OLE MISS

April 2014 Archives

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze talks about the new format for future football scheduling, among other topics, on the SEC Spring Football Coaches Media Teleconference Wednesday. Here are the highlights:

Opening Statement:

I was really pleased with the 15 practices we had. We have finally established a little depth where we can go out and have competitive practices and have someone on the depth chart that's pushing you to be your best each and every day. That changed us more in this spring as opposed to the two previous springs because we had some guys push each other and we got some of our injured players back from the season. I was very excited about the progress we made in the spring.

On the Forward Together capital campaign being $10 million away from the $120 million goal to begin work on the North End Zone expansion after the season:

I leave that up to Ross (Bjork), Keith (Carter) and those guys. We have made a lot of progress on it. I'm confident that they know that they have a great plan in place, and they are certainly working hard at that. Hopefully, all of those things will fall right in line. You know your strengths and weaknesses, so I very rarely get into those discussions. If we're progressing as a football team, we'll do our part in helping that.

On what the renovation and expansion would mean for the program:

When I first got here, they had a lot of discussions going on about that. I was very vocal that the first thing was to do what we have done with the $15 million renovation of the new locker room, nutrition center, weight room, team room and all of the things we have done there in the Manning Center. That was a priority for me over the expansion of the stadium. Now, I do think we're at a point where that is the next thing on the agenda. It adds to the signs that we're moving forward as a program and as an athletic department.

On the SEC's quarterback play taking a hit or being a rebuilding job considering the departed quarterbacks:

That would be the initial consensus if you asked anybody. All of us would prefer to have a returning quarterback that has experience. However, having said that, there have been several examples of quarterbacks who did not have that experience that came in and immediately had a huge impact on college football, even in our conference. If you look at what (Johnny) Manziel did when he first arrived on the scene with no experience, and Auburn's guy (Nick Marshall) last year was a huge difference-maker in his team. The consensus would be that you feel comfortable with a returned but that does not always prove to be exactly the best scenario for everyone. You would feel that it's that way with the talent of the kids that we lost out of this league. That's an enormous group. You would think that will take some time to rebuild to that level, but there's always an exception out there somewhere, as we have seen.

On quarterback Bo Wallace having an All-SEC type season:

I certainly hope so. He's thrown for a lot of yards and touchdowns. He has to continue to work on taking care of the ball. In neither one of his seasons did he have a complete year. We're hopeful for that in his senior campaign. He's deserving of the discussions that are going on in regards to that, but the season will decide that. We won't get caught up in what preseason things are said about him, but he's deserving of those discussions.

On the perfect scenario for the four nonconference games:

"We're going to play the one from the other BCS conferences, an (FCS opponent), I would always like to have one of those, and then two mid-major types. With the league schedule that we play and the other school that you will choose to play from a power conference, that's the best make-up for us at Ole Miss. We've gone through a year of injuries, and we see how that affects us, and the wear and tear you take in the league games that we play. It takes its toll on you. That's the best case for us.

On the format for eight conference games:

"I was very clear with our chancellor and our AD that I thought the fairest way to do it was the 6-0-2 (format) and rotate the other two (Eastern Division) opponents. However, having said that, I also said to them that the priority is we want to stay at eight games. Whatever momentum was in the room to stay at eight, I would be OK with either. That was my exact conversation. I think the fairest way would have been the 6-0-2 method, but I wanted to stay at eight for sure. That was our priority. I haven't seen which way everybody voted. I just saw what the result was, so I can't speak a lot on what other people said because I haven't seen it. That's the conversation I had with my administration.

On being in favor of eight conference games:

"I was in favor of eight just because we beat each other up enough, and we've been very successful with eight in putting our teams in the national championship hunt and being successful at. I don't know why we would want to change until it's proven that doesn't work anymore. What we have done with eight games is put our team -- more than one usually -- in the hunt for a national championship berth, so I would like for us to stay with that. It's best for us at Ole Miss for sure to stay at eight, so that's what our preference was.

After a weekend sweep of No. 17 Kentucky, Ole Miss moved up five spots to No. 4 in this week's official RPI rankings

Auburn, which Ole Miss swept earlier this season, moved into the RPI top 50 to No. 47, and UCF, which Ole Miss also swept earlier this season, moved more solidly into the RPI top 50 to No. 45.

With its resume to this point, Ole Miss is in both the regional host and national seed discussion. Perfect Game's Kendall Rogers assessed the Rebels' national seed chances in his weekly college chat on Monday.

I think it'll be very close this weekend. I think there also are some other teams moving into that mix, too. For instance, Oregon State is almost guaranteed to be a national seed this week, and Indiana is up to 2 overall in the RPI with a solid resume. The big thing for Ole Miss right now is its only 5-7 vs. RPI Top 25 and 15-11 vs. RPI Top 100, but to me, that all gets trumped by having a solid SEC record. With that said, the Rebels are still behind South Carolina and Florida in the pecking order, and I'm not so sure the SEC is going to get three national seeds just yet. Ole Miss is head to head with LSU, IMO, for a third national seed. Right now, LSU has the head to head, but OM leads pretty much every other metric, especially in non-conference play and SOS.

Here's a brief look at the NCAA Tournament resume and remaining schedule for Ole Miss, as well as the NCAA Tournament resumes for Florida, LSU and South Carolina.

Ole Miss Rebels

33-12 Overall | 13-8 SEC (t-2nd)

RPI: 4

Strength of Schedule (Warren Nolan): 15

Record against RPI top 25: 5-7

Record against RPI top 50: 13-9

Record against RPI top 100: 15-11

Road Record: 12-6

Florida Gators

30-15 Overall | 15-6 SEC (1st)

RPI: 3

Strength of Schedule (Warren Nolan): 1

Record against RPI top 25: 10-5

Record against RPI top 50: 15-8

Record against RPI top 100: 21-11

Road Record: 7-7

LSU Tigers

33-11 Overall | 12-8-1 SEC (4th)

RPI: 15

Strength of Schedule (Warren Nolan): 40

Record against RPI top 25: 3-7

Record against RPI top 50: 8-8

Record against RPI top 100: 13-9

Road Record: 6-7

South Carolina Gamecocks

34-11 Overall | 12-9 SEC (5th)

RPI: 6

Strength of Schedule (Warren Nolan): 20

Record against RPI top 25: 6-6

Record against RPI top 50: 14-7

Record against RPI top 100: 17-9

Road Record: 5-6

Remaining Schedule For Ole Miss:

April 30 vs. Southern Miss (RPI No. 67)

May 2-4 vs. Arkansas (59)

May 9-11 vs. Georgia (62)

May 13 at Arkansas State (60)

May 15-17 at Texas A&M (38)

Chadwick's Top Moments: No. 9

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NCAA.5.2292.JPGBilly Chadwick, SEC Championships, Final Fours and dramatic wins over Georgia.  These are just a few of the major accomplishments that resonate throughout the Ole Miss tennis program.  Chadwick has led the Rebels to these heights before and did so again in 2005.  The No. 9 moment on the countdown involves all of these.

In 1995, as we have previously recognized, the Rebels beat the No. 2 seed Georgia in Athens to send the Rebels to the NCAA National Championship match.  In 2005, Chadwick and the Rebels beat SEC rival Georgia 4-2 to send them to the NCAA Final Four for the 4th time in program history.  

Before we recount the drama-packed Georgia win, we'll navigate through the road in which the Rebels came to the quarterfinal showdown.  Ole Miss hosted its sixth regional at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center and welcomed Jacksonville State, Middle Tennessee and Auburn to Oxford.  The Rebels protected their home court by defeating Jacksonville State 4-0 in the first round, and taking down Auburn 4-2 to send the Rebels to the Sweet Sixteen for the 10th time.  

The Rebels then had to travel to College Station, Texas to square off against Texas Tech in the round of 16.  With big performances from three-time All-American Catalin Gard, freshman Erling Tveit and Juan Pablo Di Cesare, Ole Miss advanced to the Elite Eight and set up a showdown between two of the top programs in the country with a Final Four appearance on the line.

Now, let the dramatics ensue.  Down 1-5 in the third set, freshman Bram ten Berge rallied at No. 5 singles to beat Georgia's Ricardo Gonzalez and clinch the match to send the Rebels to the NCAA Final Four.  The Rebels would lose a tough one to the eventual national champion UCLA 4-1 in the semifinals.  The Rebels would end the season ranked No. 3 in the country.

"To be one of four teams left standing at the end of the year is a tribute to the entire team, who worked hard all year to get to this position," Chadwick said at the conclusion of the 2005 season.  "We are thrilled to finish as SEC Champions and NCAA Semifinalists."

On Wednesday, we will shift focus to 2006 and celebrate an individual accomplishment; only this time, the accomplishment is not of a player.  Stay tuned to see what it could be.

Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 21-27)

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Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
April 21-27, 2014

Baseball
- Ole Miss went on the road and swept No. 17 Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., this past weekend for only the third time in school history, and the first time since 2002.
- The Rebels scored 39 runs on the weekend, the most in a three-game SEC series in school history. Ole Miss also tallied 49 hits and six home runs.
- Junior outfielder Auston Bousfield hit .714 for the series with eight runs scored and seven RBIs to help pace the Rebels' offense in the sweep.
- Ole Miss will host four games this week, including a Wednesday night contest with Southern Miss and a weekend series against Arkansas.

Track & Field
- The No. 11 nationally ranked Ole Miss men's team competed at the Arkansas State Red Wolves Open this past weekend, while the Rebel women split between the Drake Relays and the Red Wolves Open.
- Between the two squads, Ole Miss collected six event victories and posted some of its best results of the season.
- Freshman Jalen Miller once again burned the track in the 100 and 200 meters. He placed runner-up in both events to former Rebel and Olympian Isiah Young (running unattached). Miller equaled his personal best of 10.24 in the 100 and ran 21.02 in the 200 as the top collegiate finisher.
- Sophomore Nathan Loe won the hammer throw with a heave of 209-7 that was just shy of his school record of 210-3. Loe has now placed in the top two at all five outdoor meets this year.
- On Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa, freshman Mary Alex England won the Drake Relays 10,000 meters and set a school record with her time of 34:48.66. Amazingly, it was her first ever competitive race at that distance.
- Other victories for the men went to freshman Will Spiers in the 1,500 (personal-best 4:00.95), junior Robert Semien in the 110 hurdles (14.19) and the 4x400 relay (3:11.84), while Margaret Harkness claimed the women's 1,500 title in Jonesboro (4:45.77).

Men's Tennis
- Junior Nik Scholtz (Caledon, South Africa) was named the SEC Men's Tennis Player of the Year last week. Scholtz is the highest ranked player, nationally, in the SEC at No. 9. He finished the regular season 15-1 at No. 1 singles, 8-1 in the SEC.
- Scholtz became the fourth Rebel to earn the league's top honor, and the first player in program history to earn freshman of the year and player of the year honors during his career.
- The Rebels are expected to earn their 21st consecutive NCAA appearance when the selections are announced Tuesday at 4 p.m. The announcement of the 64 teams and 16 host sites will be broadcast on NCAA.com.

Women's Tennis
- Junior Julia Jones earned All-SEC Second Team honors as the league office announced the 2014 postseason awards last week. Jones (St. Petersburg, Fla.) owns a team-leading 26-10 overall record, 15-6 in dual matches and 8-5 in the SEC. She posted a 4-2 record at No. 2 singles, 11-4 at No. 3 singles. Jones also went 15-5 in doubles with freshman Zalina Khairudinova, 7-3 in the SEC.
- This marks the second time for Jones to be recognized by the league office, as she was named to the all-freshman team in 2012.
- The Rebels have had at least one member of the squad named to the all-SEC team every year of head coach Mark Beyers' career (13 years).
- The Rebels are expected to earn their sixth consecutive NCAA appearance when the selections are announced Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. The announcement of the 64 teams and 16 host sites will be broadcast on NCAA.com.

Softball
- Ole Miss celebrated Senior Weekend last week against then-No. 24 LSU by recognizing two of its six seniors - RT Cantillo, Shelby Jo Fenter, Carly Hummel, Londen Ladner, Natalie Nimmo and Marina Parra - prior to each game of the three-game series.
- Ole Miss couldn't get its offense going in the series' opening two games though, and couldn't slow down the Tigers in Sunday's series finale.
- Redshirt freshman Alyssa Invergo went 3-6 with an RBI in the series vs. LSU, while Nimmo batted in three runs over the course of the three games.
- Ole Miss will close out its regular season schedule with a three-game series at No. 8 Tennessee beginning Friday at 5 p.m. CT. Game two will begin Saturday at 1 p.m., and game three is scheduled for Sunday at noon and will be televised by Fox Sports Network.

Men's Golf
- The Ole Miss men's golf team competed at the 2014 SEC Championships at St. Simmons Island, Ga., at the Sea Island Golf and Country Club.
- Junior Joe Lewis was the Rebels' top competitor, carding a three-day total of 217 and tying for 43rd place.
- As a team, Ole Miss finished in 14th with a tournament total of 875.

The Southeastern Conference on Sunday announced the format for future football scheduling that is a continuation of the existing format and adds a strength-of-schedule component that requires all schools to play an ACC, Big 12, Big Ten or Pac-12 opponent on an annual basis.

Each SEC team will continue to play eight conference football games per season, to include six games against division opponents and two games against non-division opponents.  One of the non-division opponents will be a permanent annual opponent and the other non-division opponent will rotate each year. 

Under the format, Ole Miss will continue to play Vanderbilt each year including this year's SEC opener on Saturday, Sept. 6 in Nashville's LP Field. Ole Miss enjoyed much recent success as well as well as a large and rapidly growing alumni base in Nashville.

"The existing strength of the SEC was certainly a significant factor in the decision to play eight games," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.  "In fact, just last year, five of our schools comprised the top five toughest schedules in the nation according to the NCAA and nine ranked in the top 20.

"A number of our schools play annual ACC opponents, and recent history shows our schools are already playing a significant number of strong non-conference opponents across the country on a home and home basis or in neutral site games."

A balanced league schedule for all teams - equal home and away conference games (four home and four away); a nine-game schedule would have resulted in some teams with five home games and others with four on an annual basis

Accommodates varying institutional non-conference scheduling philosophies

Allows for marquee neutral site games - the popularity of neutral site games has grown in recent years, as evidenced by large crowds and significant TV ratings for those games that feature major intersectional opponents

One of the non-division opponents will be a permanent annual opponent and the other non-division opponent will rotate each year.

Creates annual cross-division rivalries that otherwise would not be annual games

Provides each team with a traditional opponent for the final weekend of the season

In addition, at least one opponent from the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten or Pac-12 must be scheduled by each SEC school on an annual basis beginning in 2016, with assistance from the conference office. 

In recent years, Ole Miss has played a home-and-home with Texas Tech (2002, 2003), Wake Forest (2006, 2008), Missouri, which was then in the Big 12 (2006, 2007), and most recently, Texas (2012, 2013).

This year, Ole Miss will face Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff. While the Broncos would not meet the new requirement, the Broncos have won 10 or more games in 10 of the last 12 years.

SEC Announces Format For Future Football Schedules

Scholtz Joins Elite Group

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The Ole Miss tennis program continues it's rich tradition under head coach Billy Chadwick of producing the best player in the country's toughest conference.  Today, the SEC office announced junior and two-time All-American Nik Scholtz as the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year.  Scholtz becomes the fourth player for Ole Miss to earn the prestigious award and the first player in Ole Miss tennis history to be named SEC Freshman of the Year and SEC Player of the Year in his career.

Following an exceptional regular season, Scholtz continued his dominant play in the SEC Tournament going 2-0, and rising to No.9 in the national rankings as the highest ranked player in the SEC.  Scholtz boasted a 15-1 record at No. 1 singles, including 8-1 in the SEC.  The SEC currently has seven teams ranked inside the top 25 in the ITA National Rankings.

The South African native 12-time ATP Grand Slam champion Mahesh Bhupathi and three-time All-Americans Johan Hede and Catalin Gard as Rebels to be named SEC Player of the Year.  
Below is a quick look at all the Rebels' SEC Players of the Year.

SEC PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Thumbnail image for Scholtz_SECPOY.jpg2014 - Nik Scholtz
Singles Record:
8-1 SEC
Highest Singles Ranking: No. 9

Notes: Scholtz became the first player in Ole Miss tennis history to earn SEC Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year honors in his career.  With the Rebels awaiting their postseason destination, Scholtz has positioned himself nicely for a run at the NCAA Singles Championship. Scholtz led the Rebels to some huge conference wins down the stretch to secure the Rebels a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the 21st consecutive season. 

gard_catalin041004_blog.jpg2004 - Catalin Gard
Singles Record:
10-1 SEC
Highest Singles Ranking: No.1 (24 straight weeks)

Notes: Gard led the Rebels to the overall SEC Championship and their third straight SEC West title in 2004.  A three-time All-American, he was also the 2004 ITA All-American Champion and ended his career as the second winningest player in Ole Miss history with 112 wins.

1996 - Johan Hede
Singles Record:
11-0 SEC
Highest Ranking: No. 4Clincher_1995_blog.jpg

Notes: Finishing the season as the SEC's highest ranked player, Hede won the 1996 SEC Singles Championship and was a 1996 NCAA Singles semifinalist. He was also a three-time All-America selection as well as a three-time All-SEC selection, going undefeated in conference play in 1996.  Hede qualified for the NCAA Individual Championships all four years and stands as the all-time winningest player in Ole Miss tennis history with 135 wins.

Bhupathi_Mahesh95ncaa_blog.jpg1995 - Mahesh Bhupathi
Combined Singles and Doubles Record:
15-3 SEC
Highest Ranking: No.1 in doubles, No. 3 in singles

Notes: Bhupathi became the first Rebel to be named SEC Player of the Year.  He was the 1995 SEC Singles Champion and teamed with Ali Hamadeh to win the NCAA Doubles Championship, the school's first ever NCAA title.  Bhupathi also helped lead the Rebels to the NCAA Championship Final and a final national ranking of No. 3.  Bhupathi has won 12 ATP Grand Slam titles in doubles.


Chadwick'sTop Moments: No. 10

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gatoradebath.jpgMoving along chronologically, today we delve into the top 10 moments of Ole Miss men's tennis coach Billy Chadwick continuing with the 2005 season, which was one of the most exciting seasons in Ole Miss tennis history.

In 2005, the Rebels would capture their second consecutive Southeastern Conference Championship and fourth overall (1996, 1997 and 2004).  The Rebels posted a 10-1 conference record, highlighted by wins over No. 12 Kentucky, No. 20 Auburn, No. 7 Florida and No. 20 Mississippi State.  The Rebels would claim the SEC in thrilling fashion.  On the last day of the regular season, Chadwick and the Rebels marched into Starkville and clinched the SEC with a 4-3 win over their arch-rival, making it the 10th straight win over MSU for Chadwick and the Rebs.  The Rebels won the SEC West as well, bringing their record against SEC West opponents to a dominant 20-0 since the 2002 season.

The Rebels were paced by team captain Catalin Gard, who opened the season ranked No. 1 in the country, junior Juan Pablo Di Cesare, along with freshman phenoms Erling Tveit, Jakob Klaeson and Bram ten Berge.  Di Cesare won the clincher in Starkville to propel the Rebels to the SEC title.  Tveit made his presence known early and often, going 9-2 in the SEC as a freshman and earning All-SEC honors.  Klaeson and ten Berge were instrumental as a doubles tandem, posting an 18-9 overall doubles record.

Winning the rigid Southeastern Conference was just the beginning of the success that the Rebels would encounter throughout the magical 2005 season.  Tune back in on Friday as we divulge the depths in which this Rebel squad went in the postseason.

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

Special assistance from Media Relations student Wesley Boock.

Chadwick's Top Moments: No. 11

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halftimeum04.jpgOn this Monday we take a look at moment No. 11 of the top moments in Billy Chadwick's career.  This moment encompasses a year full of great accomplishments that Chadwick made the norm for the Ole Miss tennis program.  

In 2004, the Rebels enjoyed yet another extremely successful season.  The Rebels won the program's third overall Southeastern Conference Championship, featuring the SEC Player of the Year, Catalin Gard, and SEC Coach of the Year, Billy Chadwick.  The Rebels finished conference play with a 9-2 record, highlighted by wins over No. 15 Vanderbilt, No. 17 Georgia and No. 13 LSU, including an undefeated record against SEC West foes.  The Rebels spent four weeks throughout the season ranked ranked No. 2 in the country and finished the season ranked No. 5.

Senior Catalin Gard went 10-1 in league play at No. 1 singles, en route to becoming the third Rebel to win SEC POY honors, joining Mahesh Bhupathi (1995) and Johan Hede (1996).  Coach Chadwick earned his second SEC COY honor (1996) after guiding the Rebels to a 22-5 overall record, a Southeastern Conference title and a No. 5 final ranking.  

On Wednesday, we will break into the top 10 moments, beginning chronologically in 2005, in which Chadwick and the Rebels reached familiar and some not so familiar milestones.  Stay tuned to check them out in our list of the top 10 moments of coach Billy Chadwick.

Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 14-20)

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Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
April 14-20, 2014

Baseball
- Ole Miss went 1-2 last week vs. No. 7 LSU, dropping a 13-inning affair in the series opener before taking game two and falling in the series finale.
- Ole Miss became the first team in the Southeastern Conference to hit the 30-win mark with a 5-1 win over No. 7 LSU on Friday night.
- Junior outfielder Auston Bousfield leads the SEC in hits with 61 on the season and leads the team in hitting at a .347 clip.
- Senior catcher Will Allen is second in the SEC in RBIs (42), while junior first baseman Sikes Orvis is second in home runs (9).
- Ole Miss will play four road games this week, including the Governor's Cup game Tuesday vs. MSU, and a three-game series at Kentucky this weekend.

Track & Field
- The No. 11 Ole Miss men had a successful week at the historic Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif.
- The biggest highlight came Friday when freshman Sean Tobin shattered a 29-year-old school record in the 1,500 meters with a time of 3:42.07. He moved up to No. 7 in the NCAA this year and is also ranked 11th nationally in the 800.
- Several other Rebel freshmen stood out in California. Robert Domanic ran a personal-best time of 14:08.78 in his first college outdoor 5,000 meters to rank fifth in school history. Jalen Miller (10.30 in the 100, 21.01 in the 200) and Kailo Moore (personal-best 21.07 in the 200) shined in the short sprints. Trevor Gilley achieved a personal best in the 1,500 (3:47.43) and moved into the top 10 in school history
- Senior Ricky Robertson won silver in the high jump with a clearance of 7-3.75. Junior Phillip Young recorded a season-best 51-9.75 in the triple jump and moved up to 10th in the NCAA this year and ninth in school history. Junior Robert Semien won a bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.07.
- At the War Eagle Invitational in Auburn, sophomore Nathan Loe won the hammer throw with a heave of 200-9.
- The Ole Miss men and women are in action this week at the A-State Red Wolves Open (men) and the Drake Relays (women).

Men's Tennis
- The Rebels went 1-1 at the SEC Tournament, knocking off No. 18 Tennessee 4-2 in the second round before falling to No. 11 Kentucky in a close 4-2 match in the quarterfinals.
- Stefan Lindmark clinched the win over Tennessee for his second consecutive clinch against an SEC opponent. He defeated Jarryd Chaplin 6-0 in the third set at No. 3 singles to clinch the Rebels' fifth straight against the Volunteers. Lindmark also teamed up with William Kallberg to upset the No. 1 ranked doubles team in the nation to clinch the doubles point. The Swedish duo handed the Vol tandem just their second SEC loss since 2012.
- Nik Scholtz won both his singles matches to improve to 15-1 at No. 1 singles, including a win over Kentucky's Tom Jomby, ranked No. 11, for the second time this year. It marked Scholtz' fourth top-12 win of the season. His win over No. 27 ranked Hunter Reese gave the Rebels a 3-2 lead and set up Lindmark's clinching victory against Tennessee.
- Johan Backstrom and Joe Rogers improved to 9-3 overall and 7-3 at No. 3 doubles with a huge win against Tennessee. For the second straight SEC match, the duo faced match points but rallied to win 8-7(7) to set up their teammates' clinching win at No. 1 doubles.

Women's Tennis
- The Rebels (13-9) dropped their opening match in the SEC Tournament second round to South Carolina, 4-2.
- Junior Julia Jones won her match in straight sets to improve to 26-10 overall, 15-6 in dual matches.  
- Junior Erin Stephens earned her 10th straight victory.

Men's Golf
- The Ole Miss men's golf team hosted the Reunion Intercollegiate at the Reunion Golf and Country Club in Madison, Miss.
- Junior Blake Morris finished with a two-round score of even-par 144 and claimed second-place. This marked Morris' fourth top-five finish of the season.
- Morris helped lead Ole Miss to a fourth-place finish as a team, which marked the second-straight tournament the Rebels have posted a top-five finish.
- The Rebels will be back in action April 25-27 at the SEC Championships in Sea Island, Ga.

Women's Golf
- The Ole Miss women's golf team closed out action at the SEC Championships on Sunday in 14th-place with a three-day score of 925 (313-305-307-925). Abby Newton and Alison Hovatter led the Rebels with scores of 228 and 230, respectively. Ole Miss will now wait to see if it is selected for the NCAA Regionals on May 5.

Softball
- Ole Miss went 2-3 last week, cruising in a home doubleheader against Alcorn State before dropping three games at No. 13 Missouri.
- The Rebels were red-hot Tuesday at the Ole Miss Softball Complex as they emphatically beat Alcorn State 18-5 (5) and 13-1 (5), respectively.
- Behind a season-high 18 hits, Ole Miss scored a season-high 18 runs and cruised in game one of the doubleheader. The Rebels' 18 runs scored were their highest total since scoring 22 runs Feb. 13, 2008. The Rebels scored in each of the eight innings it came up to bat in the two games combined, and of the 15 outs they recorded in game two Tuesday, 11 came by way of strikeout.
- After taking a one-run lead in the top of the seventh of the series opener Friday at Missouri, Ole Miss lost 5-3 on a walk-off three-run home run. The Rebels then fell 2-0 in game two of the doubleheader despite allowing just four hits against the Tigers, which entered the series with the second most hits in the SEC. Ole Miss couldn't get its bats going Saturday and dropped the series finale at Missouri 9-1 (6).
- The Rebels open a three-game home series Friday vs. LSU. Ole Miss will recognize its six seniors in the series with two seniors honored prior to the start of each game.

Earlier this baseball season, Ole Miss tied a game on a dropped fly ball with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, which was a case of deja vu for Ole Miss fan Curtis Wilkie, who remembered the same thing happening in a game seven years earlier.

What helped him remember? He always keeps score at baseball games, whether it is the major leagues or Ole Miss, as he shows scorecards piled up in his office in Farley Hall on campus.

"I remember and other people there remembered a previous game, and I was pretty sure it was a Friday night game against Georgia, but I couldn't remember which year," Wilkie said. "I got the media guide and looked up previous series we played against Georgia and found it immediately. I remembered we won the game, so I was able to pull the scorebook for that year out and flip to it, and it was right there. It's fun to be able to do that."

Every fan that keeps a scorebook has a story. 

Wilkie has been keeping score since he was 10, and by the time he was in the sixth or seventh grade he was the official scorekeeper for Summit High School in Summit, Miss.

"It's something not a lot of people do, but I have found it as a good way to keep up with the game," Wilkie said. "If I go to major league games, I will generally buy a scorecard and keep score. Since I was in high school, I don't think I have done it as systematically as I do now with the Ole Miss team. I keep score of every game I go to and I have my own scorebook that I make."

Another resident scorekeeper is Juanita Skinner, originally from Baldwyn, Miss., who now lives in Oxford. She went to Ole Miss in the late '50's and early '60's, and then started keeping score for the junior high baseball team when she was a teacher and counselor for 39-plus years at Colonial Junior High and Overton High School in Memphis.

"Up here, I was keeping it just on a plain piece of paper, and Coach Bianco's father, Ron, sat at the table and we all talked, and he said, 'You need a real scorebook,' " Skinner said. "He was the one that got me back keeping the score in an official scorebook about three years ago. I did it because I concentrated on the game. Not everybody is here for the ball game; a lot of people are here to socialize. As long as I'm keeping score, I'm concentrating on the ball game, and that's why I got started doing it."

Behind home plate, there is a scattering of fans keeping score. There's David Robinson, who's been an Ole Miss baseball season-ticket holder since Pat Harrison was coach in the late '90's. 

Like so many others, it helps him stay focused on the game. When he sees the batter step to the plate, he know what they did in their previous at-bats, and he keeps a pitch count, so he can tell when the pitcher is going to start tiring out. However, he had a rather unique start to his scorekeeping.

"The honest truth is I wound up coaching my son's little league teams, and I would bring the book here and keep the book here to teach myself how to keep up with keeping a book for his game," Robinson said. "A college baseball game can last four hours, but if you're keeping a scorebook, it feels like it was only an hour and a half."

A couple of rows up from Robinson, behind home plate and right below the press box, you can find Shannon Lovejoy keeping score. Similar to Wilkie, she's been keeping a book since she was 9 when her father took her to a California Angels game and taught her how. Since then she has done it for every game she has gone to and has been coming to Ole Miss baseball games since the '80's.

"You can look at a complete scorecard and you can recreate the game," Lovejoy said. "That's pretty cool. I also watch the pitcher and keep the pitch count. I have people who text me all through the game to see what the pitch count is. The people who are season-ticket holders know I'm totally focused in on the game, so they don't engage me in a lot of conversation during a game."

And then there's Don Sheffield, who everyone calls "coach," who was a football manager at Ole Miss from 1958-62 before getting into coaching, which he did for about 10 years in northeast Mississippi. 

He remembers being asked in the summer of 1963 to coach a community baseball team of pee-wees and junior players in Dorsey, Miss., where he grew up, and he coached them to a championship, after which he went back to school to finish up his degree in physical education, so he could teach and coach.

"All during the time I was coaching, you had your own scorebook for your team, so I got accustomed to keeping score," Sheffield said. "It keeps me into the game. If I'm sitting here watching the game and I get to talking to somebody I lose what's happening in the game, but if I'm keeping score, I'm mentally into the game and I know what's happening. Another reason for doing it is I have a small Ole Miss message board, and so, if I want to make a comment about the baseball game, I want accuracy in what I say about the game."

Whether it's keeping up with the game, remembering past games or settling arguments and debating points, every fan and every scorecard has a story. You just have to find them.

Closing Time

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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.

Well we're back in Oxford and the SEC Championships are over. Kinda hard to believe that the regular season is over if you think about it, it seems like just yesterday we were hopping in the Sprinter to kick off the fall season. My first season as the Ole Miss Women's Golf contact has been filled with laughter, fun and LOTS of pictures. (Can't believe we didn't get an Instagram until the spring ... SID-fail but Coach J had my back:)

 Some lessons that I learned from the women's golf team this year ...

1. There is no such thing as too much laughter or pictures

2. Abby Newton and animal crackers go together like peas and carrots

3. Always carry your rain gear (especially if I'm on a road trip, my presence increases the likelihood of rain by at least 50 percent)

4. Running a golf tournament = LONG HOURS

5. Ole Miss women's golf is family meaning that discussions of things like bodily functions are all likely to happen and even more likely to happen during a meal

6. Golf needs walk up music ... just think about it, when you're approaching the tee and you hear "Thunderstruck" ... that would pump me up!

Speaking of walk up songs, we did talk about this over the week and we had a few good ones, although none better than Coach Drinkard's (You'll have to ask her about that!, if you can't figure it out)

Abby Newton - Thunderstruck

Alison Hovatter - The Only Way I Know

Taelor Rubin - Dust on the Bottle

Stani Schiavone - Know What You Did in the Dark

Maria Toennessen - Burn 

Coach Drinkard - A song we can't name by Elton John!

Coach Howland - Livin' on a Prayer 

Lynnette Johnson - Don't Look Back 

Josie Nicholson -Fighter 

Jess Poole - September

Well, Ole Miss women's golf, came and saw and conquered and we all had a darn good time in the process!

Until next season,

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

 

Sam Smith posted his eighth straight quality start, but it was not enough, as LSU shut out Ole Miss 2-0 Saturday afternoon to take the three-game series. It was the first time that the Rebels had been shutout since a 4-0 loss to Memphis on April 15 last season, and the six hits were the second-lowest output of the season.

"They came straight at us, attacking us," Will Allen said. "Early on, we hit a lot good balls, but they just weren't finding holes. That's baseball. They're a good team and they have good arms, but we're a better offense than that. We have to execute better than that. We know that. We're more talented than that. We have done our jobs for the majority of the whole, but today was not our day. We didn't really come out and get after it like we always have been and striking first."

"It was just a bad day offensively, which is not like us," head coach Mike Bianco said. "I really felt like this weekend wasn't like us. Unfortunately today, it was one of those bad offensive days that happens in baseball over 56 games. We just really couldn't mount anything. We had a few base hits here or there, but we really didn't threaten at all."

Smith, a native of Lake Charles, La., pitched into the eighth inning and left with a 2-0 deficit after he allowed a solo home run to Conner Hale to lead off the inning, which snapped a streak of 10 straight retired batters for him. 

He allowed two runs -- both earned -- on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in a career-long 7.1 innings. With the loss, Ole Miss is 5-3 during his streak of eight straight quality starts.

"It's so disappointing for him individually," Bianco said. "I know he just wants to win. It's not about his win or loss; it's about our success. What can you say? Every third game, he gives you great effort. He really didn't have his stuff today. 

"I don't know if he touched 90 (mph). If he did, it was just a few pitches in the 90s, where usually he's all over 90-93, but he hung in there. It wasn't his best day stuff-wise, but it was one of his gutsier performances. He gave us every opportunity, but we couldn't do anything offensively."

LSU's starting pitcher, Alden Cartwright, retired the first nine Ole Miss batters in order and left with a 1-0 lead after four innings. For the game, Ole Miss leadoff hitters were 0-for-9, and the Rebels were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.

Ole Miss threatened in the fourth with back-to-back one-out singles by Auston Bousfield and Austin Anderson, but Will Allen grounded into an inning-ending double play. 

"It was up and in, and honestly I shouldn't have swung at it," said Allen of his at-bat in the fourth. "That was my fault. That was really an inning that we could have put together and score some runs and put some pressure on them."

Sikes Orvis hit a two-out double in the seventh, but Ole Miss could not get him home, and then in the ninth, trailing 2-0, the Rebels got the would-be game-winning run to the plate after a single by Anderson and two-walk by Orvis, but LSU's Kurt McCune got a groundout to close out the 2-0 win.

"It is frustrating but it's baseball," Allen said. "It's happened to us before and we have overcome it to win some ball games. It's happened to other teams. It's going to happen to every team. There's not really much you can do about it. You have to keep your head up and keep swinging."

"We lacked that punch," Bianco said. "We lacked that on Thursday night, where we have always been so good when the game is on the line. We just couldn't manage stuff, and that's going to happen. It happens at times in our game. We couldn't manage to put an inning together, we couldn't make the pitch at the right time, and we couldn't make the play to get off the field in a couple of innings. That's not us. You look at the weekend, even yesterday, we played better, but certainly not the way we have played at home until this point."


Rainy Start to the SEC Championships

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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.

Well, looks like I'm cursed (At least I am not a British man, sorry Lynnette) We've got rain here in Birmingham, go figure. The last time I traveled with this crew, we had an ENTIRE round cancelled in Knoxville and today we had a one hour rain delay and now we've had today's round cancelled. It's definitely me (Sorry coaches!)

In my time at the course today, I have noticed that golfers have some really interesting ways to pass time. Aside from the usual playing with your phone and listening to music, doing homework, there are also teams that play cards. Texas A&M and South Carolina were having intense card games, while our team just enjoyed our time together. Lots of laughs had by allJ and many many things for our quote board!

Despite the rain, we did have a few fans, our administrator Lynnette Johnson made the trip to cheer us on and we even had an alum out on the course during our practice round, John Todd (Class of '64). We have some of the best fans ever. You can count on a Rebel sighting wherever we go!  

Ok so back to the rain ....

We decided at 12:45 p.m. that we were going to play.  (Yay). So we had a rain soaked day on the golf course. We battled not only the course, but the wind and the rain and the darkness and we came out #RebelStrong.

As usual, the best part of the day was dinner. We had a lovely meal in the private room at Greystone's Legacy Course (Shout out to Brett for hooking that up). During this meal, we talked about many, many things but the best was talking about what each golfer would have as a walk up song if we did that sort of thing in golf.

Coach Drinkard's was the best. It's an Elton John song and if you know Coach Drinkard you know what this song isJ

There were lots of laughs as usual at dinner tonight and I'll leave you with this little gem.

"T-W-O by T-W-O by T-W-O" you'll have to ask Taelor Rubin about that one.

We're back at it tomorrow at 10 a.m. 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)

 

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."



Ole Miss struck early with five runs over the first four innings, which Chris Ellis and Wyatt Short made hold up in a 6-1 win over Mississippi State Friday night at Dudy Noble Field.

The leadoff man for Mississippi State reached base safely in five of the seven innings that Ellis started, but he limited the damage to one run in 6.2 innings, as he scattered eight hits with a walk, two hit batsmen and two strikeouts. It marked the seventh time in nine starts that he allowed no earned runs or one earned run this season.

"He was terrific," head coach Mike Bianco said. "He made pitches when he had to. He looked like he was so in command of the game. I was proud of the way he pitched, better than he's been in a while."

"It felt like every inning they got a leadoff guy on, whether it was beating out an infield single, or I walk a guy, or hit a guy, but it was good to have defense behind me that turned doubles plays and made the big play to get me out of the inning," Ellis said.

A trio of defensive plays in the middle innings highlighted the effort in the field that included just one error and saved at least one run and possibly more. 

"Chris had a great game today, throwing strikes and making it easy on the defense, getting ground balls and double-play balls to get out of innings," Errol Robinson said. "He kept us in the game throwing strikes and not too many walks today."

In the fourth, Preston Overbey knocked a ball down hit to a hole on the right side and then caught the lead runner in a run-down between third base and home for the last out of the inning. 

In the fifth, Robinson and Overbey combined on a 6-4-3 double play to get out of the inning, and then in the eighth, Braxton Lee started the inning defensively with an outfield assist, as he cut the ball off and threw out the runner at second.

"It was a big double play, not just by Errol but also a tough turn," said Bianco of the double play. "They run well. We're not holding the guy at first, so he gets a great jump, and then it's a tough turn for Preston because they're all over him. He makes a great turn and gets out of it." 

Mississippi State threatened again later in the eighth with runners at first and second and two outs. Short, who entered the game the seventh, was behind 3-0 to Wes Rea, and then he battled back to a 3-2 count before getting a lineout to Overbey to end the inning.

"We need that," said Bianco of the defense. "We defended really well up until a few weeks ago, so we need to get back to that."



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Riding a six-game win streak, Ole Miss travels to face Mississippi State in a three-game weekend series as part of Super Bulldog Weekend, which also includes Saturday's Maroon-White spring football game.

Mississippi State has averaged 7,700 fans at Dudy Noble Field, which ranks third in the nation behind LSU (10,770) and Arkansas (7,871) and just ahead of Ole Miss (7,481) and South Carolina (7,408). Mississippi State has set a goal to break the on-campus attendance record, which the school set in 1989 with 14,991.

"With Super Bulldog Weekend, it's going to be a ton people, and certainly when your rivals come to town," head coach Mike Bianco said. "We have also been to South Carolina. It's exciting for them. That's why people come to play here and play in the SEC. You want to play in those types of atmosphere, so the guys are excited for it."

Ole Miss is no stranger to that type of atmosphere, having played in front of 7,000-plus fans in all three games at South Carolina and four SEC home games with 9,000-plus fans at Swayze Field, including 10,523 at last Saturday's doubleheader against Auburn.

"It seems like every spring game for them, it's something like 12,000 or 14,000," Bianco said. "We draw pretty well here, too. Once you get to that number, it's a lot of people. It's not really the amount of people; it's your rival. That's what playing in the SEC is all about. You have to go play baseball regardless."

NOTABLE

Ole Miss has had a knack for the dramatics with an 8-3 record in one-run games, 6-2 in walk-off wins and 11 come-from-behind wins, none more dramatic than Austin Anderson's three-run walk-off home run in the 13th against Auburn last Friday.

Including a pair of home runs by Will Allen and Sikes Orvis Tuesday against Memphis, Ole Miss has 24 home runs through 35 games, which eclipsed last season's mark of 23 in 62 games. Compared to last season through 35 games, the Rebels have also raised their batting average, from .272 to .303, and lowered their earned run average (2.68 to 2.21) and opponents' batting average (.237 to .219).

QUOTABLE

Head coach Mike Bianco: "We're playing really well. In that (0-4) week, we had trouble putting innings together. We had trouble closing out games and trouble doing a lot of things. This offense has been good and pretty consistent throughout the season."

Junior right-hander Josh Laxer, on the weekend: "It's going to be fun. I can't wait. It's going to be a great series. Two great teams, us and State. It's going to be a battle out there. It's going to end up being who's the most clutch because there are probably going to be some close games, so we're excited about that."

VIDEO: Mike Bianco

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Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco recaps Wednesday's 8-5 win over Murray State and previews the upcoming three-game series at Mississippi State starting Friday at 6:30 p.m.


The Ole Miss offense exploded for nine runs on 14 hits in a 9-1 win over Memphis at AutoZone Park. The barrage included five multi-hit games and a season-high seven extra-base hits, including home runs by Will Allen and Sikes Orvis. 

"So far this season when we start hitting, everybody starts hitting," Orvis said. "We started to run some balls into the gap, guys started hitting the ball hard, and it's contagious. Hitting is contagious, and a lot of guys started swinging the bat well and put up some good numbers tonight."

Preston Overbey, who went 3-for-4, his third three-hit game and first multi-hit game since March 15 at South Carolina, delivered the big hit in a three-run fourth with a bases-loaded, 2-RBI double down the left-field line.

"It blew it open a little bit and gave everybody a little confidence, and it's always great to get a bases-loaded hit," Overbey said.

The Rebels added to their lead with a four-spot in the fifth, including three by way of the home run. Allen pulled a two-run home run to left, his fifth home run of the season, and Orvis followed two batters later with a monstrous solo shot to right-center to extend the lead to 8-0.

"I got that one pretty good," said Orvis of his home run. "That one felt really good. It was one of those where you hit and watch it. That one felt really good off the bat." 

With those two home runs, Ole Miss has 24 home runs through 34 games, which eclipses last season's mark of 23 in 62 games. Both Allen and Orvis have been a big part of the power surge. 

After hitting .231 with four home runs and 23 RBI last season, Allen is hitting .348 with five home runs and 37 RBI, which ranks second in the SEC, behind only Kentucky's A.J. Reed. 

Orvis, who extended his hit streak to a team-leading eight games, is hitting .322 with a team-high seven home runs and 24 RBI after hitting .237 with three home runs and 21 RBI last season. 

"It's everything," said Orvis of the home run total. "Coach (Ben) Fleming made us a lot stronger and a lot tougher, but a lot guys have matured. A lot of guys have a much better approach at the plate. For me, I'm going up there with an approach and not just swinging at anything. A lot of guys have bought into what Coach (Cliff) Godwin has been preaching, and it's been working for a lot of people."

"I don't know if anybody knows the secret formula," Bianco said. "One of the things that wasn't mentioned a lot going into the year is guys like (Austin) Anderson, Orvis, Allen and (Auston) Bousfield are guys who have been here three and four years. Even though much is said and should be said about the recruiting class that is here and how talented some of these young guys are, there are some older guys who are having really good years and have had good years. Everyone's putting it together."


 

Chadwick's Top Moments: No. 13

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02sectrophy.jpgWe begin this week with No. 13 and entering the 2002 season for the Ole Miss tennis team.  The Southeastern Conference implemented a new setup, dividing the conference into two divisions - SEC East and SEC West.  This moment highlights the beginning of a long and impressive streak for head coach Billy Chadwick and the Ole Miss tennis program.

In 2002, the Rebels won the first ever SEC Western Division Championship.  Ole Miss finished the regular season with an 8-3 conference record and a perfect 5-0 against SEC West opponents.  This would be good enough for second place overall in the notoriously nationally dominant Southeastern Conference.  The Rebels would capture the conference's first ever SEC West championship by dominating in-state rival Mississippi State 5-1 in Oxford for the final regular season match.

Alex Hartman and Kristofer Stahlberg were named to the 2002 All-SEC team.  This would mark Hartman's third appearance on the All-SEC team.  Hartman posted a 17-13 overall record, while Stahlberg finished 15-9.  Additionally, Catalin Gard, Martin Selin and Claes Lindholm had strong seasons, finishing the conference slate 8-3, 7-2 and 9-2, respectfully.

The Rebels would make their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, all under Chadwick, and its ninth appearance in a row.  The Rebels would host a regional for the third time in history, also all under Chadwick.  The Rebels defeated Middle Tennessee 4-1 to advance to the "Sweet Sixteen" for the seventh time.  The Rebels would eventually lose a heartbreaker to No. 8 Pepperdine 4-3 to end the season.  The Rebels finished the year ranked No. 9 in the final ITA National Rankings, marking the eighth time in nine years the Rebels ended the season in the top 10.  The Rebels won 10 SEC West Championships in 12 years under head coach Billy Chadwick, before the league did away with divisions this year in tennis.

On Wednesday, we will jump to 2004 to highlight a special individual moment for one of the Ole Miss tennis players.  Stay tuned to see the great accomplishment as we near the top 10 moments.

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

Special assistance from Media Relations student Wesley Boock.

 

Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
March 31-April 6, 2014

Baseball
- Ole Miss picked up its second sweep in SEC play with three wins over the Auburn Tigers this past weekend, including a doubleheader sweep Saturday.
- Left-handed pitcher Christian Trent posted a complete-game shutout of the Tigers on Saturday. It was his first complete game and his first shutout as a Rebel.
- Austin Anderson hit a three-run home run Friday night in the 13th inning to propel the Rebels to an 8-5 win over Auburn in the series opener.
- Right-handed pitcher Sam Smith picked up his fourth win of the season and fellow right-handed pitcher Josh Laxer snagged his fourth save in the finale against the Tigers, a 5-1 win.

Football
- Ole Miss capped its physical, competitive spring practice season with the 2014 Regions Bank Grove Bowl on Saturday. Using a modified scoring system, the offense edged the defense 15-12 for the victory.
- Rising junior running back I'Tavius Mathers had the highlight of the day with an impressive 96-yard run. He finished the day with four carries for 121 yards.
- Rising senior quarterback Bo Wallace led the Ole Miss offense, going 10-21 for 152 yards with a touchdown. Battling for the second-string job at quarterback, redshirt freshmen Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade each had strong moments Saturday. Buchanan went 6-10 for 100 yards, including a 45-yard completion to rising sophomore running back Mark Dodson. Kincade finished 5-8 for 57 yards and a score, and also logged six carries for 38 yards.
- Graduate student linebacker Deterrian Shackelford was named this year's Chucky Mullins Courage Award winner, becoming the first ever two-time recipient. He will wear Mullins' No. 38 jersey this fall.
- Rising senior wide receiver Collins Moore received the Eli Manning Award (most improved offensive player of the spring), and rising senior defensive back Cliff Coleman earned the Jeff Hamm Memorial Award (most improved defensive player of the spring).

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
- Sophomore Nathan Loe broke his own school record in the hammer throw (210-3), and Ole Miss athletes collected 13 event titles at the Mississippi College Twilight Invitational on Friday evening.
- Other highlights for the No. 12 ranked Rebel men, who only sent a portion of the team to the meet, included Robert Semien winning the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.15 that matches his season best. Other wins went to Max Holman in the 1500 meters (4:02.18), Ian Carter in the 5000 meters (15:23.77) and Marcus Franklin in the discus (151-11).
- The Rebel women were led by long jumpers Kierra White, Kennadi Bouyer and Shari Russell, who finished 1-2-3 with some big jumps. White leaped to a season-best 20-1.75 that will rank her among the top 25 nationally. Bouyer posted a mark of 19-6.25 and Russell 19-5.25. White now ranks No. 8 in Rebel history, while Bouyer joins Russell on the list of the top-15 long jumpers all-time.
- Ole Miss is back in action Friday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Alabama-Mississippi Border Clash featuring Alabama, Auburn and Samford against Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss.

Women's Tennis
- The No. 24 Rebels went 1-2 last weekend, falling to No. 40 South Carolina 4-2 and No. 7 Florida 4-2, before shutting out Arkansas-Pine Bluff 6-0. The Rebels did not drop a single game in the win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Ole Miss concluded its home schedule 8-4.
- Junior Julia Jones came up with the biggest win of her career, defeating No. 23 ranked Alex Cercone of Florida for her sixth win in a row. She is now 24-9 overall and 11-4 at No. 3 singles. She has not dropped a set in her 24 wins.
- Erin Stephens has won eight in a row, including beating nationally-ranked Belinda Woolcock of Florida in straight sets to keep the Rebels' hopes alive in the match.
- The Rebels are at Texas A&M Friday night followed by a trip to face Missouri on Sunday to close out the regular season.

Men's Tennis
- The Rebels went 0-2 last weekend, falling to No. 40 South Carolina 4-2 and No. 15 Florida 4-1.
- Nik Scholtz suffered his first loss at No. 1 singles in the match against South Carolina, but rebounded nicely on Sunday to post his 10th win at No. 1 singles.  He is one win away from 20 for the year.
- The Rebels close out their home schedule this week beginning with a tripleheader against Arkansas-Pine Bluff Wednesday at 10 a.m. On Friday, the Rebels will welcome No. 10 Texas A&M and celebrate Senior Day for the Rebels' lone senior Johan Backstrom. The match begins at 2 p.m., and there will also be a celebration of Coach Chadwick's last home weekend with fans receiving a commemorative Billy Chadwick Stadium Cup. Sunday, the Rebels will host Alcorn State in a doubleheader at 10 a.m.
 
Game One Highlights


Game Two Highlights

Ole Miss held Auburn scoreless for 22 straight innings, from the seventh inning of the series opener Friday through the sixth inning of the series finale Saturday, but the weekend sweep remained in doubt in the eighth inning of the series finale.

In that eighth, Auburn loaded the bases on three straight walks before head coach Mike Bianco turned to Josh Laxer for the second straight day out of the bullpen. He retired the next three batters in order to strand the bases loaded and worked a perfect ninth to preserve the win and complete the sweep.

"It's not the place that you want to bring anybody in," Bianco said. "We're trying to make it easy on him. We wanted him to only pitch one innings after 34 pitches yesterday, and it doesn't work out that. We have a tough top of the eighth, and now the tying run comes to the plate. He comes in and strikes out the side. 

"I'm proud of him. You can see the competitor but you can also see the confidence. He's had some adversity, but he's battled through it. He looked terrific today. Even after pitching yesterday late into the night, to come sit all day today and then get up at the end and do that is pretty impressive."

In game one of Saturday's doubleheader, Christian Trent tossed a complete game shutout, the first of his career. He scattered five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts, which tied a career high. Trent said it was his best outing of the season, as the Rebels won 6-0.

"I felt good," Trent said. "I really felt like early I was struggling a little bit with the walks and stuff. I felt like I started to lock in around the third or the fourth, and then the game kept rolling, so it made it easier. Early on, it was off-speed, and I didn't have great fast ball command, and then later on, my fast ball command picked up, but my off-speed was still there."

"Even though we talk about how many low-scoring games there are, there aren't a lot of shutouts, where the pitcher can go all nine and not give up a run," Bianco said. "That was a great start of the day."

In the second game, Sam Smith recorded his sixth straight quality start, giving up just one run on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts in 6.2 innings. He left with a 5-1 lead in the seventh before the bullpen, led by Laxer, closed out the 5-1 win.

"We broke through in the sixth innings, and it was good to finally get that run support," Smith said. "Coach Godwin has been teasing me, 'We're going to get you some runs,' so that was fun."

"The starters and relievers have been great this year," Laxer added. "You can't really ask for more out of the guys that are starting and coming out of the bullpen. Everybody's doing their job. It's good, and I hope it keeps going."


 

Rising junior running back I'Tavius Mathers turned in the highlight of the Grove Bowl Saturday with a 96-yard run before he was caught from behind by rising sophomore defensive back Kailo Moore to prevent him from scoring the touchdown.

"He's made some plays," offensive coordinator Dan Werner said. "He made a move yesterday in practice, one of the best I have seen. He put a safety, sat right on his back to score a touchdown. 

"The other thing is, you saw on the long play today, the only guy who caught him today was Kailo, who's a sprint champion. He obviously has some speed. He's deceptive. People think because he's stockier that he's not as fast as he really is."

Rising sophomore Mark Dodson also had a solid game with two carries for 10 yards and two catches for 69 yards with a 24-yard touchdown catch from redshirt freshman DeVante Kincade. Rising sophomore Jaylen Walton, who did not play Saturday, as well as redshirt freshmen Eugene Brazley and Jordan Wilkins will also figure in the mix at running back.

"These guys are all making big runs," said Werner of the running backs. "That puts a lot of pressure on whoever that starter is. You better be healthy and you better produce. Otherwise, someone behind you is going to step in."

Backup Quarterback Battle To Continue Into Summer

Rising senior quarterback Bo Wallace was 10-of-21 for 152 yards with a 25-yard touchdown to rising sophomore wide receiver Laquon Treadwell during the goal-line session. 

Offensive coordinator Dan Werner noted he took a big step this spring, while the battle for the second-string job continues between redshirt freshmen Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade.

Buchanan was 6-of-10 for 100 yards, while Kincade was 5-of-8 for 57 yards with a 24-yard touchdown pass to rising sophomore running back Mark Dodson.

"It's neck and neck," said Wallace of the competition behind him. "One will have a good day, and then the other one will have a good day. They're both two different players, though, so situationally you can see both of them. It's a tight battle, and those guys are competing."

"I like the way those guys are playing right now," Werner said. "We still have long way to go to get them game-ready, but I'm really pleased with both of them. Jeremy Liggins comes in and you can see that he can get physical in the short-yardage-type stuff. He can keep on progressing, too. It will be interesting to see what happens throughout the summer and summer camp."

Transfers, Mid-Year Additions Change Look Of Defense

Two transfers, defensive back Anthony Alford and defensive lineman Fadol Brown, and three mid-year additions, defensive back C.J. Hampton, defensive end Marquis Haynes and linebacker Christian Russell, bolstered the Rebels on the defensive side of the ball in the spring. 

Haynes punctuated his first spring with seven tackles and two sacks in the Grove Bowl Saturday. He looks to help improve the pass rush, as does rising senior C.J. Johnson who returns after missing the last nine games last season due to an ankle injury.

"It starts with C.J.," said defensive coordinator Dave Wommack of the pass rush. "Just having him back defensively is huge. Not having him for eight or nine games last year really hurt our defense. His pass rush and ability makes a huge difference to what we want to do. Carlos Thompson has made vast strides in pass-rushing situations. 

"Marquis (Haynes) is another guy, who it hasn't clicked with, but his motor runs so hard. Sometimes when he's going the wrong place, he's still athletic enough to do the right things. Robert (Nkemdiche) and Bryon (Bennett) have important. I don't think there's any question our pass rush has improved."

Moore, Coleman Named Most Improved Of Spring Practice

When asked about who surprised during the spring, rising senior wide receiver Collins Moore was the first player Freeze mentioned. Moore, who stepped in for an injured Vince Sanders, was presented with the Eli Manning Award for the most improved offensive player during the Grove Bowl festivities.

"He has always made plays for us," Werner said. "We just weren't sure where he would fit in because we have so much talent at wide receiver. Because of an injury this spring, he got to step in there and play, and he made a bunch plays for us all spring. I was proud of him."

On the other side of the ball, rising senior Cliff Coleman, who has settled in at the Huskie position, was presented with the Jeff Hamm Memorial Award for the most improved defensive player.

"He's not the best athlete on the team, but he's smart and he's gotten stronger," Wommack said. "Those two things. He makes very few mistakes, and physically, you're not going to throw him around out there. When you play guys like Laquon Treadwell and Evan Engram, those guys will run you over, knock you around and catch the ball. Cliff's got himself strong enough that he can defense those type players."

Graduate student linebacker Deterrian Shackelford will wear Chucky Mullins' No. 38 jersey for the second time in his Ole Miss career, but for the first time in Saturday's Grove Bowl, he wore it during a game. 

The first non-senior to win the award in 2011, Shackelford also became the first-two recipient of the Chucky Mullins Courage Award.

"It's a blessing," Shackelford said. "It's the first time something like that has happened at this university, so I'm honored and blessed that the coaching staff and the people who had a part in this selection process picked me to represent Chucky Mullins with that honor.

"My junior year, I didn't think I had a possibility of winning either, so both of them caught me off guard. I'm overwhelmed. I never imagine going to a university and having this much of an impact, especially having as much of an impact as I have had not being on the field. Growing up, you always think your impact is going to be making sacks and touchdowns, but to see that in a different view, I have certainly been blessed to be in that situation."

Shackelford was awarded a sixth year of eligibility after he missed the entire 2011 and 2012 season due to knee injuries. Despite his absence on the field, he remained a team leader on and off the field. He played both linebacker and defensive end last year and found a home at middle linebacker this spring.

Raised expectations were a common theme throughout the spring coming off an 8-5 season and a Music City Bowl victory, which he and his teammates have embraced entering the summer leading up to the season opener against Boise State on Aug. 28 in Atlanta.

"I don't feel like it was an unrealistic expectation," Shackelford said. "It was all realistic. The things that we can do this year are no dream. There's no, 'Maybe, we can do it; maybe we can't.' 

"We know we have the pieces to the puzzle and we can do it. The time is now. We feel a sense of urgency. We put ourselves in a great position. We have a lot of veterans coming back. We can do a lot of big things, but we have to stay humble and we have to keep working. In spite of all the hype and all of that, we have to stay humble and continue to work. We can go far."

Austin Anderson stepped to the plate with runners at second and third with nobody out in the 13th. The team's leading hitter, now hitting at a .371 clip, had been intentionally walked in each of his last two plate appearances in the ninth and the 11th.

Auburn planned to intentionally walk him for the third straight time, but Auburn pitcher Jay Wade left the ball over the plate, and Anderson sent it over the fence in right for a three-run walk-off home run and a 8-5 win Friday night.

"It was right down the middle," Anderson said.

Was he surprised?

"Actually I wasn't surprised because the first time they intentionally walked me, the pitch was kind of the same thing," Anderson said. "They didn't call it a strike because the umpire said they were trying to put me on base. The second time, I was ready for it, but they didn't try it. And then the third time, the first pitch, they tried to get one by me, and with runners at second and third and no outs, I was just trying to get a sacrifice fly, and that's where it ended up."

"They tried to intentionally walk him, and he left it over the plate," head coach Mike Bianco said. "Anderson was ready. He had been intentionally walked two times earlier in the game. A time or two, the pitches missed close to the plate. Coach Godwin was about to say something with the infield in, if they got close enough, but he was already ready. I have seen it before. I have seen Stephen Head do it and get a base hit, but I have never seen someone hit a home run."

As soon as he hit it, he knew it.

"I knew the game was over at that point. I was just walking it out, and then it went over, which made it better. It's a long game, and everyone wants to win it, go home and get ready for the next day. Being able to win it for the team, it's a great team win."

Greenwood Extends Scoreless Innings Streak

Before Austin Anderson's heroics, a three-run walk-off home run in the 13th, Aaron Greenwood and Josh Laxer combined to throw 7.1 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits each.

Greenwood worked a career-long 4.2 scoreless innings, giving up just three hits with no walks, as he extended his scoreless innings streak to 19.1 innings, having not allowed a run since February 28 against UCF.

"There hasn't really been any change," said Greenwood of the streak. "I'm just staying with the process, and my coaches believed in me."

"He's been dominant," said Bianco of Greenwood. "He's holding them at bay and giving us big outings. He's given us long outings, not just an inning or two. Today, he gives us four and two-third innings. He was really efficient."



In his latest three-round "Grade A" draft, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper slots former Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief to the Indianapolis Colts with a second-round pick (59th overall). A "Grade A" draft is less of a mock draft and more of a look at where players are valued and team needs. Instead of projecting picks, Kiper makes each pick based on who is gone and who is available.

"It's depressing that there's no first-rounder to be had in 2014 for the price of Trent Richardson, but in Moncrief I've added a potential weapon in the passing game and in Bradford I get a productive, high-energy talent at outside linebacker," Kiper wrote. "Moncrief has very good size at 6-2, 221 pounds, and offers plenty of explosiveness, too. He ran 4.40 at the combine and also jumped nearly 40 inches with his vertical. Given the recent injury history of Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks, you really can't take the weapons for granted. Moncrief has a shot to be good."

For ESPN Insider subscribers, here's the link to the full article, "Kiper's 'Grade: A' draft"

Chadwick's Top Moments: No. 14

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Countdown_15.jpgFor today's midweek moment, we highlight No. 14 on our list.  This features the run to coach Billy Chadwick's third NCAA Final Four appearance in 1999, which is also marked the third appearance in Ole Miss tennis history.

The road to the NCAA Final Four was an exciting one for the Rebels.  After winning the Oxford regional, the Rebels faced rival, Mississippi State, in the Sweet Sixteen.  The Rebels would take down the Bulldogs 4-2, advancing to face the No. 2 team, Illinois.  Despite losing to the Illini in the National Team Indoor earlier in the season, the Rebels would win the one that mattered most.  The Rebels defeated the Illini 4-3 to advance to the Final Four.  The Rebels would lose to Georgia in the semifinals 4-1, as Georgia proceeded to win the national championship.

The Rebels finished the season with a 21-6 overall record, 9-2 in the SEC, and a Final Four appearance.  Ole Miss ended the year ranked No. 3 in the country in the final ITA National Rankings.  This was the fifth time that Chadwick and the Rebels have ended a season ranked in the top 5 nationally.  It also marked the sixth straight season for the Rebels to finish ranked in the top 10. The Rebels earned 11 wins over teams ranked in the top 25 throughout the year.  

James Shortall and Martin Sjoqvist (2nd year) were named All-SEC first team in doubles, as Shortall made the first team in singles as well.  This was the sixth consecutive year for the Rebels to have a player represented on the All-SEC first team.

The 1999 Final Four appearance placed Chadwick in elite company, as he would become one of three active coaches to reach three or more Final Fours.

On Friday we will advance to 2002, the first year for SEC Western and SEC Eastern Divisions.  Stay tuned to see how the Rebels fared.

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

Special assistance from Media Relations student Wesley Boock.


Coming off a 0-4 week, with a midweek loss to Southern Miss in Pearl and then a sweep at the hands of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ole Miss bounced back with an 11-1 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff Wednesday.

Ole Miss (22-8) scored three runs before an out was recorded, as the offense exploded for 11 runs on 11 hits. The Rebels put up put up three crooked numbers on the scoreboard -- four runs in the first, three in the third and three in the fifth.

"On Tuesday, I loved our energy in practice," head coach Mike Bianco said. "I was excited to see how much they got after it in practice yesterday. You have a day off after a tough, tough week of baseball. You come have practice and show that kind of energy. You knew they were ready. We talked to them a little about where we are and what happened and how you have to handle it. It happens to all teams. I don't know if they even needed that. They seem to be the same team they were the week prior."

"We did a good job," said Auston Bousfield, one of seven Rebels with a hit in the game. "We won a game 11-1. We swung it well and pitched well. Collectively as a team, we did a good job of bouncing back."

The middle of the order, Austin Anderson, Will Allen and Sikes Orvis, went a combined 6-for-8 with three doubles, five runs and five RBI to lead the offensive barrage.

J.B. Woodman hit his first career home run, a solo shot to right in the fifth. It was the team's 21st home run through 30 games, having hit 23 home runs in 62 games last season. Ole Miss is also now tied with Kentucky for the most home runs in the Southeastern Conference.

"He's terrific," said Bianco of Woodman. "He hasn't played every single day because of (Will) Jamison out there. He always seems to give you a couple of good at-bats throughout the game, just maybe not as consistently as he would like offensively. You can see the greatness in him. You can tell that it's only a matter of time before gets a little more consistent. It's always great to see somebody hit their first college home run, a guy who came here as such a high-profiled recruit."

The Rebels return to league play with a three-game home weekend series against Auburn (19-11, 5-4 SEC), which lost two of three at home to Missouri this past weekend and most recently fell 8-1 at home to Samford Tuesday night.

"One of the things we have stressed from game one is they all count the same," said Bianco of this weekend's games. "It doesn't matter if you get beat in the ninth. It doesn't matter if you win in the ninth. All the wins count the same; all the losses count the same. Don't get caught up in the race and the scores."

"Auburn is a good team," Bousfield said. "We have to be ready to play this weekend. Today is a good start."



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