OLE MISS

LSU looked to have gotten out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, but right fielder Mark Laird dropped a fly ball in foul territory that would have been the final out and send the game to the fifth down just one run. 

Later in the at-bat, Auston Bousfield took advantage of extra life and knocked a 2-RBI single back up the middle to push the Ole Miss lead to 4-1, as the Rebels went on to even the series with a 5-1 win Friday night at Swayze Field.

"I was kind of kicking myself as the ball is in the air," Bousfield said. "Laird is a great outfielder. He made that great catch against Sikes (Orvis) last night that might have sealed the game for them. When he dropped it, I breathed a sigh of relief, and I had to lock back in and try to make it hurt and make them pay. I was able to get a pitch to hit, and I drove it up the middle and got a hit."

Bousfield later added a solo shot in the seventh, his fourth home run of the season, as he went 4-for-4 with three RBI, which tied his career high for hits. 

"Boz had a terrific night with the four hits, none bigger than the bases-loaded, two-strike hit, where it looked like we were going to squander an opportunity there for a second," head coach Mike Bianco said. "We tried to be a little too aggressive and tried a couple of push bunts, a couple of safety squeezes, that didn't work out. We don't execute, but then he gets the big two-out hit, and that's what it's all about."

Bousfield extended his hit streak to 10 games, hitting at a .404 clip during the stretch, and has multiple hits in five of his last seven games dating back to a 2-for-4 game on April 8 against Memphis. 

He also moved into the team lead with a .349 batting average and 86 total bases and continues to lead the team with 60 hits, which also leads the SEC. His 86 total bases is second only behind Kentucky's A.J. Reed who has 104 for the season.

"I was struggling a couple of weeks ago," Bousfield said. "I wasn't getting a lot of hits, but I feel like I was hitting balls hard but just hitting a lot of balls at people. I'm getting good swings off, and they're starting to fall a little bit more."

With the win, Ole Miss improves to 30-10 overall and 10-7 in league play, ahead of tomorrow's rubber game at 1 p.m. on Fox Sports Net.

"It evens the series, and tomorrow if we can come out and play our game, we still have a chance to take the series against a really good LSU team, so it's always big to win this game," Bousfield said.


 

For eight innings, Chris Ellis dueled Aaron Nola, the Southeastern Conference's leader in strikeouts (84) and earned run average (0.70) to a draw, as he left with the game with the score tied at 2-2.

It was the eighth time in 10 starts that Ellis allowed one earned run or less for the eighth time in 10 starts, as he lowered his earned run average from 1.81 to 1.72. He allowed two runs -- one earned -- on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts, stranding nine runners on the base paths.

In the other dugout, Nola allowed two runs -- all earned -- on eight hits with two walks and seven strikeouts, as he threw a season-high 121 pitches in 7.2 innings of work. He has yet to allow more than two runs in any of his 10 starts this season.

"Both guys pitched terrific," head coach Mike Bianco said. "For Chris, it might have been his best outing of the year. Certainly, he pitched deep and did a great job with pressure-packed pitches. One of the ways that you beat Nola is you don't let them score. You keep the score low, so if you do scratch across a run or two, that will put you ahead or tie it up and get him out of the game. Certainly, Chris was terrific tonight."

The bullpens traded zeroes with the exception of the 11th, where each team scratched across a run and then the 13th, where LSU strung together a one-out double, followed by a walk, and then a fielding error to score what would be the game-winning run, the second unearned run allowed by Ole Miss during the game. 

"We had opportunities," head coach Mike Bianco said. "We have been on the right side of it several times. Today, it just didn't happen. We didn't get the big hit, we didn't make the big pitch, and we didn't make the play in the field."

"It's baseball," said Sikes Orvis, who went 2-for-5 with a solo home run. "We came out and played tough. We did everything we needed to do. I take that ground ball hit to Errol (Robinson) 9 times out of 10 that you roll it up. Baseball is a funny game. You get kicked in the teeth a lot playing it, but we'll bounce back tomorrow and be alright."

I'm Back

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Ole Miss women's golf sports information director, Jessica Poole will be blogging for the women's golf team throughout the 2014 SEC Championships held at Greystone Golf Course in Birmingham, Ala.

Hey everyone, you might remember my blogging from the team's trip to Knoxville, Tenn., for the Mercedes Benz Classic in the fall, but if not I'm Jessica Poole, Ole Miss women's golf sports information director. Essentially, I'm the keeper of all information regarding Ole Miss women's golf!

Anyhow, I'm back and blogging from Alabama for this week's SEC Championship. It's been awhile since I've traveled with this group and I'm so happy to be back in the Ole Miss sprinter! Love me some Big Blue

I'm not the only support staffer on this trip. Our sports psychologist, Josie Nicholson, is also on this trip. She's been doing some awesome work with our team this season and has been a great addition to our team. She can work with the team before and after the rounds and can make suggestions to the coaches throughout. I know that her thoughts and suggestions will be a great help for this team throughout the weekend.

The best thing for me about traveling with this team is the stuff that happens in the Sprinter. For those that don't know, the Sprinter is a big blue van that has Ole Miss on the side and it's a pretty sweet ride. I always sit in one of the front two seats in the back next to Abby Newton. Well today, we had a FUNNY moment in the sprinter on the way back to the hotel from our practice round (which we KILLED by the way:) Abby was checking out a vine on her phone entitled "What you think when your ex walks by" well, she clicked on it and out came some song lyrics, but they weren't just any song lyrics, they were song lyrics that you can't share with your grandma. Well, said lyrics came out and came out LOUD. Abby's face might have been the most priceless thing I have ever seen, imagine deer in headlights frantically turning down her phone! It was hilarious.

Fast forward to the SEC Banquet. The dinner was phenomenal and the senior salutes were great, but the best part of the meal was the confusion that Josie and I caused. We all got a text from coach Drinkard, saying "6 ok with everyone?" Everyone answers back 'Yes ma'am" Well ... Josie and I were thinking 6 a.m. for our departure time in the morning. Now mind you, we tee off at 9:10 and our hotel is 10 minutes from the course so 6 a.m., seemed SUPER EARLY! Naturally, Josie and I mentioned this at dinner and were greeted with "6 p.m. for dinner" and of course Josie and I let out a big "OH" ... talk about egg on face!

Well with that being said, it's time for me to get ready for our big day tomorrow. We tee off at 9:10 a.m. and are playing with Missouri (For this SID, this is a pairing that REALLY pulls at the heart strings. My new team playing with my alma mater... eeks!)

Make sure to follow along on Golfstat and on @OleMissWGolf on Twitter throughout the weekend.

Hotty Toddy,

 Jess Poole (Official SEC Championship Blogger of Ole Miss WGolf)

 

 

Two new mock drafts released this week has former wide receiver Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief being selected in the late second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, set for May 8-10.

NFL media analyst Bucky Brooks projects Moncrief to the San Francisco 49ers with the 56th overall pick in his latest mock draft.

"The 49ers need a speed receiver on the perimeter to open up the field for Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree," Brooks wrote. "Moncrief is a remarkable size-speed athlete, with the potential to slide into Boldin's spot when the veteran retires in a few seasons."

Here's the link to the full article, "Mock Draft 5.0: Jadeveon Clowney, AJ McCarronn to Texans"

ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper, who previously slotted Moncrief to the Indianapolis Colts with the 59th overall pick in a "Grade A draft," projects him to the San Diego Chargers with the 57th overall pick in his latest mock draft.

"With the measurables of a player typically drafted much higher, Moncrief is one of the best size/speed equations in the draft, but he was inconsistent in 2013 and lands here," Kiper wrote. "San Diego isn't set at WR just because Keenan Allen had a good year. The Chargers are thin behind him."

For ESPN Insider subscribers, here's the link to the full article, "Kiper: Mock 4.0 goes two rounds"

Chadwick's Top Moments: No. 12

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gardITA04.jpgWith Billy Chadwick's last  regular season in the books, the Rebels seem to be peeking and hoping to make a final postseason run for the legendary head coach.  Corresponding with such, we are also getting down to our final stretch of top moments from our beloved coach Chadwick.  We begin this week with a first-time moment from an individual player from 2004.

In that season, Catalin Gard became the first Rebel to win the ITA All-American title, capturing the singles crown.  Gard entered the 2004 fall season ranked as the No. 1 singles player in the country.  Proving his ranking, Gard captured the year's first national title, defeating Stanford and 2004 Pac-10 player of the year, Sam Warburg in the ITA All-American Championship final.  Gard would finish his career with 112 wins and earn All-America honors three-times.

Next, we will highlight a team accomplishment from the 2004 season.  Stay tuned to see what else Gard, Chadwick and the Rebels accomplished in what turned out to be another championship season. 

Follow the Rebels on Twitter, @OleMissMTennis and on Facebook at OleMissMTennis.

Special assistance from Media Relations student, Wesley Boock.

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One spot in the ITA national rankings can make all the difference. 

Last season, San Diego, ranked No. 44 in the country, earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, while crosstown rival, San Diego State, ranked No. 45, was the highest ranked team left out of the 64-team field.

Ranked No. 53 in the country and likely needing a win over No. 10 Texas A&M to keep their postseason chances alive, Ole Miss played its most complete match of the season to knock off the Aggies 4-3 in legendary head coach Billy Chadwick's last SEC home match.

After the win, as well as a doubleheader sweep of Alcorn State, the Rebels moved up 10 spots to No. 43 in the country, ahead of Thursday's SEC Tournament match against No. 18 Tennessee in Nashville. In the first meeting in Knoxville, Ole Miss won 4-1 behind wins at Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 6 singles.

"If they were making the choice today, we might get in; we might not," Chadwick said. "We're ranked No. 43 in the country and traditionally they take 43 or 44 teams, in addition to the automatic bids that are ranked lower. We're walking the tightrope on it. We need to help ourselves and beat Tennessee."

Coaches often times talk about sense of urgency, such as men's basketball head coach Andy Kennedy referring to the team's 2013 NCAA Tournament run. For Chadwick, it's no different, led by the team's lone senior in Johan Backstrom and two-time All-American Nik Scholtz.

"You could see that when we played Texas A&M," Chadwick said. "They really played with a sense of urgency. We know that right now we control our destiny, and if we want to make the NCAA's, we take care of Tennessee."

"We believe we can do it," Scholtz said. "Making the tournament is another thing that's motivating us at this stage in the year. It's good to know that you're definitely in (the discussion), but the fact that we don't know if we're in the tournament is great motivation."

Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 7-13)

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Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
April 7-13, 2014

Baseball

- Ole Miss improved to 29-9 on the season and 9-6 in Southeastern Conference play after a pair of nonconference wins over Memphis and Murray State in the midweek and a series win at No. 13 Mississippi State over the weekend.
- It marked the second straight series win over Mississippi State for the Rebels and the eighth under head coach Mike Bianco. The Rebels have won five of the last seven series against the Bulldogs in Starkville dating back to the 2004 season.
- Junior right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis improved to 5-0 on the season with a win over the Bulldogs on Friday night, working 6.2 innings with one run allowed, while junior right-hander Sam Smith turned in his seventh consecutive quality start and improved to 5-2 on the season with the win over Mississippi State on Sunday to clinch the weekend series. Smith worked 6.0 innings and allowed two runs as the Rebels defeated Mississippi State 12-2.
- Ole Miss notched 20 hits in the Sunday win, the first time the Rebels have reached the 20-hit mark since recording 20 hits at Georgia on April 14, 2012, in an 8-3 win behind the arm of Ellis.
- Junior outfielder Braxton Lee led the Rebels on the week, hitting .500 (12-of-24) with four runs scored and five RBI. Junior first baseman Sikes Orvis hit his eighth home run of the season with a two-run shot in the 10th inning against MSU on Saturday.

Men's Tennis
- The Rebels went 6-0 last week, shutting out Arkansas-Pine Bluff three times, Alcorn State twice and topping No. 10 Texas A&M 4-3. The wins this weekend sent head coach Billy Chadwick and senior Johan Backstrom out on a winning note for their last home matches at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
- Sophomore Stefan Lindmark came up huge for the Rebels against Texas A&M, teaming with William Kallberg to knock off the No. 6 ranked team in doubles 8-7(5) and then outlasting A&M's Junior Ore at No. 4 singles 6-3 in the third set to clinch the 4-3 victory.
- Nik Scholtz went 5-0 on the week, including a straight set win against the nation's No. 10 ranked player, Harrison Adams of Texas A&M. Scholtz improved to 13-1 at No. 1 singles and finished the SEC regular season 6-1.
- Johan Backstrom and Joe Rogers staved off two match points at No. 3 doubles to clinch the point, which proved to be the difference in the win over No. 10 Texas A&M. The pair are now 8-3 overall and finished 6-3 in the SEC.
- Freshman Ricardo Jorge came up big in the win over Texas A&M as well, posting a straight set win against Aggie senior Jackson Withrow to improve to 11-5 overall, 6-3 at No. 5 and 5-4 in the SEC.
- Head coach Billy Chadwick notched his 660th career last week and is now at 661.
- The Rebels head to Nashville this week for the SEC Tournament. They will face sixth-seeded Tennessee on Thursday at 9 a.m. in the second round.

Men's Golf
- The Ole Miss men's golf team competed at the Old Waverly Collegiate Championships hosted by Mississippi State University in West Point, Miss.
- As a team, Ole Miss finished in third-place with a three-round total of 2-under-par, 862.
- Junior Blake Morris, who posted 13 birdies in the tournament, claimed third-place with a three-round score of 8-under, 208, marking his third top-five finish this season.
- The Rebels host the Reunion Intercollegiate at the Reunion Golf and Country Club in Madison, Miss., April 14-15.

Women's Golf
- The Ole Miss women's golf team hosted its annual Rebel Intercollegiate last weekend and closed the tournament in 10th-place. Abby Newton and Stani Schiavone led Ole Miss with a three-round score of 222 and finished tied for 20th.
- The Rebels 10th-place finish was their third consecutive top-10 finish, and their final round score of 286 was the best round of golf for Ole Miss this spring. Additionally, Stani Schiavone fired a closing round 4-under-par 68, which tied for the lowest round of the day and was her best round this season.
- The Rebels will take some time off before heading to the 2014 SEC Championships. Ole Miss will compete for the SEC title and a spot in the NCAA Regionals April 18-20 at the Greystone Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.

Track & Field
- Ole Miss athletes won nine events and scored big points for Team Mississippi in the inaugural Alabama-Mississippi Border Clash, hosted by the University of Alabama on Friday at Sam Bailey Stadium.
- The No. 13 nationally ranked Rebel men helped Mississippi prevail over Alabama 107-92 by winning seven events and finishing in the top three in several more.
- Senior Ricky Robertson took a week off of his primary event, the high jump, and found much success while focusing on the long and triple jumps. He tied his personal best in the long jump to win the event with a leap of 25-0.75 and finished runner-up to teammate Phillip Young in the triple jump with a season-best 51-2.25.
- Robertson is now the only athlete to rank in the top 20 in the NCAA in the high jump (1st, 7-6), long jump (14th, 25-0.75) and triple jump (16th, 51-2.25). Only three other athletes even rank in the top 20 in two of those.
- Other wins in Tuscaloosa went to junior Sam Kendricks in the pole vault (18-0.5), freshman Sean Tobin in the 800 meters (PR 1:47.99), freshman Robert Domanic in the 1500 (PR 3:47.01), junior Robert Semien in the 110 hurdles (PR 13.91), and Young in the triple jump (season-best 51-3.75) and the 4x100 relay team (season-best 40.06).
- Women's victories included junior Kierra White in the long jump (PR 20-6.25) and sophomore Mary Alex England in the 5000 (PR 16:51.77).

Women's Tennis
- The Rebels split a pair of matches on the road, losing a heartbreaker to No. 10 Texas A&M 4-3 Friday and shutting out Missouri 4-0 Sunday.
- Mai El Kamash won both her matches this weekend to finish the SEC regular season at 9-4. She is 26-12 overall, 14-4 in dual matches.
- Erin Stephens won her match on Friday for her 9th in a row. She finished 7-4 in the SEC.
- Julia Jones clinched the win on Sunday, to conclude the SEC at 8-5. She also teamed with freshman Zalina Khairudinova to finish 7-3 in the SEC at No. 3 doubles.
- Senior Caroline Rohde-Moe received a Taylor Medal in the School of Business for her outstanding achievements in the classroom. She boasts a 3.94 GPA in Managerial Finance.
- The Rebels remain in Columbia, Mo., this week for the SEC Tournament. They will face the 9th seed South Carolina in the first round Thursday at 2 p.m.

Softball
- Ole Miss went 1-4 last week, splitting a road doubleheader at Southeastern Louisiana before dropping three tight, hard fought games against No. 11 Kentucky at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
- Ole Miss cruised in game one against Southeastern Louisiana on Monday to the tune of a 9-0 (6) victory. Game two proved to be a heartbreaker, however, as the Rebels lost 3-2 on a walk-off home run. Returning home to play for the first time since March 23, Ole Miss lost 3-1 in games one and two vs. Kentucky, and lost 11-4 in 10 innings in the series finale Sunday.
- Senior pitcher Carly Hummel threw 17.2 innings for the week, striking out a team-high 17 batters and allowed just six runs.
- Ole Miss plays again Tuesday with a home doubleheader against Alcorn State. The Rebels will then hit the road for a three-game series against Missouri on Friday and Saturday.

Coming off a disappointing 6-5 loss in 10 innings Saturday, Ole Miss bounced back with a dominant 12-2 win Sunday to take the weekend series against Mississippi State in Starkville.

At the plate, the Rebels set season high for runs (12) and hits (20), while Sam Smith posted his seventh straight quality start and picked up his fifth win of the season.

"It was our day, and it starts with an attitude and a belief," head coach Mike Bianco said. "When we walked into the team meeting before we got here, I could tell they were ready to go. It was a quiet bus ride back to the hotel last night, but I could tell this morning they were ready to go."

"Yesterday, wasn't a good day at the end for us, but we were all excited to go to bed and wake up and play baseball again the next day," Smith said. "We brought a lot of energy this morning, and nobody could have matched our energy today."

Ole Miss did it all at the plate from the start. The Rebels got the leadoff man on in six of the nine innings, went 13-for-26 with runners in scoring position and 5-for-15 with two outs, including three two-out RBIs. Of the 19 hits, 17 were singles, and six players had multi-hit games.

The one-through-four hitters -- Braxton Lee, Auston Bousfield, Austin Anderson and Will Allen -- were a combined 11-for-20 with two doubles, three walks, five runs scored and five RBI. The same four hitters hit at .407 clip for the weekend.

Anderson tied a career-high with four hits, as he went 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI. Bousfield and Preston Overbey had three hits each, followed by Lee, Allen, and Will Jamison with two hits each.

"He can hit the ball out and sprays the ball all over the field," said Bianco of Anderson. "You watch him, and he has so many great at-bats in a row. He continues even when he doesn't get hits. He's just not an easy out up there."

"It was one of those day that everyone was seeing the ball well," Anderson said. We were hitting it, but they weren't. We were aggressive throughout the whole lineup and that definitely helped.

Lee set the table for the Rebels with a 6-for-14 weekend out of the leadoff spot, to go along with three walks, three doubles, three runs scored, two RBI and two stolen bases, which gives him 19 for the season.

"With Braxton really swinging it well, and he's such a threat on the bases, it's hard to quantify how that helps the other guys," Bianco said. They really have to defend against the steal and how that helps Boz, Anderson and Allen, not that they need a lot of help with the way they're swinging, but it's certainly a big deal for us."

The 10 runs was a season-high in support of Sam Smith, who did not allow a run until the seventh inning. He left in the seventh after giving up two runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts in six innings.

"The offense comes out and smacks them in the mouth early and you get to pitch with a lead," Smith said. It's nice to have a little room to breathe."

"It's as good as I have seen him, and that's saying a lot," Bianco said. "He's pitched well. His fastball was really outstanding, throwing the ball down in the zone, throwing ball at the knees, in and out."



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