Road To Omaha Starts At Swayze
June 1, 2016

By Morgan Goff, Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations

The outstanding year for the 2016 Ole Miss baseball team continues as the committee has selected Ole Miss to be the site of an NCAA regional for the seventh time in school history. The Oxford Regional keeps the Rebels on their home field as the Road to Omaha begins.

The road thus far has been far from easy. With a conference stacked with nationally ranked teams, the Rebels have fought their way through the SEC gauntlet proving how talented this team truly is. Ole Miss finished the regular season with a 40-16 record, including 18-12 in SEC play; the 40 victories are tied for the most in a regular season in school history (2005, 2009, 2014). The Rebels then trekked to Hoover, Alabama for the conference tournament where they advanced to the semifinals before falling to Texas A&M, the team that ultimately claimed the title.

Junior center fielder, J.B. Woodman, has been nothing short of phenomenal throughout the season. The team captain was tabbed as a Ferris Trophy finalist, First-Team All-SEC, SEC Al-Defense and was also one of three Rebels named to the SEC All-Tournament Team just last weekend. As a member of the 2014 Ole Miss baseball team, Woodman understands what it takes to find success on the field.

“I think being consistent and not having too many ups and downs has been the key to our success,” said Woodman. “We had a short stretch where it wasn’t our best baseball, but we bounced back and have played consistently almost every weekend. Our starting pitchers, our bullpen and timely hitting have all helped to get us where we are now and we just need to keep doing that.”

It is hard to deny the fact that the Rebels boast an advantage in earning the right to host in their home stadium.

As junior starting shortstop Errol Robinson explained, “Swayze is our home. This is our stadium. We are putting our cleats on in the same spot we put them on every day. That really makes a big difference. The fans are definitely a big part of the home field advantage.”

Four teams will take Swayze Field this weekend. Ole Miss, Utah, Boston College and Tulane will meet in the Oxford Regional to see who will continue on this crazy Road to Omaha.

“Everyone is fired up. Every pitch is important. You aren’t promised the next game, so it’s do or die. The fans know that and they make it really exciting,” explained Woodman.

Although they will be on their home turf, the Rebels know winning an NCAA Regional is no easy feat. Every team that reaches the postseason is there for a reason. Anyone can win on any given day. In order to keep playing baseball, consistency is key for this Ole Miss team.

“Getting to Omaha is the dream,” said Robinson. “It is the goal going into every year. The biggest thing for us is to stay consistent and keep playing our game. The bats are getting hot and the arms have been electric. We just need to keep the momentum going and keep playing our game to get us to the College World Series.”

Woodman also explained how important it is for the Rebels to remain consistent and play the game they know how to play.

“I think we need to continue to be who we are and not change what has gotten our team to this point,” said Woodman. “We need to remember what has helped us win 40 game and just need to focus on winning pitches and winning each at-bat.”

Swayze Field will be rocking this weekend as the Rebels lace up their cleats and take the field in front of Rebel Nation. The Diamond Rebs will look to keep the rally going and play the game the same way they have all season with hot bats and strong arms in hopes of advancing to Super Regionals and getting one step closer to the College World Series.

 

 

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