Local Athletics

Published on May 28th, 2015 | by Carver Rayburn

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Rebel Baseball Heads to Los Angeles

Ole Miss faces Maryland, Bakersfield, and UCLA in NCAA Tournament Regionals.

TourneySchedule_sizedUniversity, Miss. (TLV) – Mike Bianco and the Ole Miss Rebels are NCAA Baseball Tournament Bound for the 20th time in program history. The Diamond Rebs earned an at-large berth in the Los Angeles Regional, hosted by No. 1 overall seed UCLA. Ole Miss will take on Maryland Friday at 6 pm CT and will be broadcast by the Ole Miss Radio Network and ESPN3.

This year marks the 13th time Ole Miss has made the NCAA Tournament during the 15 years of Bianco. They finished the regular season with a 30–26 record and had the nation’s No. 1 strength of schedule including a 5–4 record against teams ranked No. 1.

The way Ole Miss got into the tournament was impressive. Facing the possibility of being eliminated, they won six of their last eight games including a sweep of Mississippi State in dramatic fashion. All the Rebels did was score five runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at 7–7 before eventually wining in the 10th with a walk-off single to complete the trifecta sweep of the Bulldogs in Major Men’s Sports for the first time since 1972.

“Postseason is always the most exciting time of the season,” Bianco said. “We are excited for our guys to start the Road to Omaha.”

The Rebels are the No. 2 seed in the L.A. Regional and will face the No. 3 seed Maryland Terrapins. UCLA, the No. 1 seed will face No. 4 seed CSU Bakersfield in the double elimination tournament. The winner of the regional advances to the Super Regional.

maryland-logoScouting the Maryland Terrapins

2015 Record: 39–21

NCAA Appearance: 5th
Regional Seed: 3
RPI: 53
Conference: Big Ten
Head Coach: John Szepf
Mascot: Testudo
Nickname: Terps
Quick-fact: The only NCAA school to have four official school colors. (Red, White, Black and Gold)
Quotable: “It’s really important to the program,” Head Coach John Szefc said. I’m just happy for our guys and the coaches. It’s the culmination of a lot of work to get to this point. This day is like Christmas Day to a kid. You look forward to it the whole year, you build toward that. It’s important for our young guys to experience it. It’s important for our recruits to see us. I’ve always respected the people in college baseball who can produce consistency. You want to have stability and consistency across the board, and that’s what we’re trying to build. For a lot of reasons, it’s a really important day for us.”  

UCLAScouting the UCLA Bruins

2015 Record: 42–14

NCAA Appearance: 20th
Regional Seed: 1
National Seed: 1
RPI: 2
Conference: Pac-12
Head Coach: John Savage
Mascot: Joe & Josephine Bruin
Nickname: Bruins
Quick-fact: As of December 2014, UCLA has won 112 NCAA team championships, and 132 total national team championships—more than any other university.
Quotable: “We are very proud of our body of work and the success we had in both the Pac-12 and the non-conference, however we realize this is a new season,” UCLA Head Coach John Savage said. “All of the best teams in the country are still playing and we expect to have a very competitive regional. We are looking forward to the challenge at hand.”

BakersfieldScouting the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners

2015 Record: 36–22–1

NCAA Appearance: 1
Regional Seed: 4
RPI: 140
Conference: WAC
Head Coach: Bill Kernen
Mascot: Rowdy the Roadrunner
Nickname: Roadrunners
Quick-fact: The Roadrunners have had a baseball program since 2009 and have competed at the Division I level since 2010.
Quotable: “Our team never gives up,” said CSUB head coach Bill Kernen. “I can’t say that I wasn’t concerned, as we only got one run out of a couple situations where we had the bases loaded. We got another chance and we broke it open in the eighth inning.” (After CSUB’s come from behind win in the WAC Championship game.) The Local Voice Ligature

This article was printed in The Local Voice #230 (published May 28, 2015).
To download the PDF of this issue, click here.

 

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About the Author

Carver Rayburn was born and raised an Ole Miss Rebel in Oxford, Mississippi. He has worked for many newspapers and magazines in both editorial and advertising, including OffBeat Magazine, The Hattiesburg American, The Meridian Star, The Neshoba Democrat, The Madison County Journal, The Clarke County Tribune, The New Albany Gazette, Southeastern Football Saturdays, and Rebel Yell. He currently lives in New Orleans and has a four-year-old son, Hart. You can contact Carver at carverrayburn@hotmail.com.



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