

Both are experienced players with plenty of time at the position and should be a quality combo for Smith's club this season.

2nd base: Ally Mena/Kaylee Horton
Mena, a true freshman out of Miami, Florida, could be a new option for Ole Miss at second base this year. Smith said she has some of the best hands in the country and could potentially be a shortstop for the Rebels in the future. Smith also didn't rule out on giving her time at shortstop this season along with Paige McKinney. 

Sophomore utility player Kaylee Horton saw most of her time at second base a season ago with 49 starts. She hit .270 last season and could slide into another infield slot or even play some outfield this spring. 

Shortstop: Paige McKinney/Ally Mena/Kaylee Horton
McKinney took over the everyday shortstop duties after a brief stint at second base at the beginning of last season. The senior stole 16 bases in as many tries a year ago and should anchor the middle of the infield again this season. Horton and Mena could see action here as well if needed.

3rd base: Dylinn Stancil/Amanda Roth
Smith said this has been an air-tight battle the entire offseason between sophomore Stancil and true freshman Roth.  Both are swinging the bat well and playing good defense. Stancil started 46 games a year ago, predominantly at third base, and drove in 23 runs. Roth is a true freshman out of Carrollton, Texas and has some pop in her bat. 

Smith said both players bring energy that is important to this team's success and Stancil could potentially slide to second base as well if needed. 

Catcher: Autumn Gillespie/Jessica Puk/Izzy Werdann
All three of these potential backstops for the Rebels are newcomers this season. They'll collectively be in charge of replacing Courtney Syrett who handled all of the catching duties last season. Gillespie is a transfer from UCF who has one of the better pop times in the country according to Smith. Ideally, Gillespie will control the running game and get the majority of the time behind the plate.

However, Smith has always wanted two catchers to use regularly, but in the past has not had a second option that can consistently control the running game. He thinks that will change with Puk and Werdann. Puk is a true freshman from Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Werdann is a junior college transfer who caught Kaitlin Lee for a year at Mississippi Gulf Coast CC.

FRESH FACES: Softball's Abbey Latham

| No TrackBacks

Abbey LathamCROP.jpg

In the 10th and final of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Friday's profile features first baseman/designated player Abbey Latham.

Abbey Latham | 1B/DP | R/R | 5-11 | Fr. | Livingston, Ala. (Demopolis HS)

What made you choose Ole Miss?
The feeling that it was home for me. Being raised in a small town, coming to Ole Miss is basically like coming to a small town with a big upgrade and I really think it just fit who I am and where I want to be. Also, I couldn't have picked a better softball program that holds my core values and represents me any better as a player.
What do you like most about Ole Miss and Oxford?
The food
What is your favorite part about being an athlete at Ole Miss?
I love having access to all of the resources that the athletic department provides us with. It is amazing how blessed I am to have the opportunities that I do here at Ole Miss.
What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?
The Grove
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
No


Quick Hits...
Pick anywhere in the world to vacation, where would you go? Australia
What is your go-to hangout place? Anywhere with my teammates
Team you're looking most forward to playing on the 2018 schedule? Auburn
What is your dream profession/career? TBA


Favorites...
Movie: Pitch Perfect
Band/Music group: None
TV Show: Vampire Diaries
Actress/Actor: Channing Tatum
Snack Food: Chocolate
Ice cream flavor: Chocolate
Candy bar: Hershey's chocolate bar
Fruit: Grapes
Cereal: Mini Wheats
Home cooked meal: Pancakes
Fast food restaurant: Chick-Fil-A
Soda: Diet Coke
Place to eat in Oxford: Kabuki
Female athlete: None
Male athlete: None
Professional team: None
Animal: Goat
Holiday: Thanksgiving

Scholtz Looks Forward to Davis Cup

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Scholtz_NikDavisCup.jpg


OXFORD, Miss. - While his alma mater kicks off a big weekend with two home matches at their brand new indoor tennis center, Rebel All-American Nik Scholtz will be representing his home country, South Africa, in Davis Cup at the Irene Country Club in Pretoria.


South Africa faces Israel in a crucial Europe/Africa Group I tie beginning Friday. New this year, Davis Cup matches will be best of three sets instead of best of five as in previous ties.


A regular on the South Africa Davis Cup squad now, Scholtz will be making his seventh appearance in Davis Cup. The last time South African played at home, Scholtz rallied to win a thrilling five-setter against Slovenia in April of 2017, to help lead South Africa to a commanding win in Group II. In the fall, South Africa beat Denmark to earn promotion to Group I.


Scholtz will face Israel's No. 1, Dudi Sela, in the second rubber of the day. Sela has been ranked as high as No. 29 in the world and is currently No. 97. Lloyd Harris will lead it off for South Africa against Israel's Eden Lesham. Saturday will feature doubles, and then Sunday the reverse singles, with Scholtz going up against Lesham.


Scholtz said he is looking forward to the challenge of facing one of the world's top players.


"Dudi is a great player with a good pedigree, but after my big five-set win here at Irene a few ties back, I feel confident that I can perform well for myself, my team and country," Scholtz said. "This is going to be a good weekend of tennis. Both sides are evenly matched, so it can go either way. I am confident that the KIA SA team with home advantage and the support of the locals can pull off the win."


Another Rebel alum, Tucker Vorster, is also part of the team, but is not scheduled to play.


To follow Scholtz and his teammates in the Davis Cup head to DavisCup.com.  


National Team Training Camp an Eye-Opening Experience for Kizer

| No TrackBacks
Thumbnail image for IMG_0632_CROP.jpgOXFORD, Miss. - CeCe Kizer established herself as one of the SEC's premier attacking players in 2017, and last month she showcased her skills at an even higher level at a training camp with the United States Under-23 National Team.

The week-long training session featured the top soccer players in the country. It was Kizer's second invite to the camp in as many months, putting her squarely in the thick of the pool of players the national team keeps on its radar.

"The training was definitely intense," Kizer said. "It was a hard environment to go into because everyone is trying to show their stuff, but overall it was a good experience. I learned a lot. I love learning more about the game. I still think I have a lot of areas I can develop in but it is exciting to know I may have a future with the national team program."

The speed of the game is night-and-day from the SEC level. Kizer knew this, but it didn't deter her and she certainly was up for the challenge.

"The speed of play is quicker," Kizer said. "Your mind and everything have to be on all the time. Everything is going 100 miles per hour. It was kind of hard to get adjusted to, but I had been to a camp before that so I had some experience under my belt."

Kizer first found out she'd be involved with the UWSNT U-23 program back in the fall. It was a dream come true for the Ole Miss star. 

"It's always been my dream so there were so many emotions," Kizer said. "I was excited and terrified and nervous, but I let it soak in and realized I deserve this and it's something I'd been working for for a long time."

Ole Miss head coach Matt Mott was proud but certainly not surprised.

"She's really well-respected throughout the entire league," Mott said. "The idea that she is in the national team pool shows you she is one of the best players in the country without question."

Mott is also well-aware of the difference in speed and skill level from the SEC to the national team level.

"It's the quality," Mott said. "You are taking all of the best college players, and even some pros, and putting them together. U-23 is just one step from the senior national team. That's when you really weed out and start getting the top players."

Perhaps the most invaluable thing the experience gave Kizer was confidence. Knowing she belongs with the best players in the country and being able to keep up and excel.

"Just knowing my hard work is continuing to pay off and learning more things I need to develop and get better at," Kizer said. "It helps making my training harder. It is huge for confidence because if you don't have that you are not going to play at your full potential."

Entering the 2018 campaign as a senior, Kizer wants to be a leader in her final year in Oxford. Playing at a higher level has taught her how important communication is. She'd like to carry that over to next season.

"Being that leader for the team," Kizer said. "I am a senior now and I need to communicate a lot more and make the players around me better."

#RebsBSB Season Preview: Bullpen

| No TrackBacks

031917_Vandy_BSB_2960.JPG

The bullpen was undoubtedly the backbone of Ole Miss' 2017 team. The Rebels had arguably the strongest bullpen in the SEC, one with a variety of different arms with closer Dallas Woolfolk anchoring the back end as the team's closer.

Mike Bianco had the luxury of being able to choose from a number of different guys to go to. Here is an idea of what his options will be this season.

Will Stokes- The senior has done a little bit of a lot in his Ole Miss career, ranging from stepping in to be the team's Sunday starter in the meat of its SEC schedule as a freshman, to stints at closer his sophomore and junior year. Stokes is a three-pitch guy with a fastball in the lower 90s with a good change up and slider. When he's got command of his fastball and can keep it down in the zone he's really good. Stokes will close games in any scenario in which Woolfolk is not available and will give Bianco a reliable, veteran option as a middle innings reliever whose logged a lot of innings in his career.

Connor Green- The junior right-hander made 12 appearances out of the pen last year, compiling a 5.29 ERA and struck out 20 hitters in 17 innings. His 12 appearances were eight fewer than the 20 he made his freshman season in which he posted a 2.73 ERA and fanned 37 hitters in 33 innings. He's got the ability to eat innings in the event of an early exit from the starter and will likely see his appearances go up this season.

Houston Roth- Roth's role will be an interesting one to monitor this year because he can do a number of different things. He was good for the Rebels out of the bullpen as a freshman, logging 18 relief appearances and compiling a team-low 1.57 ERA in 28.2 innings. Roth only walked eight hitters. He's got an electric fastball and will likely take on an even bigger role this season.

Will Ethridge- Like Roth, Ethridge was another freshman that was really good for Ole Miss last year. He made 19 appearances (4 starts) and logged 41 innings in which he struck out 50 hitters. At one point, he had a string of 9 straight appearances without allowing an earned run over a span of 14 innings. Ethridge pitched in some big spots last year and never showed any signs of wavering, including getting four-straight outs in front of 10,000 at Alex Box stadium in a win over LSU last April.

Ethridge has swing-and-miss stuff. He struck out 10 hitters in each of his first two starts and should be an effective weapon again this year.

Parker Caracci- Another guy that had a good fall and is in the mix for a bullpen role this season. Caracci had a huge summer in the Cal Ripkin League. He put together a 0.70 ERA in 38.2 innings and surrendered just 16 hits. He was named the league's most outstanding pitcher.

Dallas Woolfolk- The All-American closer's performance last year spoke for itself. He led the team with 26 relief appearances and tallied 12 saves, the second most in a single season in school history. He recorded four or more outs in six of those saves and was the Rebels' biggest weapon out of the pen. Woolfolk's got an electric fastball his three-pitch mix as a closer makes him even harder for opponents to hit. The rising junior is poised for another dominant year.

Newcomers:

Jordan Fowler- The coaching staff is high on this true freshman lefty, and he'll have an opportunity to have a role this season in a right-hand heavy bullpen. Fowler went 20-2 as a starter in high school with a pair of no hitters. He had a good fall and will be a newcomer to keep an eye on this season.

Austin Miller- A sophomore out of North Liberty, Iowa, Miller pitched at Kirkwood CC last year and joins the Rebels as a sophomore. He faced 78 batters in the fall and posted a 3.54 ERA with 13 strikeouts. Miller's got good command and walked just two of the 78 batters he faced during fall ball.

Colin Coates- Coates is a junior right-hander out of DeSoto Central High School and spent the last two seasons playing for Hinds CC. He faced 75 hitters in the fall, struck out nine and walked just six.

Max Cioffi- The true freshman is a righty out of Chicago, Illinois. He faced 61 hitters in the fall and yielded just 14 hits and struck out seven.

Pierce Smith- Smith's another lefty in a righty-dominant pen and comes to Ole Miss as a junior out of Chattahoochee Valley CC where he went 2-1 in five starts and struck out 19 in 38.2 innings.

Emanuel Fernandez- A true freshman lefty from Lake Worth, Florida, Fernandez struck out 11 of the 66 hitters he faced this fall and walked only six.

Matt Myers- Myers is a Jackson, Mississippi, product and a true freshman. He was named to Mississippi's Dandy Dozen as a senior and was listed at the number one RHP in the state by Perfect Game and the no. 3 overall prospect.

Subscribe and Share

Tags

Recent Comments

    Tiffany J. Moore said:

    This is amazing with what he have done so far! Hope that he'll achieve more in the future!

    in post Evan Engram Hauls in Midseason Accolades

    Fiftyyears fan said:

    How can you have five straight top 25 recruiting classes and look as bad as Ole Miss has this year. Easy lack of coaching fundamentals. Look at Mason at Vandy, nothing but 2 and 3 star recruits out of high school and he developers players that want to win. Hugh freeze has 3, 4 & 5 recruits and he expects them to win because of what they were in High School. Mr. Freeze you have not been teaching the fundamentals of football or winning in life. Mr. Freeze you have quit on your players because you have some false expectations of what they are instead of what you can develop in them. Either do your job or quit. Oh yea, please quit running your smoke and mirrors offense, everyone has figured it out. Run a physical offense that can open up holes for your running backs and then your pass attack want require 12 are 14 four and five star receivers. Mr. Freeze you have problems and you need to know that you are not smarter than the rest of the coaches in the SEC.

    in post Rebels Unable to Send Senior Class Out on a High Note

    Karen Holden said:

    Not every pass can be caught. Too low, too short whatever. Not every Kelly pass is perfect. Records were broken by receivers also. But they sre not going to catch every ball thrown. The loss to Auburn was not one players fault. You win or lose as a team.

    in post Late Mistake Spoils Chad Kelly's Historic Performance

    Trent browning said:

    Hey I was just wandering if these are the only 2 olemiss players signing. If there are more signing please respond to me ASAP. Also wondering if neil everett will sign any autographs. Thank you very much

    in post Heisman House Tour Heads to Oxford for Ole Miss-Georgia

    Smithb733 said:

    I like what you guys are up too. Such smart work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site

    in post Madden 17 Ratings for Former Rebels

    Jamie laverty said:

    Bulmer I love you and ole Miss

    in post Fast Runner From Down Under

    Sharon Hamlin said:

    Hi! Really Bulmer is very fantastic & dedicated in his job. Really outstanding & well done... :-)

    in post Fast Runner From Down Under

    Sharon Hamlin said:

    Hi! Really motivating post & outstanding job did Bulmer .Loved it... :-)

    in post Fast Runner From Down Under