Published on April 8th, 2015 | by TLV News0
The Stache, Pitching, and Beer Showers: Bianco Ball is Back
Following up a season that saw Ole Miss reach Omaha for the first time in 42 years is a tall order for any collegiate baseball squad to fill. Add in the fact that the Rebels lost 17 players from last year’s third place team and one can see the writing on the wall. A rebuilding year, right?
Not so fast, my friend. The Diamond Rebs have shown signs of promise since opening the 2015 season, winning a series over No. 1 Florida and taking one on the road against then-No.1 LSU.
However, Bianco and his young band of Rebels have struggled at times on the mound this year. Defense has been an issue. Timely hitting and a lack of execution has been the Achilles heel during midweek games where Ole Miss has lost eight non-conference games.
Ole Miss currently stands at 15-14 heading into this weekend’s series against Tennessee. The Volunteers are currently in last place of the SEC East with a Conference record of 2-7.
At the plate, the only Rebel starter hitting over .300 is lead-off slugger Will Golsan. The freshman third baseman is averaging .314 at the plate and leads the team in on base percentage, reaching the bags 40 percent of the time.
Senior Sikes Orvis has continued to dominate at times and is racking up homers and RBI. “The Stache” has six home runs, seven doubles, and 24 RBI through 29 games. Speedster outfielder Cameron Dishon is the Rebels’ biggest threat once he is on base, successfully stealing 12 of 15 attempts. Only four other players in the SEC have more steals.
“He’s been aggressive and getting good swings off,” Bianco said about Golsan. “He’s one of the guys in the lineup, like Sikes, that continues to be aggressive and swing, and he’s had some success.”
Pitching has been an issue. Ole Miss is still without a Sunday starter. After Christian Trent and Brady Bramlett, the Rebels have yet to find a third starter who can be consistent. Bramlett and Trent have combined for eight of the Rebels 15 victories.
But don’t hit the panic button yet. Ole Miss has played the nation’s toughest schedule so far in 2015. In 2006, Ole Miss started out the season 13-11 and 1-5 in the SEC. That team finished 44-22, won the SEC Tournament and an NCAA Regional. Ole Miss also started out 4-5 in SEC play last year, before coming together and making the trip to Omaha.
Photos courtesy of Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Sports.