Date: Feb. 14-16, 2014 Location: DeLand, Fla. Venue: Melching Field at Conrad Park Capacity: 2,500 Surface: Grass Series: Ole Miss leads 1-0 In DeLand: First Meeting Radio: Ole Miss Baseball Network Television: None Live Stats: OleMissSports.com Live Blog: OleMissSports.com Live Video: www.GoHatters.com Twitter Updates: @OleMissBSB
OLE MISS QUICK HITS • The Rebels will be featured on television nine times this season, including two ESPNU broadcasts, five home games • Ole Miss opens the season on the road for only the third time in the Mike Bianco era and third time in the last six seasons (2009, 2012, 2014). • The Rebels return 11 pitchers who saw action in 2013, combining for 174 appearances and 277.2 innings of work • Six starters return from a year ago in the offensive lineup, including three seniors and three juniors • Ole Miss is 12-1 in season-openers under Bianco with the lone loss coming 6-5 to ULM in the 2010 season. • The Rebels are 10-0-1 in weekend series to open the season under Bianco, with seven sweeps in 10 series wins. • Ole Miss swept No. 12 TCU last season in Oxford to open the season and posted four-consecutive sweeps to open 2013. • The Rebels are 29-6 in the first weekend of competition in the 13 years under head coach Mike Bianco.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS FRIDAY, 5:30 PM SU - Kurt Schluter, Gr., RHP Ole Miss - Chris Ellis, Jr., RHP NOTING ELLIS: • Ellis makes his first Friday night start of his career when he takes the mound to open the season. • Limited by injury in 2013, Ellis worked 21.2 IP with a 1-2 record through 13 outings and two starts. • Picked up the win in his first outing against No. 12 TCU in 2013 in a predetermined Sunday start. • Worked 4.0 innings and allowed one run on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts vs. TCU. • Rated as the No. 12 prospect nationally among juniors by Perfect Game prior to the season start.
SATURDAY 1:00 PM SU - Austin Perez, Sr., LHP Ole Miss - Christian Trent, So., LHP NOTING TRENT: • Came to Ole Miss after a season at Delgado Community College in 2013 and redshirt at LSU in 2012. • Posted a 9-2 record with a 2.77 ERA through 74.2 innings of work across 12 appearances at DCC. • Struck out 72 batters in his time on the mound, leading Delgado to the Region XXIII playoffs. • Turned in six complete-games in his 12 outings last season, including two complete-game shutouts. • Class 5-A All-State selection in Louisiana and the New Orleans Metro Player of the Year in 2011.
SUNDAY, 11:00 AM SU - Josh Powers, Jr., RHP Ole Miss - Sam Smith, Jr., RHP NOTING SMITH: • Returns as the Sunday starter for the Rebels in 2014 after making 14 weekend starts a year ago. • Posted a 3-1 record in 2014 with a 3.41 ERA and held opponents to a .286 batting average. • Did not suffer a loss until the season finale at the NCAA Raleigh Regional in June. • Despite taking 11 no decisions last year, the Rebels posted nine wins in games Smith started in ‘13.
REBELS vs. STETSON Ole Miss and Stetson have faced each other one time in the history of the two programs with the Rebels facing the Hatters in the 2003 season at the Crowne Plaza Rice Invitational in Houston, Texas. • Ole Miss won the only meeting between the two teams with a 5-2 victory over the Hatters in 2003. • Both teams were ranked by Baseball America with Ole Miss at No. 25 and Stetson at No. 23. • Left-hander Stephen Head picked up the win with 3.0 inning of work in relief of starter T.J. Beam. • Head also scored the go-ahead run while Head, Chad Sterbens and Jon Swearingen led the Rebels at the plate with each player collecting two hits on the afternoon.
A LOOK AT STETSON Steton enters the 2014 season returning its entire starting rotation from last year and six position players off a squad that posted a 26-31 record and finished fifth in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings last season. • Patrick Mazeika returns to the Hatters after picking up Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year honors. • Mazeika hit .382 a year ago as a freshman with three home runs and 33 RBI and started 57 games. • Austin Perez led the Hatters last season with a 7-2 record and a 2.81 ERA with two shutouts. • The Hatters hit .263 as a team last season with seven home runs and 223 RBI and 75 doubles. • Stetson’s pitching staff posted a 4.65 ERA last season with a .288 opponent batting average.
OLE MISS SUCCESSFUL IN SEASON OPENERS UNDER BIANCO Ole Miss has enjoyed success in season-opening games under head coach Mike Bianco, posting a 12-1 record in games to open the season over the past 13 seasons. The Rebels’ lone loss on opening day came at the hands of ULM to open the 2010 season when Ole Miss fell 6-5 to the Warhawks in Oxford.
SEASON-OPENING WEEKENDS ALSO GOOD TO REBELS The Rebels have also been good in season opening weekends under Bianco with the Rebels claiming series wins in nine of the 13 seasons. The Rebels did not play a weekend series to open the 2005, 2007 or 2009 seasons. Those years the Rebels either opened the year with a midweek games or played at a weekend tournament with multiple-teams. The Rebels also had a game rained out in the season-opening weekend of 2012 and split the two games played at TCU to start the year.
ORLANDO CONNECTIONS The Rebels have several connections to the Orlando area that highlights the opening weekend matchup between Ole Miss and Stetson. Five players on the Ole Miss roster hail from the Orlando area with a senior (Austin Anderson - Mt. Dora HS), two juniors (Auston Bousfield - West Orange HS and Sikes Orvis - Freedom HS) and two freshmen (Colby Bortles - Ovideo HS and J.B. Woodman - Edgewater HS). The Rebels also two other players from the state of Florida, including senior Will Allen (Gainesville, Fla.) and freshman Cheyne Bickel (North Palm Beach, Fla.).
REBELS WELCOME 15 NEWCOMERS, 8TH-RANKED RECRUITING CLASS Ole Miss welcomes 15 newcomers to the squad for the 2014 season and featured the eighth-ranked recruiting class by Baseball America coming into the season. The class features 10 freshmen and five transfers as a part of the crop of newcomers. Among the top names to watch in the class are Colby Bortles (Fr., IF), J.B. Woodman (Fr., OF), Errol Robinson (Fr., IF) and Christian Trent (So., LHP).
TOP PROSPECTS AMONG TALENT ON THE FIELD Ole Miss featured some of the top prospects when it comes to the Major League Draft according to the preseason evaluations released by Perfect Game. Among all juniors nationally, the Rebels claimed two of the top 100 prospects in RHP Chris Ellis (12th) and RHP Hawtin Buchanan (62nd). Also included in the top freshman rankings were a pair of newcomers in OF J.B. Woodman (16th) and Errol Robinson (55th) among freshmen.
REBELS TO PLAY ON TV NINE TIMES IN 2014 Ole Miss was tabbed to play on television nine times when the Southeastern Conference announced its season schedule as part of its partnership with ESPN, Fox Sports and CSS. The Rebels will play five home games on television as a part of the nine total games and two games televised by ESPNU. Thursday night’s series opener against LSU will be the ESPNU SEC Game of the Week on April 17.
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