Tracy talks about being a Rebel

Left-handed pitcher Matt Tracy is bringing solid command of three pitches to Oxford. Go inside to see what he has to say about being a Rebel.

Tracy just finished a successful career at Christian Brothers College in St. Louis Mo., and will report to Ole Miss in August.

Chase Parham of The Ole Miss Spirit talked to Tracy about picking Ole Miss and what he expects at the SEC school.

On what he is doing this summer:

I'm playing in tournaments around the St. Louis area with the St. Louis Mustangs. We have played in Chicago, Southern Illinois and then we are going to Evansville next weekend. Two other guys signed with D-1 schools, Stanford and Nebraska.

On visiting Ole Miss and picking the Rebels over other schools:

I've been to Ole Miss twice so far. I went down for a camp, and then went back to throw a bullpen for the coaches on the Saturday of the South Carolina series. It was all about the atmosphere when I went to watch the South Carolina game. It was so different and so much better that any college I have ever seen. In the north, you don't get that type of atmosphere and that amount of fans for baseball. Lance Lynn pitched an unbelievable game and beat the Gamecocks, who were something like third in the country at the time. It came down to Iowa and Ole Miss, but I also visited Missouri State and USC. Fan support at Iowa was nothing compared to Ole Miss. That part was unbelievable at Ole Miss, and the two programs weren't close competitively either.

On his individual play:

We (Christian Brothers College) had a really good season before losing in the state semifinals to the 42nd ranked team in the country. I finished 9-2 with a 1.40 ERA. The summer is also going well. I took some time off at the beginning of the summer because my arm was a little tired. Our high school season ran late and didn't end until June, but I have two complete games this summer.

On trying to stay rested and sharp at the same time:

I'm going through a throwing program that was recommended to me by an agent. Barry Zito and a couple other guys do the same thing. It is exercising with a band and long tossing. It kind of gives a break from pitching, but it allows my arm to get stronger. The break is good because our summer season runs to the first of August and then we report to Ole Miss on August 18.

On fall practice:

I'm really looking forward to the fall because it is extremely important since I am a freshman. It gives all the newcomers an opportunity to prove themselves and find a spot. It goes both ways. You have to have a fresh arm, but I need to go in there ready to play and tuned up as well. Every pitcher has to go in there looking to be a weekend starter. It is all up to us because we just need to go in there during the fall and prove that we can play. The opportunity is there, but it won't be easy.

On his game:

I'm really working on increasing my fastball velocity which is now in the mid to upper 80's. My strengths are control and the ability to change speeds. I can also use both sides of the plate with my three pitches.

On the Rebels' returning roster:

I have looked at next year's roster, and it is going to be an awesome year for Ole Miss baseball. We have Lynn and (Cody) Satterwhite coming back along with (Brett) Bukvich and (Nathan) Baker, who also threw on the weekends. There will be a lot of competition for innings, but that also means it will be a successful season.

On the opportunity to throw early:

With the start date moving back, teams will need more arms than usual because of more midweek games. The northern teams are used to this situation, and that is how Iowa tried to sign me because of more playing time, but now, every team has that same situation. It is leveling the playing field somewhat because it might be a little of a learning curve for southern schools as far as changing the flow of the season. There won't be as many northern teams traveling south I would imagine. But, if all the incoming guys throw well, I think we will get innings. I'm ready to get started. Patience is tough at this point.

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