Playing Some Baseball

Oxford-University Stadium is the host site for this week's Ole Miss Baseball Showcase, which got underway Wednesday night.

Some Ole Miss signees, who will be here in August, played on opening night for Dulin's Dodgers of Memphis. They faced powerful East Cobb of suburban Atlanta.

The team from Georgia won 3-2, scoring two runs in the bottom of the final inning.

For the Memphis-based team, incoming Rebel Preston Overbey played third base, UM signee Casey Greene was at second base, and freshman to be Will Allen was the catcher.

Overbey was 1-for-3 in the seven-inning contest with a single, and Allen was 1-for-3 with a ground-rule double as his blast bounced over the left center wall.

Greene was 2-for-3 including a single to shallow left that scored Allen after his double. Greene also singled over the third baseman's head.

"It was awesome. I played here last year in this same tournament," said Overbey, who was a bit guarded with his comments about a definite arrival at Ole Miss, since he was drafted in the 42nd round by the Tampa Bay Rays. "I can't wait to hopefully come here next year and play on it again."

Overbey is said to be a "draft and follow" pick by the Rays as they watch him over the summer with the Memphis team and then try to come to terms.

Preston Overbey

"Everything's going alright," Overbey said of the negotiations. "I'm just looking forward to keep doing it and all. I don't really have a timetable. But hopefully it will be soon."

Overbey said it is neat to play on a team with other Rebel signees.

"It's awesome," said the Jackson, Tenn., product. "You get to know them and see how they play. Get here (this fall) and know somebody."

Allen, of Gainesville, Fla., learned about Dulin's Dodgers on a visit to Oxford last year.

"I met Preston Overbey, and he and my parents were just talking about summer teams and summer plans. They said the (Dulin's) Dodgers were looking for a catcher," Allen said. "I just thought playing with as many Ole Miss players as I could would be a good experience."

He liked his first game on Swayze Field this week.

"It was definitely a great experience," Allen said. "Just to get up here early, this was the first time I'd played on the field. It's a chance to kinda see what I'll be experiencing the next three or four years. I'm enjoying the field and the locker room and everything. It's great."

Allen was drafted in the 37th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. It sounds like Allen has Ole Miss on his mind instead of pro baseball at this point.

"I'm just making the transition from Florida to up here," he said. "So I'm just starting a new phase of my life, and this will kinda be my home for the next few years. So I'm up here getting used to it."

But Allen, who appears to be leaning toward the Rebels, also said some talks with the Pirates could be in his future.

"I feel it's kinda the same situation (as Overbey's). Just go ahead and play your summer ball and the (Pirates) will follow you this summer and see how you do and progress," Allen said. "And then kinda talk at the end of the summer before you go to school."

Greene is going through Ole Miss freshman orientation this week, along with playing in the tournament. So he has a lot to deal with.

Casey Greene

"You just get up early and get it all done," he laughed and said.

And enjoy it all the while.

"It's always fun to play in this stadium and to get to walk on the field where I'll be every day next year," said Greene, of Desoto Central High School in nearby Desoto County. "It seems like every time I play here I have a great time and play a good game."

Greene is a right-handed pitcher along with being an infielder. It remains uncertain a bit as to his position at Ole Miss.

"It's one of those ‘get here and see' things," said Greene, who made a terrific backhanded play in the Wednesday night game and threw out an East Cobb runner at first just in time. "It's wherever Coach (Mike) Bianco needs me.

"I'm playing in the field a lot this summer and also coming in and closing some games. I love playing out in the field. Second base is a little bit new to me. I haven't played there a whole lot. It's just the small things, the different angles of the ball. Nothing too big. And it's always fun hitting."

The tournament runs through Sunday at Swayze Field.

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