Phillips competing for outfield spot

All signs point to one outfield spot being open on a regular basis for the 2009 Ole Miss baseball season with Logan Power and Jordan Henry back. Several Rebs are in the mix, including newcomer David Phillips.

The fall ball sessions will go a long way in determining that, and Phillips, a junior who came from Texarkana Junior College, is pleased to have the opportunity to show what he can do.

"It's been exciting being out here so far," he said. "I've been looking forward to playing at this level for a long time."

Known for having quite a bit of power, the 6-foot-1, 192-pound left-handed batter has a .333 average this fall but in 12 at-bats has yet to hit one out. But he's working on that and more.

"So far I feel like I've been seeing the ball pretty good," said the Nacogdoches, Texas, native. "I feel like I'm doing well, but I've got to do more. The pitching is more consistently good than what I'm used to seeing, too. It's an adjustment but I think I'm good enough to make it."

Phillips is also a left-handed pitcher who was getting some quality bullpen work Thursday. He's pitched five innings so far this fall, allowing five earned runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and one walk.

In junior college when he wasn't in the outfield, he served as pitcher and designated hitter.

"I'm just trying to work hard at both, help the team out by being the best I can at both," he said of playing in the outfield and pitching. "I'd like to do both this year, so we'll see what happens."

Phillips also considered Nebraska and Texas A&M in addition to Ole Miss.

"I visited Oxford in the summer (2007) on an unofficial visit," he said. "I fell in love with it. It's a beautiful place. The fans are awesome. Love the coaches; they're great guys. I came here on my official visit for the Alabama (football) game (2007). It is the right place for me."

Power and Henry as well as others who compete for an outfield spot, like returning senior Jeremy Travis and JUCO newcomer Taylor Hashman, make for quite a battle.

"It's competition and competition makes you better," Phillips said. "I'll just come out here and be who I am and hopefully that's enough."

So far Phillips feels good about his adjustment, even in the confines of the Oxford High park.

"It's better than some of the junior college facilities I've played at, so I'm not complaining," he said.

He looks forward to fall ball continuing this weekend and beyond.

"I think it's going good," he said. "I'm playing baseball. I'm having fun. I love it. I'm just out here working hard every day, doing the best I can to get better."

The Rebels will intrasquad today at 2:30 p.m., Sunday at 1:15 p.m. and Monday at 2:30 p.m.

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