Date: June 15, 2014 Location: Omaha, Nebraska Venue: TD Ameritrade Park Capacity: 35,000 Surface: Grass Ole Miss’ NCAA Tournament Record: 50-40 Radio: Ole Miss Baseball Network Television: ESPN2 Announcers: Karl Ravech Kyle Peterson Jessica Mendoza Live Stats: www.OleMissSports.com Live Video: ESPN3.com Twitter Updates: @OleMissBSB
QUICK HITS • Ole Miss opens its fifth appearance all-time in the College World Series against top-ranked Virginia Sunday night. • Three All-Americans: A. Anderson (Collegiate Baseball), W. Allen (NCBWA), A. Bousfield (NCBWA, Baseball America) • Senior C Will Allen is a finalist for the Gregg Olson Award and the Johnny Bench Award in the 2014 season. • Freshman J.B. Woodman was named a Freshman All-America selection by Collegiate Baseball earlier this season. • Ole Miss had nine players drafted in 2014, the most in college baseball this year and second most in school history. • The Rebels finished the year ranked third nationally in total attendance with 271,920 fans through the turnstiles. • Ole Miss is tops in the SEC in batting (.303), second in home runs (42) and second in runs scored (396). • Three Rebels rank in the top five in the SEC in hits: Bousfield (1st - 96), Allen (2nd - 90) and Anderson (T5th - 84). • Starting pitchers Chris Ellis and Christian Trent are a combined 19-2 this season and were 13-0 in SEC play.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS SUNDAY, 7 P.M. (ESPN2) UVA - Nathan Kirnby, So., LHP OLE MISS - Chris Ellis, Jr., RHP
REBELS PICKED SIXTH, FINISHED FIRST IN SEC WEST Ole Miss found itself in an unusual position entering the season when the Rebels were picked to finish sixth in the SEC Western Division in a vote of the league’s coaches prior to the start of the season. At the end of the regular season, the Rebels have defied the prognosticators and finished in first place in the division to claim the program’s third SEC Western Division title in the Mike Bianco era and the overall No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament as the second place team in the league.
REBELS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT The Rebels have played in 19 NCAA Tournaments in the history of the program totalling 90 games played in the annual event at this point in the NCAA Tournament. After last weekend’s NCAA Super Regional, the Rebels have posted a 50-40 record in NCAA Tournament play. • Ole Miss advanced to the College World Series in its first four tries (1956, 1964, 1969 and 1972). • The Rebels have advanced to at least the Regional Championship in 7 of the last 9 appearances. • Ole Miss has advanced to a Super Regional in five of NCAA Tournaments, hosting three of them. • The Rebels hosted an NCAA Regional for the first time in the 2004 season and six times total.
HOW THE REBELS GOT TO THE COLLEGE WORLD SERIES The Rebels advanced to the College World Series for the fifth time in program history and the first time since 1972 (42 years) this season, marking the first College World Series appearance for head coach Mike Bianco at Ole Miss. • Ole Miss finished second in the SEC and claimed the Western Division with a 19-11 record in 2014. • The Rebels hosted an NCAA Regional, beating Jacksonville State (12-2) and Washington twice (2-1, 3-2) • Ole Miss then hit the road to face top-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette in an NCAA Super Regional. • After dropping game one, the Rebels rallied to win the next two games at UL-L and play at the CWS.
REBELS vs. VIRGINIA The Rebels and Cavaliers have faced off six times in the history of the two programs with the Rebels trailing 2-4 in the all-time series between the two teams. The last time the two teams met was in the 2010 NCAA Regional hosted by Virginia. All six meetings have come in the NCAA Tournament. • Ole Miss split two meetings with UVA in the 1972 District Playoffs on the way to a CWS berth. • The two teams next met in 2009 with the Cavaliers winning an NCAA Super Regional in Oxford 2-1. • The next season, top-ranked Virginia beat the Rebels 13-7 in a winner’s bracket game at UVA.
ALLEN NAMED BENCH AWARD FINALIST Will Allen was one of 60 players nationally to find himself on the watch list for the Johnny Bench Award when the Greater Wichita Sports Commission released the initial watch list for 2014 and was named one of 15 semifinalists for the award two weeks ago. He was named one of the three finalists for the award last this week.
Allen took over catching duties this season after 2013 Johnny Bench Award winner Stuart Turner was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the third round of the MLB Draft.
ALLEN NAMED OLSON AWARD FINALIST Senior C Will Allen and junior OF Auston Bousfield were tabbed by College Baseball Lineup earlier this week as two of the players named to the initial 80-man watch list for the Gregg Olson Award presented annually to the breakout player of the year in college baseball. Both players jumped up their season production significantly compared to previous seasons to help Ole Miss’ success this year.
Allen found himself among those players named as a finalist for the award recently when the initial list was pared down in preparation for the award’s presentation here a the College World Series.
ALL-AMERICA SELECTIONS A pair of Rebels garnered recognition from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper this season as senior 3B Austin Anderson and freshman J.B. Woodman were tabbed by the publication for recognition on the Louisville Slugger All-America teams. Anderson was named a Louisville Slugger third team selection, while Woodman was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America team.
Earlier this week, two more Rebels added their names to All-America lists when Will Allen and Auston Bousfield were tabbed as third team All-America selections by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Bousfield was also tabbed a third team All-America selection by Baseball America.
Allen leads the way in multiple-RBI games with 15, while Orvis (13), Bousfield (12), Anderson (11) and Overbey (9) have all posted more than five multiple-RBI games as well.
FINDING A WAY ON BASE Auston Bousfield holds the longest consecutive streak of reaching base at eight games heading into the College World Series. Will Allen is right behind him with seven consecutive games reaching base. Bousfield held the longest streak of reaching base this season at 26 straight games - a season-long for the junior - that was snapped in the regular-season finale at Texas A&M. It was Bousfield’s second strech of 20+ games reaching base safely this season.
REBELS NO STRANGER TO ONE-RUN GAMES The Rebels are no stranger to one-run games this season, having played in 20 games decided by one run and posting a 12-8 record in those games. In the NCAA Oxford Regional, the Rebels picked up a pair of one-run victories over No. 14 Washington to advance to last weekend’s NCAA Super Regional at Louisiana-Lafayette.
REBELS NOT OFTEN OUT OF THE RACE The Rebels have dropped 19 contests this season, but rarely is Ole Miss out of the race. Of those 19 losses, 13 have been by no more than two runs - with eight of them being by one run. Of those losses decided by no more than two runs, 10 of them were in Southeastern Conference play with seven coming on the road and three in extra innings.
REBEL PITCHERS LIMIT OPPORTUNITIES Ole Miss’ pitching staff turned in a solid opening weekend, holding the Stetson Hatters to three runs on the weekend series and limiting offensive opportunities for the Hatters. Rebel pitchers allowed only 14 hits on the weekend and posted the first shutout of the season on opening day with a 7-0 victory. The Rebel pitching staff also struck out 24 batters through the three-game series with only seven walks.
Through 17 weeks of play, the Rebels have allowed 221 runs (3.4 runs a game) in 595.2 innings of work. The Rebels have posted four shutouts and 12 games with only one run allowed.
SOLID BULLPEN WORK LEADS TO SUCCESS Ole Miss’ bullpen has been incredibly efficient this season, continuing to hold teams in check down the stretch - especially in SEC play. Of the regular relievers on the 27 man roster for the College World Series, the bullpen holds a 2.23 ERA this season.
The staff has kept runs from scoring as a whole this season, inheriting 145 runners and allowing only 34 to score this year in all games played. Through six NCAA Tournament games, the Rebel bullpen has inherited nine runners and not allowed one to score.
BORTLES HEATING UP AT THE PLATE Freshman Colby Bortles has been hot at the plate through the last 11 games played, providing additional pop to the Rebels’ lineup. In that stretch, the freshman is hitting .421 (8x19) with 12 RBI, two home runs - including a grand slam - and a double.
In the NCAA Tournament, Bortles is hitting at a . 385 clip with a home run, six RBI and two runs scored. He delivered a solo shot and drove in the game-tying run in a 3-2 win over No. 14 Washington in the NCAA Regional Championship. He also delivered a two-RBI single as a pinch hitter against No. 1 ULL in game two of last weekend’s NCAA Super Regional to put the Rebels in the lead and even the series.
OVERBEY PACES REBELS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT Senior 2B Preston Overbey has paced the Rebel offense at the plate through the NCAA Tournament, hitting at a .412 clip and hit a solo shot - his fourth of the season - in game two of the NCAA Super Regional at top-ranked ULL to help the Rebels rally for a series-tying win.
REBELS HAVE NINE DRAFTED IN 2014 TO LEAD NATION The Rebels continued the trend of sending players to the professional ranks in 2014 with a nation-leading nine players drafted. RHP Chris Ellis was the first off the board (3rd round - Los Angeles Angels), while Auston Bousfield (5th round - San Diego), Austin Anderson (9th round - Baltimore) and Josh Laxer (9th round - Detroit) all went on day two of the draft. Braxton Lee (12th round - Tampa Bay), Will Allen (13th round - Detroit), Hawtin Buchanan (20th round - Seattle), Aaron Greenwood (28th round - Houston) and Christian Trent (29th round - Los Angeles Dodgers) rounded out the selections.
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