Travis steps up to help Rebels

Jeremy Travis wasn't an every day player for the Ole Miss Rebels when the season began. But lately, he's been on the field for every game, especially in those big SEC weekend contests.

Among all players who have appeared in at least 16 games this season, Travis has the top batting average at .378. He's made 16 appeareances and 10 starts with 45 at-bats, but those starts have become more frequent lately.

Some of it was in a replacement role for leadoff batter Jordan Henry, the Rebel sophomore rightfielder who had struggled.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Travis stepped in and has made a difference for a team that for a while was searching for some players to do just that.

"I've been feeling great out there," Travis said. "It's fun to get a chance to play, and I'm just trying to make the most of my opportunities."

He certainly has done that. Even in his limited role so far for the 24-12 Rebels, Travis has six doubles, a triple, a home run, and 10 RBI. He appears to be getting more and more comfortable as the season progresses.

Travis said the goal all along has been about what's best for the team to ultimately reach its goals.

"We made a vow at the beginning of the season, coaches and players, that no matter what happens, we're doing all this for the team," he said. "It's all for Ole Miss and going to Omaha and winning a national championship. That's been my mindset throughout, to do all that I can to help this team."

Travis, who played for two years at Northeast Texas Community College, said his two seasons in junior college helped him quite a bit as he continues to try to improve at the Division I level.

"I really grew a lot as a player during my junior college experiences," said Travis, a teammate for one season at Northeast with Rebel pitcher Scott Bittle. "I learned more about team chemistry and worked through many different situations. It really helped me to be the player I am and how I play today."

He says he continues to learn and credits his Ole Miss coaches with a lot of that.

"With our approach, Coach Rob (Reinstetle) does a great job getting us prepared to hit. Coach (Mike) Bianco does as well. He really knows how to get his troops ready to go into battle. Our coaching staff in general just does a tremendous job in getting us ready to play."

Travis said weekend series like the last one with LSU is one of the main reasons he chose Ole Miss.

"It's exactly why I'm here," he said. "The second largest crowd ever in this stadium. And if I'm not mistaken the largest crowd was against Miami in a Super Regional. I actually watched that one on TV, and I remember thinking to myself right then that it would be an awesome place to play. And sure enough, here I am. I don't think there's a better place to play in America in front of the great fans like we have. I love them getting into the game."

And lately for Jeremy Travis, that also means being on the playing field and contributing to the success of the Ole Miss Rebels.

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