Ole Miss Rebels baseball

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Ole Miss Rebels
2018 Ole Miss Rebels baseball team
Ole Miss Rebels baseball logo.svg
Founded 1893
University University of Mississippi
Athletic director Ross Bjork
Head coach Mike Bianco (16th season)
Conference SEC
West Division
Home stadium Swayze Field
(Capacity: 10,323)
Nickname Ole Miss Rebels
Colors Cardinal Red and Navy Blue[1]
         
College World Series appearances
1956, 1964, 1969, 1972, 2014
NCAA regional champions
2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2014
NCAA Tournament appearances
1956, 1964, 1969, 1972, 1977, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018
Conference tournament champions
1977, 2006, 2018
Conference champions
1959, 1960, 1964, 1969, 1972, 1977, 2009

The Ole Miss Rebels baseball team represents the University of Mississippi in NCAA Division I college baseball. The team participates in the West Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). They are currently coached by head coach Mike Bianco and assistant coaches Mike Clement, Carl Lafferty, and Marc MacMillan. They play home games at Swayze Field. Ole Miss has played in the College World Series five times, most recently in 2014.

History[edit]

The University of Mississippi has games recorded as early as 1893. What is commonly referred to as the "modern era" is considered to have started in 1947.

Twenty different coaches have led the Ole Miss baseball team, but only six of those have done so during the modern era. Mike Bianco became the latest Ole Miss Rebels baseball head coach in June 2000.

In 1977 the Rebels won the inaugural Southeastern Conference tournament championship. They won the tournament again in 2006. Under current skipper Mike Bianco the team appeared in the SEC Tournament final game a fourth time in 2018 and won the title over rival LSU, 9-1. The eight-run margin of victory was the largest in a final SEC Tournament game in more than 20 years. They have captured four Southeastern Conference Western Division titles, the last in 2018.

The Rebels club have won seven Southeastern Conference championships and have made the NCAA Tournament twenty-two times. They have also advanced to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska five times, most recently in 2014.

The 1893 Ole Miss baseball team.

Early years[edit]

The first Ole Miss baseball game on record is a 6–3 loss to Mississippi A&M (now known as Mississippi State University) in Starkville, Mississippi during 1893.

On the eve of World War I the Rebel baseball team was helmed by future New York Yankee and Hall of Fame member Casey Stengel. He compiled a record of 13–9 as skipper of the Rebels and earned the nickname "The Old Perfessor."

1972[edit]

After the conclusion of his major league baseball career, Jake Gibbs returned to Oxford to coach the Ole Miss baseball team. His first season demonstrated he was winner as a coach just as he had been as a player. But the 1972 season started slow for Gibbs and the Rebels. Going into the 10th game of the season the team was just 4-5. Ole Miss began a run once conference play began and compiled a 15-3 mark against the other teams in the SEC, including a sweep of rival Mississippi State University. This mark was good enough to secure the SEC title. In the 1972 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament the team defeated Jacksonville State but suffered a loss at the hands of ACC Champion Virginia. A subsequent win over Florida State placed them in a rematch with Virginia, a game they won convincingly 9-0. The tournament ended with 2 games against South Alabama, a team that had swept Ole Miss at the beginning of the season. Once again, Ole Miss proved they were the better team when it mattered, winning both and advancing to the College World Series.

1977[edit]

The 1977 baseball season saw the Southeastern Conference adopt a conference tournament for the first time. The winner of the conference tournament was extended an automatic invitation to the NCAA Tournament. This privilege has continued unbroken to the present. The 1977 Rebel squad, coached by Jake Gibbs, captured the regular season SEC title with a 15-9 record. This gave the Rebels hosting duties for the first conference tournament. Legendary Swayze Field provided the backdrop for this historic occasion. Ole Miss turned their home field advantage and #1 seed into a title, winning the inaugural tournament with a record of 4-1.

1995[edit]

By the middle of the 1990's the Rebel baseball team was consistently winning 30 games each season but had been absent from the post season since 1977. The commitment to baseball remained strong, however. In 1989 Swayze Field was renovated and expanded, laying the groundwork for record attendance figures later in the 2000's. Jake Gibbs retired in 1990 and another former Rebel All-American and Major League star Don Kessinger took over the reigns. His 1995 squad won 40 games and ended the team's postseason drought. Led by All-Americans David Delucci and Jamey Price, the Rebels advanced to the championship game of the 1995 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament regional but were eliminated by host Florida State.

1999[edit]

In 1999 the NCAA adopted the current 64-team Regional and Super Regional format for playoffs. Ole Miss, a storied program that had long been slumbering, made an appearance in this inaugural tournament, just their second trip to the postseason in 22 years. They won their first regional game under the new format, a 12-3 drubbing of Monmouth before they were eliminated by host Texas A&M.

2001[edit]

The hiring of Mike Bianco, a former LSU player and coach, from McNeese State began a long period of awakening the sleeping giant of Ole Miss baseball. At the helm of the Cowboys program for 3 seasons Bianco won 100 games and appeared in the 2000 post season. He had no trouble finding immediate success in Oxford as he guided the Rebels to the 2001 post season and won the second regional game in school history.

2005[edit]

The 2005 Ole Miss Rebels team ascended to heights unseen in Oxford for many years. The team won 48 games that season, won their first SEC Western Division crown, and earned the first national seed in school history. The Rebels went 4-0 in the Regional and Super Regional tournaments defeating Maine, Oklahoma (x2) and Texas before losing 2 straight to Texas by no more than 2 runs. The Longhorns would then continue to Omaha and win the National Title. Their loss to Ole Miss was just one of their two losses the entire post season.

2006[edit]

The 2006 campaign was not one of rebuilding but of reloading. The Rebels won 44 games and sprinted through the postseason. During the SEC Conference Tournament in Hoover, Alabama Ole Miss went 4-0 and won their first tournament title since 1977. The next two weekends they won 4 more straight games in Regional and Super Regional competition with wins over Bethune-Cookman, South Alabama, Tulane, and Miami. As with the prior season Ole Miss ended the season in Super Regionals with 2 straight losses after gaining an initial 1-0 lead in the series. Miami would go to to deal eventual National Champion Oregon State one of their two losses in Omaha.

2007[edit]

The 2007 season cemented Mike Bianco's Rebels as a dominant force in college baseball. The team topped 40 wins for the third consecutive season as well as reached the Super Regional portion of the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive time. Their season ended at the hands of #5 National Seed Arizona State in Tempe.

2009[edit]

For the first time since 1977, the Rebels won a share of the Southeastern Conference regular season title in 2009. The team won 20 conference games and 48 total on the season. The Rebels were selected to host a regional in Oxford where they defeated Missouri and Western Kentucky. The regional championship came courtesy of a brilliant pitching performance by Drew Pomeranz in a Monday elimination game. Pomeranz pitched a complete game and struck out 16 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in the 4-1 win. In super regional play against Virginia, Ole Miss won the first game but were unable to complete the series and fell 1-2 to the Cavaliers.[2]

2014[edit]

The Rebels surprised critics in 2014 by capturing the SEC West title (their 3rd under Mike Bianco) and topping 40 wins for the 5th time. Nine players from the 2014 roster were drafted by Major League teams, the most of any team in the nation. Ole Miss went 3–0 in regional play with a win over Jacksonville St. and two over Washington (including an extra-inning second win) to advance to their 5th Super Regional.

The team traveled to Lafayette, Louisiana to face the #1 ranked Ragin' Cajuns in Super Regional action. Despite losing the first game, the Rebels rallied to win games 2 and 3 and advance to the College World Series.

After opening the CWS with a loss to the Virginia Cavaliers, the Rebels reeled off 2 straight wins against Texas Tech and TCU in the losers bracket, advancing to the Semi-Finals and a re-match with the Cavaliers which they lost.

2018[edit]

Mike Bianco and the Ole Miss Rebels continued their excellence in 2018. They topped 40 wins for the 7th time, won the SEC Western Division title, and also captured the SEC Conference Tournament title played annually in Hoover, Alabama. The tournament proved dramatic as the #2 seeded Rebels lost their first game to Auburn and then faced elimination against Georgia in their second. The match against Georgia went to extra innings prompting a comeback in the 10th inning with Georgia leading 4-3. The team collected the necessary 2-runs in the bottom of the 10th for a walk-off win. This win vaulted the team to three consecutive wins (Auburn, Texas A&M, LSU) and the title as their pitching staff gave up just 2 runs in the remaining 27 innings of play. The final game of the tournament was particularly savory for the Rebels as they defeated long-time rivals the LSU Tigers by a margin of 9-1 in a rematch of the 2008 final.

The 2018 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament opened in Oxford a day late after flooding left Swayze Field underwater. The Rebels fell down early 2-0 to the St. Louis University Billikens and their ace pitcher, Miller Hogan. A 6-run 2nd inning followed by 2 more runs in the 3rd chased Hogan from the game as the Rebels went on to a 9-2 win.

Player awards[edit]

National awards[edit]

Stuart Turner – 2013
Stephen Head – 2003

SEC awards[edit]

Drew Pomeranz – 2010
Stephen Head – 2004
Seth Smith – 2002
Stephen Head – 2003
Jordan Henry – 2007

1st Team All-Americans[edit]

Player Position Year(s) Selectors
Gibbs, JakeJake Gibbs Third baseman 1960 ABCA
Kessinger, DonnieDonnie Kessinger Shortstop 1964 ABCA, SN
Adams, DanDan Adams Third baseman 1970 SN
Husband, PaulPaul Husband Outfielder 1972, 1973 ABCA, SN
Price, JameyJamey Price Pitcher 1995 CB
Dellucci, DavidDavid Dellucci Outfield 1995 NCBWA
Head, StephenStephen Head Utility player 2004, 2005 BA, ABCA
Bittle, ScottScott Bittle Pitcher 2008 BA, NCBWA
Pomeranz, DrewDrew Pomeranz Pitcher 2010 ABCA, BA, CB, NCBWA
Yarbrough, AlexAlex Yarbrough Second baseman 2012 ABCA, BA, CB, NCBWA
Turner, StuartStuart Turner Catcher 2013 ABCA, BA
Bousefield, AustinAustin Bousefield Outfielder 2014 ABCA
Source:"SEC All-Americas". secsports.com. Archived from the original on 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 

ABCA: American Baseball Coaches Association BA: Baseball America CB: Collegiate Baseball NCBWA: National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Denotes consensus All-American|-

Oxford-University Stadium/ Swayze Field[edit]

Ole Miss baseball plays their home games at Oxford-University Stadium/ Swayze Field, a $3.75 million facility that was completed in October, 1988. The first game held there was against Cumberland University on February 19, 1989 in which the Rebels took a doubleheader sweep.

Panoramic view of Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field at Ole Miss

Attendance milestones[edit]

Ole Miss commonly draws more than 10,000 fans to a single game. The first crowd in excess of 10,000 (10,323) occurred on June 6, 2009 against Virginia in Super Regional play. The first crowd in excess of 11,000 (11,729) occurred during a regular season game against Alabama on April 13, 2013. The first crowd to top 12,000 (12,117) packed Swayze for an opening day game against East Carolina on February 17, 2017. The current record is 12,151 set against LSU on April 28, 2018.

Stadium attendance[edit]

Year Games Attendance Average
2017 32 273,448 8,545[3]
2016 33 284,413 8,619[4]
2015 28 225,873 8,066[5]
2014 34 271,920 7,997
2013 30 239,909 7,996
2012 25 186,272 7,450
2011 32 261,006 8,156
2010 33 223,035 6,759
2009 39 273,111 7,003
2008 33 155,489 4,712
2007 35 173,523 4,958
2006 36 174,756 4,854
2005 39 170,152 4,363
2004 35 122,382 3,497
2003 35 73,154 2,090
2002 36 84,910 2,359
2001 31 58,929 1,900
2000 32 40,130 1,254
1999 26 54,606 2,100

NCAA Baseball Attendance[6]

Rivalry[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]