Baseball team reports

Members of the Ole Miss Baseball program reported to campus over the weekend and went through the first day of classes on Monday before taking to the field for the first time on Tuesday in preparation for the 2008 season.

Reporting were 42 players, including seven-of-nine position starters returning along with a bulk of the pitching staff that carried the Rebels last year.

The Rebels are coming off a third-straight 40-win season and a third-straight Super Regional appearance in the 2007 season, as Ole Miss traveled to Arizona State before ending the season with a loss to the Sun Devils. Ole Miss is one of only two schools to have hosted NCAA Regional play each of the last four years, and one of only four schools in the nation to have advanced to a Super Regional the last three years.

"We're excited about getting the team back on campus and getting back on the field," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "The team did its two-mile timed run and the average time was probably the best it's ever been. It's nice to know everyone reported in such good shape and put in the work over the summer. When you look at the talent of this class, it's exciting to know there will be so much competition for the starting job at every position."

With that in mind, what could be one of the best recruiting classes in the seven years of the Mike Bianco era reported to campus and were welcomed with a two-mile run on the first day of classes prior to beginning work with strength and conditioning coach Noel Durfy. The team went through its first day of organized strength and conditioning before taking to the field on Tuesday.

Tuesday saw players hit the diamond for 4-on-1 drill work as four players worked with one coach per NCAA regulations. That drill work will continue until the team will hold its first scrimmage of the fall on Friday, September 21. That day will also be Scout Day.

Ole Miss will open its season on February 22 with the national start date as all programs around the country will open the season on the same day.

*** Bill Bunting - UM athletics media relations

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