Bianco pleased at fall ball's halfway mark

Ole Miss baseball coach Mike Bianco's team enters its fourth weekend of fall baseball practice. The eighth-year UM head coach said he likes what he's seen so far from his team.

"Offensively it's been a good fall," he said. "It's been terrific. And I thought we pitched better the past couple of weeks. We challenged the pitchers a little bit. Some of the younger guys, the new guys, pitched the past couple of scrimmages. I thought they did well. (Drew) Pomeranz and (Nathan) Baker and (David) Goforth. It's tough (for the pitchers). We're swinging it well and with a lot of confidence. And that's good. We've done a reasonable job the past couple of weeks pumping the ball into the strike zone. Again, tip your hat to the hitters. They've done a great job."

He's been mostly pleased with the defense as well.

"We've played some pretty good defense," Bianco said. "We've misplayed some balls. The great thing about the defense is there hasn't been a lot of just pure errors. Not a lot of missed ground balls, booted ground balls, bad throws. So we've been OK there."

The program has a host of newcomers this fall. Bianco said after a few weeks of offseason strength and conditioning, and now three weeks of intrasquads, the new guys are well acclimated to what's expected of them.

"We've been out here for so long now, I think they actually felt comfortable when we started fall practice (on Sept. 21). What you see is when you get that many at-bats and as the at-bats continue and the innings continue, you start to see some stuff you may not have seen before. Like guys who may have good awareness of the game or guys who take the extra base. Or defensive plays where guys may be able to do some things. So we're learning some things about the new players and about our team as a whole, but we're still far from figuring it all out."

A few things he and his staff have figured out are some things they suspected before the school year began and they got a look at the team together.

"We're where we thought we would be, a lot of depth, a lot of good players, a lot of competition at a lot of positions. I still think when the fall‘s over there will still be a lot of questions. There are going to be a lot of options. This may be one of those clubs that starts the season and there will be some guys who will rotate in and we'll try to find the best mix, at least for that time. But I don't know if there's ever been a year where we had the same starting nine and the same rotation from week one to week 13 or 14."

Bianco said it's probably not really fair to single many players out at this early stage, but that there are some who are performing well.

"So many guys are swinging well. Some are swinging better now than they were a week ago. Like (Cody) Overbeck, who kind of got off to a slow start, and (juco outfielder Michael) Guerrero. They've been super hot. Logan Power's been swinging a really hot bat. (Juco catcher) Kyle Henson has played really well, but so has (Brett) Basham. It's just hard to mention anybody right now. There's a great deal of them that are swinging well. We've hit like 22 or 23 home runs so far."

The Rebels will intrasquad at 2:30 p.m. both Thursday and Friday and at 1 p.m. on Sunday. There are no Saturday intrasquads this fall.

OM Spirit Top Stories