At The Plate

New assistant coach Cliff Godwin was brought in to rejuvenate the Rebels offensively. Fall ball sessions proved that was the case.

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Godwin, who arrived at Ole Miss this past summer, brought a lot of passion and drive to the players, especially when it comes to offensive production. And the players responded.

You could see it in intrasquads. You could see it in practices.

You could see it between innings as they raced on and off the field. It was apparent that Godwin had a positive impact.

It was no surprise that junior second baseman Alex Yarbrough led the way offensively. He finished last season at the top of the chart. His batting average this fall was an impressive .455 and led all players who had at least 35 at-bats.

In addition to his top-notch average, Yarbrough had several superlatives offensively for Ole Miss. In 17 fall games, he had two home runs, two triples, six doubles, 15 singles, 17 RBI, 6 walks, and 9 strikeouts.

"It went as well as I could have expected," said Yarbrough, who had key hits in almost every intrasquad of the fall. "I accomplished some things. Coach (Cliff) Godwin was great about helping me refine some things with my swing and my approach. But I believe it was a great fall for the whole team."

Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said Yarbrough picked up right where he left off last spring.

"Yarbrough continues to just look terrific at the plate," Bianco said. "Great at-bat after great at-bat. There are games he might not get as many hits. But his quality at-bats are just tremendous."

Blake Newalu
Bruce Newman

Junior newcomer Kody Sepulveda, a catcher, wound up with an impressive .444 average to follow Yarbrough. The Californian had 13 RBI, a triple, six doubles, 10 walks, and 7 strikeouts.

Senior shortstop Blake Newalu followed up his first season at Ole Miss with a solid fall and was next with a .429 average. He had six RBI, 3 doubles, 8 walks, and 8 strikeouts.

Senior outfielder Zach Kirksey's commitment to improving his conditioning and overall game were apparent as he finished with a batting average of .400 for the fall. He also had 2 home runs, 2 triples, 4 doubles, 10 walks, 13 strikeouts, and 11 RBI.

Those were the only Rebels who batted .400 or higher with at least 35 at-bats. Here are the remaining offensive stats from fall ball 2011.

Freshman Will Jamison: .357 batting average, 2 doubles, 6 RBI, 7 walks, 11 strikeouts

Sophomore Austin Sullivan: .346, 5 doubles, 1 home run, 12 RBI, 1 walk, 16 strikeouts

Sophomore Austin Anderson: .333, 1 triple, 2 doubles, 10 RBI, 5 walks, 10 strikeouts

Freshman Sikes Orvis: .333, 1 home run, 2 doubles, 4 RBI, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts

Junior Tanner Mathis: .308, 1 triple, 2 doubles, 6 RBI, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts

Junior Andrew Mistone: .286, 1 home run, 4 doubles, 11 RBI, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts

Freshman Chase Reeves: .273, 5 RBI, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts

Junior John Gatlin: .250, 3 doubles, 7 RBI, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts

Sophomore Will Allen: .250, 1 home run, 2 doubles, 7 RBI, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts

Senior Matt Snyder: .235, 3 home runs, 1 doubles, 10 RBI, 10 walks, 9 strikeouts

Freshman Austin Knight: .235, 2 doubles, 8 RBI, 5 walks, 11 strikeouts

Senior Taylor Hightower: .222, 2 doubles, 7 RBI, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts

Freshman Jimel Judon: .200, 1 home run, 1 double, 5 RBI, 4 walks, 23 strikeouts

Sophomore Preston Overbey: .158, 2 home runs, 5 doubles, 12 RBI, 4 walks, 21 strikeouts

Freshman Auston Bousfield: .158, 4 doubles, 6 RBI, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts

Freshman Jake Overbey: .133, 1 triple, 1 double, 3 RBI, 4 walks, 12 strikeouts

Freshman Casey Mulholland (27 at-bats): .500, 2 doubles, 5 RBI, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Junior Tyler Roach (23 at-bats): .200, 1 double, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts

Stolen base leaders: Kirksey (15), Newalu (10), Jamison (9), Yarbrough (9), Anderson (8).

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