Fall Ball set to begin for UM baseball

Ole Miss will try to get fall baseball started Sunday afternoon, and it appears the weather will finally cooperate. Read more inside.

The Rebels are set to begin preparations toward another spring season, mainly looking to move some position players around and also see which pitchers emerge.

Zach Miller will move from third base to second, while Matt Smith and Tim Ferguson, at first and second respectively last spring, will head to the outfield. Ferguson will likely wind up in center field, and Smith probably in right.

Mike Snyder will get a shot at being the Rebels' everyday first baseman, while his twin brother Matt will get a look at third. Taylor Hightower will get a lot of practice time this fall behind the plate as he attempts to solidify his position as the replacement for Brett Basham and Kyle Henson. Kevin Mort returns at shortstop.

Taylor Hashman and David Phillips appear to be the players vying for time in left field.

On the mound, Drew Pomeranz returns to lead the staff. Back also are Jake Morgan, Rory McKean, David Goforth, Aaron Barrett, and Kyle Barbeck. It's a critical fall for Barrett and Barbeck as neither pitched up to his projected potential in the first year with the program.

"The pitching staff is going to be very talented. We just don't know which ones are going to be the guys yet," Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. "It's good to return your Friday night starter in Drew Pomeranz, and it's good to return your ace reliever in Jake Morgan. And then some other guys that pitched strong out of the bullpen, like David Goforth and Rory McKean. The question marks become who throws on Saturday and Sunday, and who throws in the middle of the week. Right now we don't know that. Certainly there are a lot of options."

A host of newcomers will be in the mix at a number of positions, especially pitcher, as the Rebels look to see who among the new guys can step in and help out.

"It's always exciting this time of year to get back out on the field," Bianco said. "You can see the players are excited to get back out there and the energy is high. It's an exciting time for the coaching staff as well, to see the new recruits in action and to see the returning players get back to work."

Ole Miss fall baseball runs through the weekend of Nov. 7.

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