Bittle pitching well; team fall stats so far

After each of the first three weekends of fall baseball, the coaches have mentioned some names of those who have done well. This fall we've heard sophomore pitcher Scott Bittle's name called several times.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound right-handed pitcher from Texarkana, Texas, and Northeast Texas Junior College in Mt. Pleasant has been tough to hit for the Rebels this fall. Bittle says he's felt pretty comfortable on the mound so far.

"I feel like I'm throwing the ball well," says Bittle, who has one intrasquad win to his credit and a staff-high 11 strikeouts through eight innings of live work in the fall games. "I'm getting more adjusted to things at this level all the time."

Bittle was the first official pitcher of the fall for the Rebels. He strolled out to the mound way back on Scout Day as the first pitcher in that particular game. He's listed as a sophomore but it's his third year of college, so he's draft-eligible for next June.

"It was a big adrenaline rush that first day," he said. "I was just trying to go out there and do well. I just wanted to show the coaches what I could do."

Doesn't sound like he was too worried about the scouts in attendance, though. That's all down the road a bit. For now it's all about trying to get some pitching-time for the Rebels in the spring. He knows breaking into the mix will be tough, but he feels good about things so far.

"I know we have one of the top pitching staffs in the country," said Bittle, whose roots on his father's side are in nearby Grenada. "We have some guys who can go out there and throw it in the mid-90s. From top to bottom, it's a strong staff."

Bittle, who throws a fast ball, slider, and changeup, says it helps keep him focused and motivated knowing there are so many outstanding pitchers on the staff.

"I feel I have to go out there and prove myself every time out," he said. "I make adjustments in the bullpen and I'm always looking to do better than I did in the previous outing. For the most part I've been getting the ball over the plate, making my pitches and hitting my spots. Things have worked out so far."

Bittle, who played baseball in Texas this past summer, says the main reason he's at Ole Miss is the chance to play for a winner.

"The tradition of the program was the main thing," he said. "They've been winning. I want to be on a winning team and have a chance to go to Omaha."

Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco has mentioned Bittle on more than one occasion as having been effective and impressive this fall.

"Scott Bittle has pitched well just about every time out," Bianco said. "He throws that cut ball or slider and it's hard to hit. Hitters just can't pick it up."

That as much as anything else gives Scott Bittle a very good chance to be heavily in the mix when the baseball season of 2007 rolls around in February.

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Below are the hitting and pitching averages for fall baseball through three of the four intrasquad weekends as compiled by Seth Keshel.

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Hitting:

AVG.-HR-RBI

Zach Rutland .500-0-2

Jordan Henry .406-0-3

Evan Button .391-1-5

Cody Overbeck .375-3-7

Peyton Farr .364-1-4

Justin Henry .361-0-4

JoJo Tann .324-0-4

C.J. Ketchum .321-0-2

Zach Miller .321-1-3

Zack Cozart .303-1-9

Devin Hicks .300-1-6

Dan Black .294-1-3

Scott Haltom .286-0-0

David Kindred .278-0-1

Andrew Clark .276-1-4

Alex Kliman .276-3-7

Tyler McMullen .273-1-2

Logan Power .259-2-6

Fuller Smith .258-0-5

Brett Basham .250-0-4

Jon-Jon Hancock .214-3-7

Cullan Kight .208-0-2

Matt Smith .154-0-4

Chad Sage .133-0-0

Brett Bukvich .100-0-0

Ryan White .000-0-2

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Pitching:

W-L, ERA, SO, IP

Cody Satterwhite 0-0, 0.00, 1, 1

Michael Robbins 0-0, 0.00, 1, 1

Will Kline 0-0, 1.00, 9, 9

Rory McKean 1-0, 1.04, 4, 8.2

Scott Bittle 1-0, 2.25, 11, 8

Kevin Parker 0-1, 3.12, 5, 8.2

Nathan Baker 1-0, 3.24, 7, 8.1

Nick Hetland 0-0, 4.00, 7, 9

Wade Broyles 0-0, 5.00, 5, 9

Jesse Simpson 0-0, 5.14, 6, 7

Jon-Jon Hancock 0-0, 5.40, 4, 5

Jake Morgan 0-2, 6.14, 4, 7.1

Tyler McMullen 1-0, 6.43, 6, 7

Colby Wark 1-0, 6.75, 5, 6.2

Brett Bukvich 1-1, 7.27, 12, 8.2

James Wiley 1-1, 9.00, 4, 8

Matt Smith 0-0, 9.00, 5, 7

Lance Lynn 0-1, 10.13, 10, 8

Craig Rodriguez 0-1, 11.25, 4, 8

Thomas Flautt 0-0, 12.15, 3, 6.2

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