Softball Season Preview: Infield

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Coming off the most successful season in program history, Ole Miss Softball begins its 2018 season on Friday. The Rebels come into the season ranked as high as 15th in the country and were on the cusp of reaching Oklahoma City for the Women's College World Series. Looking to take the next step this season, expectations are high for Mike Smith and the Rebels this season.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FRESH FACES: Softball's Abbey Latham

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

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

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


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


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

Scholtz Looks Forward to Davis Cup

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


National Team Training Camp an Eye-Opening Experience for Kizer

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Thumbnail image for IMG_0632_CROP.jpgOXFORD, Miss. - CeCe Kizer established herself as one of the SEC's premier attacking players in 2017, and last month she showcased her skills at an even higher level at a training camp with the United States Under-23 National Team.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#RebsBSB Season Preview: Bullpen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newcomers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FRESH FACES: Softball's Jessica Puk

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In the ninth of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Thursday's profile features utility player Jessica Puk.

Jessica Puk | UT | R/R | 5-10 | Fr. | Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Washington HS)

What made you choose Ole Miss?
I immediately fell in love with the school as soon as I stepped on campus. I love the family atmosphere and the endless opportunities given here at Ole Miss. I chose this school because it was a dream of mine to play in the SEC and Ole Miss was the perfect place for me to live out this dream.
What do you like most about Ole Miss and Oxford?
The endless support for athletics and the college town itself.
What is your favorite part about being an athlete at Ole Miss?
Everyone takes so much pride in being an athlete. It is an honor to represent this university from an athletic standpoint.
What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?
Hotty Toddy Chant
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
None


Quick Hits...
Pick anywhere in the world to vacation, where would you go? Caribbean
What is your go-to hangout place? Friend's house
Team you're looking most forward to playing on the 2018 schedule? Any SEC matchup
What is your dream profession/career? Beyonce backup dancer.


Favorites...
Movie: Goonies
Band/Music group: Beyonce
TV Show: Gossip Girl
Actress/Actor: Will Ferrell
Snack Food: Chips and guacamole
Ice cream flavor: Vanilla
Candy bar: Twix
Fruit: Strawberry
Cereal: Fruit Loops
Home cooked meal: Steak
Fast food restaurant: Cookout
Soda: Coke
Place to eat in Oxford: Ajax
Female athlete: Serena and Venus Williams
Male athlete: A.J. Puk
Professional team: St. Louis Cardinals
Animal: Dog
Holiday: Christmas

#RebsBSB Season Preview: Pitching Rotation

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The third leg of our Ole Miss Baseball season preview series looks at what the Rebels' rotation could possibly look like this season.

Last year, the rotation was solid for the most part but would have liked to have found more consistency, particularly on the front end. Ole Miss lost lefty David Parkinson to the MLB draft. He was 6-3 with a 3.39 ERA and struck out 76 hitters 75 innings pitched, walking just 24 and split time as the Friday night guy with James McArthur. Parkinson was a crafty left-hander that wasn't overwhelmingly dominant with his stuff, but gave Ole Miss a chance to win the game virtually every time he stepped onto the mound.

The Rebels the latter two thirds of its rotation from last year in lanky right-hander James McCarthur and a budding star in lefty Ryan Rolison who came onto the scene down the stretch last season, shoring up the back end of the Rebels' rotation as well as becoming arguably the Rebels' best starter down the stretch.

With all that taken into consideration, here's an idea of what the rotation will look like opening weekend.

Friday: Ryan Rolison
The sophomore lefty caught the attention of most around the SEC last season upon his insertion into the weekend rotation in early April. Rolison went 6-3 with a 3.06 ERA and struck out 64 hitters in 61.2 innings pitched. He was instrumental in bolstering the Ole Miss rotation down the stretch. He out-dueled Missouri ace Tanner Houck, tossing six innings of one-hit shutout baseball in a game that was seen as nearly a must-win for the Rebels NCAA Tournament chances in late April after being moved up a day due to David Parkinson getting sick. He's got an fastball and a wipeout breaking ball to compliment it. His change up is also developing as a formidable third pitch.

"I feel really good," Rolison said at practice this week. "My velocity is right where it needs to be and I feel really good about this year."

Rolison had a massive summer in the Cape Cod League, compiling a 6-0 record and 1.54 ERA in 35 innings. He knows he is the guy to anchor this rotation in his sophomore campaign an isn't shying away from any lofty expectations.

"My mentality isn't going to change," Rolison said."It will be to get guys out in three pitches or less and attack the zone."

Saturday:James McArthur
McArthur showed flashes of the overpowering presence he can be on the mound last season. He compiled a 3-6 record with a 4.73 ERA in 64.2 innings. It was an up-and-down season for the sophomore. There were good outings, like tossing an eight innings of one-hit ball in a shutout win at Arkansas or seven innings of one-run, two-hit baseball in a win over Alabama. But there were outings in which he lost is his fastball command and struggled to keep the ball down in the zone.

The potential with the 6-foot-7 is certainly there and Bianco has plenty of confidence in McArthur. If he can piece together quality starts at a more consistent rate this season, the Rebels could have quite the one-two punch on the mound.

Sunday: Brady Feigl
Truthfully, McArthur and Feigl are interchangeable in which day they pitch on the weekend. Feigl was really effective out of the bullpen for Ole Miss as a freshman and got a taste of the weekend rotation early on in six starts a year ago. He had 17 total appearances and compiled an ERA of 4.08, striking out 54 in 53 innings. He walked just 10 hitters. Feigl has swing-and-miss level stuff with a strong fastball and a good slider. Like McArthur, if the junior righty can find consistency he has a chance to be really strong this season.

Others in the mix: Greer Holston, Will Ethridge
Both of these rising sophomores got experience starting games in the midweek for the Rebels last season. Holston eventually assumed duties as the primary midweek guy and amassed a 2-3 record with a 5.27 ERA in eight starts. Ethridge started four games early in the season before finding a niche in the bullpen. The freshman righty served as a useful middle-inning bridge from the starter to All-American closer Dallas Woolfolk. He came into the game in some big spots for Ole Miss in his first go around in the SEC. His 1.1 innings of relief in a Friday night win at LSU come to mind as he stood stall in a hostile environment. Ethridge struck out 50 hitters in just 41 innings and only walked 10 on his way to a 2.41 ERA in what as a really effective freshman season.

Both of these guys will likely be options for Bianco to go to should he need to make a change in the rotation. Holston will likely man the bulk of the midweek starts again to begin the year and Ethridge will be one of Bianco's first options out of the bullpen.

FRESH FACES: Softball's Anna Borgen

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In the eighth of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Wednesday's profile features left-handed pitcher Anna Borgen.

Anna Borgen | LHP | L/L | 5-9 | Fr. | Heath, Texas (Dallas Christian HS)

What made you choose Ole Miss?
I knew I wanted to play in the SEC and when I first visited Ole Miss I loved everything about it.
What do you like most about Ole Miss and Oxford?
I like that it is a small college town because it feels like the entire population is cheering for us and wanting us to succeed in everything we do.
What is your favorite part about being an athlete at Ole Miss?
We're taken care of very well and just calling myself a student-athlete makes me feel proud to be a part of something bigger than myself.
What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?
The Grove on game days is one of the coolest things to experience. It's unlike anything I have ever seen.
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
I'll usually do my hair in the same way for every game and use the same ribbon.


Quick Hits...
Pick anywhere in the world to vacation, where would you go? New Zealand
What is your go-to hangout place? Anywhere in my hammock with a book
Team you're looking most forward to playing on the 2018 schedule? Texas A&M because my friends go there and it's in my home state
What is your dream profession/career? Investigative Journalist

Favorites...
Movie: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Band/Music group: Ed Sheeran
TV Show: Sherlock (BBC)
Actress/Actor" Benedict Cumberbatch
Snack Food: Goldfish
Ice cream flavor: Strawberry cheesecake
Candy bar: Hershey's
Fruit: Strawberries and nectarines
Cereal: Granola without the milk
Home cooked meal: Pot roast
Fast food restaurant: Chick-Fil-A
Soda: I don't like soda
Place to eat in Oxford: Old Venice
Female athlete: Simone Biles

FRESH FACES: Softball's Mary Terral

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In the seventh of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Tuesday's profile features utility player Mary Terral.

Mary Terral | UT | R/R | 5-10 | Fr. | Farmerville, Louisiana (Cedar Creek School)

What made you choose Ole Miss?
I love the small town, big school environment. Coming from a small town, it wasn't too big of an adjustment. I also love the people here, and most importantly the softball program.
What do you like most about Ole Miss and Oxford?
The food
What is your favorite part about being an athlete at Ole Miss?
I love all the free food, clothes, and great friends that I have made so far.
What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?
I love saying the Hotty Toddy chant after the games.
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
I don't have anything very significant. I usually braid my hair, but not in a specific way.


Quick Hits...
Pick anywhere in the world to vacation, where would you go? Bahamas
What is your go-to hangout place? Probably my brother's house
Team you're looking most forward to playing on the 2018 schedule? LSU
What is your dream profession/career? To become a physical therapist


Favorites...
Movie: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Band/Music group: Anything country. Specifically, Thomas Rhett
TV Show: The Vampire Diaries
Actress/Actor: Kate Hudson
Snack Food: Crackers
Ice cream flavor: Oreo
Candy bar: Hershey's
Fruit: Apples
Cereal: Fruit Loops
Home cooked meal: Cheesy chicken spaghetti
Fast food restaurant: Chick-Fil-A
Soda: None
Place to eat in Oxford: Boure
Female athlete: Serena Williams
Male athlete: None
Professional team: New Orleans Saints
Animal: Dog
Holiday: Christmas

#RebsBSB Season Preview: Outfield

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OXFORD, Miss. - In the second leg of our Ole Miss Baseball Season preview, we take a look at the Ole Miss outfield.

The Rebels return all three of their primary starters in the outfield and one of two reserve players that got spot starts in the corner outfield positions. Most notably senior Will Golsan and junior Ryan Olenek return to occupy center and right field respectively. Golsan started all 57 games for the Rebels, 53 of which came in right field, three in center and a lone start at third base. Olenek started 53 games and was the team's primary center fielder a year ago. 

Thomas Dillard began the season as the team's primary left fielder, but was platooning with rising sophomore Bryan Seamster and an occasional appearance from the now departed Kyle Watson.

Here's an idea of what the outfield might look like on opening day.

Left Field: Thomas Dillard
As mentioned above, Dillard started 45 games for the Rebels last season, 35 came in left field and he DH'd 10 times. He began the year as the everyday right fielder, but struggled at the plate to begin his college career and was platooned with Seamster. Dillard hit .206 and drove in 12 runs in 2017 but struggled with putting the ball in play at times. His plate discipline was good, drawing 25 walks and he has the ability to switch hit, belting home runs on either side of the plate last year. Dillard came out of high school as a power hitter with a long swing and most of his struggles were natural of a freshman getting acclimated to SEC pitching. I would expect Dillard to have a much improved season at the plate and be one of the Rebels' core run producers in the middle of the lineup.

What was lost in all of the noise surrounding Dillard at the plate was that he developed into a pretty good left fielder. Sure, it took some adjusting early in the season in terms of tracking balls, angles at balls hit in the gap and playing them off the wall. Dillard played the position well for the majority of the year and was charged with only two errors. That's not particularly easy to do considering his natural position is catcher. Assuming he takes a step forward at the plate like most anticipate, he will be a really important piece to the Ole Miss lineup this season.

Center Field: Will Golsan
Olenek occupied this position last year, but most signs point to Golsan being the primary center fielder during his final season in Oxford. Golsan led the team in hits last season with 69, hit .322 in SEC play and tallied a .407 slugging percentage with 20 multi-hit games. He had multiple hits in 35 percent of the Rebels' games last year. Golsan has been the epitome of consistency during his career with the Rebels. He's played third base, second base, first base and all three outfield spots during his time and played them pretty well.

Golsan has done whatever the coaching staff has asked of him while being a steady producer at the plate. He's made 163 starts and played in 172 games in three years and has a solid chance at finishing his time in Oxford as a career .300 hitter with 250 hits. Golsan is by no means slow, but also isn't the speediest outfielder. His ability to track balls off the bat and take efficient angles has made him a good defensive outfielder.

He'll be one of the team's most consistent producers at the plate and a veteran leader in his final collegiate season.

Right field: Ryan Olenek
He was the everyday center fielder last season, so you may be wondering why make a switch? Olenek is a bit of a swiss army knife for the Rebels and a valuable one at that. He's a natural shortstop out of high school and ended up taking the starting job in right field in his freshman season because Mike Bianco couldn't afford to take his bat out of the lineup. Last year he occupied center field and played one game at third base. Olenek is a tremendous athlete that can be placed all over the diamond. With the Rebels needing to replace two key spots in the infield with the departure of Colby Bortles and Tate Blackman, Olenek's services could be needed there.

Olenek was a tremendous center fielder for Ole Miss last year and if he is in the outfield, Bianco can move he and Golsan pretty much wherever because of their versatility. Olenek hit five home runs, drove in 53 runs and led the team in doubles with 17 as well as stolen bases with 10. He struck out just 29 times in 214 plate appearances and hits well to contact. Olenek will likely find himself in the top-to-middle of the Rebels order and is expected to be a consistent hitter this season.

Others in the mix: Bryan Seamster, Michael Spears, Jacob Adams, Tim Rowe. As previously mentioned, Seamster saw some starts in left field platooning with Dillard last year mostly as a match-up move given he's a left-handed bat. Seamster's got pretty good speed and has the ability to play either corner outfield spot. With the loss of Kyle Watson -- an athlete fielder that Bianco could insert anywhere in the outfield -- Seamster could serve as a similar utility piece with the chance to assume an even bigger role if he hits well.

Spears and Adams are newcomers with enough pop in the bat to be able to contribute immediately. Adams is an interesting prospect being a junior college transfer. He put up big numbers at Crowder Community College and did a lot of different things. He can steal a base and hits well to the gaps. Spears is a true freshman that had a big enough fall to give him a chance to be a contributor this season.

Tim Rowe will likely be the team's opening-day DH, but at least has a little experience playing right field. Spears and Adams could also contend for time at DH as well as the corner outfield slots.

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    Tiffany J. Moore said:

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

    in post Evan Engram Hauls in Midseason Accolades

    Fiftyyears fan said:

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

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

    Karen Holden said:

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

    in post Late Mistake Spoils Chad Kelly's Historic Performance

    Trent browning said:

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

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

    Smithb733 said:

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

    in post Madden 17 Ratings for Former Rebels

    Jamie laverty said:

    Bulmer I love you and ole Miss

    in post Fast Runner From Down Under

    Sharon Hamlin said:

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

    in post Fast Runner From Down Under

    Sharon Hamlin said:

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

    in post Fast Runner From Down Under