Vets Happy To Host

Hosting again was something veteran baseball Rebels wanted to do. Starting Friday, they will.

"It's awesome and a position we want to be in," said Logan Power, whose time at Ole Miss dates to the Regional and Super Regional season of 2005 when he redshirted.

"Every team is tough and we have to play well," said Power, a veteran of Regionals and Super Regionals at home and in places like Arizona State and Miami. "We're excited to be hosting at home again."

Jordan Henry echoed Power's sentiments.

"We're excited about hosting a Regional again," said Henry, whose postseason experience with the Rebels goes back to the 2007 Oxford Regional when Ole Miss advanced to the Super Regional at ASU. "It's a huge thing for us. It's always easier at home when you've got your fans behind you with the great atmosphere we have here. It's always nice to be able to play in front of all our fans."

But he says no matter who is front of the Rebels, it's one game at a time.

"We've just got to focus on Monmouth," Henry said. "It will be a tough Regional. There are always great teams that get into the tournament. It will be fun."

Power said the Rebels knew they were a bubble national seed.

"I thought it was going to be borderline with Florida and Rice, especially with Rice winning its conference tournament," Power said.

"We knew it was up for grabs, and anyone could have gotten it out of a few teams," Henry said. "Unfortunately we weren't there. But we still get to host and you never know what can happen."

Even though most didn't mention it, Oklahoma jumping in at No. 7 may have been a bigger surprise than Florida getting a top eight and Rice missing out. The Sooners are 41-18 and have an RPI of 16-19, depending on the poll you check.

Henry and Power said 0-2 in Hoover is a distant memory, even though that mark could arguably have been the deciding factor for the NCAA committee to place the Rebs on the outside looking in at the top eight.

"We just had to flush the SEC Tournament," Henry said. "What happened, happened. It just gives us a lot longer to practice and focus on the next team ahead. We have a week to do that. We still feel great about ourselves and the season we had."

"We've just tried to stay focused and practice well this week," Power said. "Every team's going to be tough. Every team's going to have a really good pitcher. We just want to play well this weekend."

And advance, of course.

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Visiting teams have usually heard of the crowds that attend baseball games in Oxford. Some, like Western Kentucky, have experienced them in the past, either in a Regional or the regular season.

One Missouri writer hasn't gotten the word yet. In a story it was reported Ole Miss can get close to 3,000 per game, which makes it a real home field advantage for the Rebels.

Better up that three times-plus. The crowds this weekend when the Rebels play should be of the 10,000 or more variety.

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Ticket sales are going very well, and a record number of fans could be attending the Rebels' games this weekend.

The largest announced crowd at Oxford-University Stadium is 10,119 on April 9, 2005, against Alabama.

Fans may begin picking up pre-ordered tournament tickets Wednesday at noon at Tad Smith Coliseum's ticket office. Hours are Wednesday noon to 4 p.m.; Thursday 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.; and Friday 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m.

There will be a one-hour break at that time as operations are moved to the football stadium gameday ticket office, located in the building that once housed the UM Fire Department right next door to the new UMAA offices.

At noon Friday, pre-ordered tournament tickets may be picked up at that location until the fifth inning of the Ole Miss game that night.


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