Game Week

Ole Miss finished its preseason intrasquads Sunday, and now it heads full speed toward the season opener at TCU Friday night.

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Today is Media Day at Ole Miss, and the Rebels and their coaches will visit with the press. On Sunday Rebel head coach Mike Bianco said he's pleased with things to this point, especially from the hitters.

"I don't know if there's been a year offensively where we've been this ready, looked this good this early," he said as he enters his 12th season at the helm. "And that's just every single day. There are days offensively where it's just an offensive day and hitting's contagious. But you look out there (Sunday) and we played 12 innings and with the (cold) temperatures. And (Tanner) Mathis comes up and gets his sixth hit of the day.

"The offense just keeps the pressure on, and it's one of those things where there are days we'd like to pitch better. But there are days that I think we've pitched pretty well and the hitters have just made it very difficult on the pitchers. They don't strike out, they move balls, they have great at-bats, they have long at-bats, they get good swings off. They've just done a great job."

Bianco also said the outfield speed will make things better for the Rebels.

"We're young. We'll make some mistakes here or there. But usually the mistakes are going full speed. Lot of speed and when you look at the possible starters out there, we don't have a guy that runs over a 6.8 (in the 60) out there. It's pretty fast out there."

Mike Bianco
Bruce Newman

Bianco said the Rebels have had a solid preseason, and he likes where things stand.

"We feel good about it. We feel really good," he said. "We feel comfortable going in, and there's a plan in place to get everything in. That's not to say you won't improve from week to week. We'd better be a lot better in May than we are right now. But I feel pretty confident with what we've got."

Bianco said all the pitchers who needed to get in some time on the mound were able to this weekend.

"All the guys that will start next weekend all threw around 70-80 pitches. Bobby (Wahl) threw like right at 75. (Mike) Mayers and (R.J.) Hively today got around 70 pitches. They're all ready to go. We went a little longer today, because there's a chance of rain (Monday) and we wanted to make sure everybody threw. We shortened the innings for the possible relievers of the first weekend. Most of the guys who came in only threw two innings.

"Certainly (there have been) enough at-bats that the pitchers are ready to go. Defensively we made two errors (Sunday) at the very end (of a long scrimmage). They were the only two infield errors of the entire spring. We've caught the ball very well. I thought the catchers have done a pretty good job throwing people out and defending the steal.

"Yeah, I think we're ready."

From the Ernie Labarge Bullpen Club Website Sunday:

Tanner Mathis and Matt Snyder led the Pinstripe team to a 11 to 5 victory Sunday at Swayze Field. Mathis was 6 for 7 with a double and a triple. Matt Snyder also had a big day going 3 for 6 with 4 RBI and a HR. On the mound Mike Mayers was sharp going 4 and 2/3 only allowing one run. Dylan Chavez, Casey Mulholland, Josh Laxer, and Blair Wright were also strong in relief as they combined for 6 and 1/3 innings and no runs.

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