NCAA TOURNAMENT – OXFORD REGIONAL
Teams: #1 Seed Ole Miss (43-17), #2 Seed Tulane (39-19), #3 Seed Boston College (31-20), #4 Seed Utah (25-27)
Dates: June 3-6, 2016
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Venue: Swayze Field
Richard Cross, play-by-play
David Dellucci, analyst
Radio: Ole Miss Radio Network
David Kellum, play-by-play
Keith Kessinger, analyst
Live Audio: OleMissSports.com
Series vs. Utah: First Meeting
Series vs. Tulane: Ole Miss leads 84-37-2
Series vs. Boston College: Never Met
REGIONAL SCHEDULE (All times CT)
Friday, June 3
Game 1: #2 Tulane vs. #3 Boston College, 3:00 p.m.
Game 2: #1 Ole Miss vs. #4 Utah, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 4
Game 3: Losers of Games 1 & 2, 1:00 p.m.
Game 4: Winners of Games 1 & 2, 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 5
Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 1:00 p.m.
Game 6: Winners of Games 4 & 5, 5:00 p.m.
Monday, June 6
Game 7 (if nec.): 7:00 p.m.
*All games broadcast on SECN+/ESPN3
– Ole Miss is making its 21st NCAA Tournament appearance.
– The Rebels are hosting a Regional for the seventh time in program history, one of a record seven SEC teams serving as Regional hosts this year.
– Ole Miss has made five Super Regionals and five College World Series.
– The Rebels have advanced to the College World Series five times (1956, 1964, 1969, 1972 and 2014)
– Ole Miss has advanced to at least the Regional Championship game in seven of their last 10 appearances.
– The Rebels are fifth in RPI and ranked as high as No. 6 in national polls heading into the NCAA Tournament.
– Ole Miss has won at least 30 games in 19 consecutive seasons.
– The Rebels have made 14 NCAA Regionals in 16 years under head coach Mike Bianco.
– Ole Miss holds an all-time record of 52-44 (.542) in the NCAA Tournament
– The middle of the order (J.B. Woodman, Henri Lartigue, Colby Bortles) went a combined 20-for-48 (.417) with 15 runs, 18 RBI, seven doubles, one triple and two home runs in the SEC Tournament.
– J.B. Woodman (First Team, All-Defense), Henri Lartigue (First Team) and Tate Blackman (Second Team) earned All-SEC accolades.
– Henri Lartigue leads all SEC catchers with a .362 batting average, including a .371 clip in SEC play.
– Lartigue is a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, awarded to the nation’s best catcher.
– J.B. Woodman leads the SEC with 14 home runs, including nine over the past 17 games.
– Colby Bortles has 21 doubles on the year, tied for the fifth-most in a single season at Ole Miss.
– Closer Wyatt Short has 11 saves this season (fourth in school history) and 24 for his career (third in school history).
– Short is on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award Midseason Watch List.
– Ole Miss is 38-1 in games when leading after the sixth inning.
– The Rebels are 41-4 this season when scoring at least four runs in a game.
– Ole Miss is outscoring the opposition 158-84 in the first three innings of games.
– The Rebels are 26-6 at Swayze Field this season with all six losses coming against nationally-ranked opponents.
– In total, 272,081 fans (8,502 per game) have watched Ole Miss Baseball at Swayze Field this season, which is also the second-highest total attendance in the country and an Ole Miss regular season attendance record.
– With 630 victories at Ole Miss, Mike Bianco is the seventh-winningest coach in SEC history.
– The Oxford Regional is paired with Coral Gables Regional, where No. 3 national seed Miami is the host.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
FRIDAY, 7 P.M.
Utah – Jayson Rose, So., RHP, 8-5, 2.62 ERA
Ole Miss – Brady Bramlett, R-Jr., RHP, 8-3, 3.14 ERA
– Two wins and nine strikeouts away from becoming third Rebel to record 10 wins and 100 strikeouts in a season
– Ranks second in the SEC with 40 strikeouts looking
– CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree as a biological science major
– Tied a personal best with 12 strikeouts over a season-high 7.0 scoreless innings in win over No. 21 Arkansas (April 8), earning a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week honor
– Struck out eight in a victory over No. 2 Louisville (February 26)
– Named to the University of Mississippi Hall of Fame and 2015-16 Who’s Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges
– Serves as the vice-chair of the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)
– Sings in the university choir and serves as the president of Ole Miss SAAC
REBELS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Ole Miss will be playing in its 21st NCAA Tournament in program history. Over the past 20 appearances, the Rebels have played 96 games and sport an all-time record of 52-44 (.542). The Diamond Rebels have made a total of five College World Series appearances (1956, 1964, 1969, 1972, 2014). Ole Miss also has five super regional berths to its credit, all under 16th year head coach Mike Bianco. In regional play, the Rebels have advanced to at least the Regional Championship games in seven of their last 10 appearances.
OLE MISS AGAINST THE FIELD
Ole Miss faced eight NCAA Tournament teams during the 2016 season, tallying 10 wins against them, including six versus the eight national seeds. The Rebels won series against national seeds Louisville and LSU, while also picking up wins against Texas A&M and Mississippi State.
The Oxford Regional is full of rare opponents for the Rebels. Tulane is the only team Ole Miss has faced in the program’s history with the Rebels holding a 84-37-2 series advantage over the Green Wave. The two teams first met back in 1898 and last faced one another in 2011. As for the other two teams in the Oxford Regional, Boston College and Utah, Ole Miss has never met either program on the diamond.
REPORT ON UTAH
The Rebels will face Utah to begin NCAA Regional action Friday night. The Utes went 25-27 during the 2016 regular season, earning an automatic bid as the Pac-12 regular season champions. After being picked to finish 11th in the preseason Pac-12 poll, Utah shocked the conference by going 19-11 to win the crown. Utah is in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009, when it was a member of the Mountain West Conference. Four Utes are hitting over .300, led by a .328 average from Cody Scaggari. Scaggari is among the Pac-12 leaders in batting average (11th) as well as slugging percentage at .492 (10th). Utah will throw ace Jayson Rose Friday night, who leads the league with 102 strikeouts. Rose is 8-5 in 15 starts on the season, boasting a 2.62 ERA in 103.0 innings of work. Bill Kinneberg is in his 21st season as a head coach, including his 13th at Utah.
A LOOK AT THE GREEN WAVE
Just like the Rebels, Tulane claimed an NCAA Tournament berth for the 21st time in program history. The Green Wave earned an at-large berth with a 39-19 overall record as well as a 15-7 conference mark to capture the American Athletic Conference regular season crown. Tulane is ranked as high as No. 15 in the national polls and leads the country with 13 shutouts this season. Right-handed senior Emerson Gibbs has two complete game shutouts to his credit to go along with a 2.44 ERA. The starting pitcher is holding opponents to a .215 average over 103.1 innings of work. At the dish, the Green Wave has hit 60 home runs as a team, leading the conference and ranking 21st nationally. Three hitters have double digits in homers, led by Hunter Hope’s 13. David Pierce is in his second season guiding the Green Wave.
SCOUTING BOSTON COLLEGE
Earning an at-large bid out of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Boston College is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2009. The Eagles enter the tournament with a record of 31-20, including 13-15 in ACC play. Senior Joe Cronin is BC’s leader at the plate with team highs in doubles (13), triples (3), home runs (4) and RBI (34). Splitting time between a starter and closer, Justin Dunn is a Third Team All-ACC honoree with a 1.35 ERA in 53.1 innings. Starting pitcher Jacob Stevens is 3-3 with a 2.04 ERA, putting together a season that earned him ACC All-Freshman accolades. Mike Gambino is in this sixth season as Boston College’s head coach.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
Swayze Field provides the best atmosphere and some of the biggest crowds across the country for college baseball games. Rebel Nation has come out to the ballpark in full force to support Ole Miss throughout the 2016 season. The Rebels averaged 8,502 fans per game, including five contests with the attendance over 10,000, to rank second nationally. In total, 272,081 fans have watched Ole Miss Baseball at Swayze Field this season, which is also the second-high total attendance in the country. Both marks are regular season attendance records. The third-largest combined attendance for a three-game home series (28,659) watched the Rebels take two-of-three from No. 2 Louisville. On Saturday, the fourth-largest crowd in Swayze Field history (10,561) saw the Rebels battle the Cardinals. Attendance on opening day was 10,129, the sixth-largest in stadium history and the biggest opening day crowd in school history. Ole Miss finished its regular season homestand at 26-6 and will host the seventh NCAA Regional in program history this weekend.
RECORD BOOK WATCH
Several Rebels have etched their names in the Ole Miss Baseball record book.
Doubles (Season) – Colby Bortles – 21 (T-5th)
Home Runs (Season) – J.B. Woodman – 14 (12th)
Appearances (Season) – Will Stokes – 28 (T-5th)
Appearances (Career) – Wyatt Short – 67 (9th)
Wins (Career) – Brady Bramlett – 20 (13th)
Saves (Season) – Wyatt Short – 11 (T-4th)
Saves (Career) – Wyatt Short – 24 (T-3rd)
MIDDLE OF THE ORDER = SEC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
The middle of the order led the Ole Miss baseball team to the Southeastern Tournament semifinals. It was only fitting that the trio of J.B. Woodman, Henri Lartigue and Colby Bortles made the 2016 SEC All-Tournament Team, the conference announced Sunday afternoon following the championship game. Ole Miss had the second-most players on the SEC All-Tournament team as only tournament champion Texas A&M landed more (5) on the talented squad. During the Rebels’ four-game stretch through the conference tournament, the three Rebels went a combined 20-for-48 (.417) with 15 runs, 18 RBI, seven doubles, one triple and two home runs. The offensive output helped Ole Miss go 3-1 in the tournament, averaging nine runs and 12 hits per game. As the Rebels’ clean-up hitter, Woodman hit .438 (7-for-16) during the tournament with four extra-base hits (two doubles, one triple, one home run). Along with scoring six runs and recording five RBI, the Orlando, Florida native made multiple plays in the outfield by showing his range and making diving catches. Lartigue led Ole Miss with a .533 batting average (8-for-15) in tournament play, including team highs in hits (8) and runs (7). The Rebel catcher went 4-for-5 with a career-high four RBI and three runs in the team’s 10-4 victory over No. 10 South Carolina. Bortles provided plenty of power throughout the tournament, tallying four doubles to produce a team-high eight RBI. Helping Ole Miss reach the semifinals, Bortles torched Vanderbilt for two doubles that led to a career-high four RBI.
REBELS VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS
The Rebels have faced nine different ranked opponents this season. Ole Miss is 12-12 versus ranked teams, including series victories over then-No. 2 Louisville, then-No. 8 LSU and then-No. 21 Arkansas. The Rebels also topped then-No. 2 Texas A&M, No. 4 South Carolina, then-No. 5 Mississippi State and then-No. 18 Coastal Carolina in games earlier this year.
Traditionally known as the best conference in college baseball, the SEC has once again lived up to that expectation again this season with seven teams finishing with at least 18 wins in conference play, including Ole Miss. Prior to this season, five teams have never won 18 SEC games in one season, let alone seven. The Rebels have fared well in the nation’s toughest conference over the years. Ole Miss has posted a .500-or-better SEC record in 13 of the last 16 seasons, including this year with 17 wins in conference play. To put that in terms of difficulty, the Rebels are just one-of-two SEC schools that have accomplished the feat. South Carolina has been .500-or-better in the SEC in 15 of the last 16 years.
THREE REBELS EARN ALL-SEC HONORS
The Ole Miss baseball team had three Rebels earn All-Southeastern Conference honors, the conference office announced May 23. Juniors J.B. Woodman and Henri Lartigue was tabbed First Team All-SEC, while sophomore Tate Blackman collected Second Team All-SEC accolades. Woodman also made the SEC All-Defensive Team. All three Rebels were named All-SEC for the first time in their respective careers. For the 21st time in program history, Ole Miss has three all-conference honorees. The Rebels have had at least three All-SEC players in four of the last five seasons.
40 REGULAR SEASON WINS
With a 3-2 victory over No. 2 Texas A&M in the regular season finale, Ole Miss earned its 40th victory of the season. The Rebels have won 40 regular season games four times in program history (2005, 2009, 2014, 2016). The 40-win plateau usually results in postseason success for Ole Miss. In 2005 and 2009, the Rebels advanced to the Super Regionals; the 2014 campaign resulted in Ole Miss’ first College World Series appearance in 42 years.
The tradition of great catchers at Ole Miss is well known, especially over recent history. Stuart Turner was a Johnny Bench Award winner and Will Allen was an All-American. Last year, Austin Knight threw out 17 baserunners. This season, another Rebel catcher is making his presence known. After spending most of last season as the team’s designated hitter or backup catcher, junior Henri Lartigue has taken the reigns behind the plate to become a 2016 Johnny Bench Award semifinalist. The Southaven, Mississippi native is the team’s top hitter at the plate and leads all SEC catchers with a .362 batting average; moreover, Lartigue is raking during conference play, hitting at a .371 clip. Both averages rank fifth among all hitters. He has put together 12 games with at least three hits, pacing the Rebel bats. In a walk-off, come-from-behind victory over Auburn (April 24), Lartigue went 4-for-5, tying a career high in hits which included the game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth. He added another walk-off hit, a three-run homer, against Kentucky (May 14). On Wednesday, the Rebel catcher added another 4-for-5 day with a career-high four RBI and three runs, including a three-run homer to lead Ole Miss to a 10-4 win over No. 4 South Carolina.
One of three team captains, J.B. Woodman has shown his leadership ability by being a clutch hitter all season long. Along with leading the SEC with 14 home runs, the Orlando, Florida native has made countless plays with his glove, including nine outfield assists (seven at the plate) which ranks third nationally. In a weekend series against rival LSU, Woodman threw three runners out at the plate to increase his season total to seven. For his superb year, the Rebels’ center fielder, nicknamed “Superman,” was a First Team All-SEC honoree and also made the SEC All-Defense team. In pressure situations, the junior is hitting .375 with runners on base, including a remarkable .400 (26-of-65) with runners in scoring position. Both averages lead the Ole Miss Rebels. With a runner on third and less than two outs, Woodman has scored the runner in 11 out of 15 opportunities. He also posts a .554 rate of advancing runners on base.
Throughout the spring and fall, there was talk about the improvement of Tate Blackman. After going through a difficult freshman season, the Altamonte Springs, Florida native was determined to prove that his 2015 preseason expectations (a preseason freshman All-American before he even took the field in an Ole Miss uniform) were more than just hype. Putting in the time to get better during the offseason, Blackman’s hard work paid off in 2016 as he earned Second Team All-SEC accolades. He leads the team in hits (73), is second on the team in batting average (.329), runs (47) and multi-hit games (21), while ranking third in RBI (37). The second baseman also has reached base in 56-of-60 games this season.
HERE’S TO YOU, MR. ROBINSON
A preseason All-American, junior Errol Robinson has flashed the leather at shortstop all season long. His bat has sparked recently to provide a solid combination of offense and defense. The Boyds, Maryland native has recorded a hit in 28 of the last 33 games, putting together 13 multi-hit performances and posting a .324 (47-for-145) batting average during that stretch. Against Kentucky (May 12), the shortstop went 5-for-6 with four runs, earning new career highs in hits and runs scored in the Rebels’ 14-2 victory. With five hits, Robinson became the first Rebel to put together a five-hit game since Auston Bousfield (April 26, 2014) also accomplished the feat against Kentucky. In the SEC Tournament semifinals, he went 4-for-6 with a team-high four RBI.
FOUR IS THE MAGIC NUMBER
In terms of offense, four seems to be the magic number for Ole Miss. With an outstanding pitching staff, the Rebels are 41-4 when scoring at least four runs in a game.
SLOW DOWN SHORT
After earning a spot on the midseason watch list (April 28), Ole Miss closer Wyatt Short has put together an impressive 2016 campaign to be recognized as a serious candidate for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award, an award given to the top reliever in NCAA Division I Baseball. In 21 appearances, Short has 11 saves to go along with a 2-2 record and 3.08 ERA. Aside from an uncharacteristic outing against No. 1 Texas A&M (six earned runs, May 28), he has been electric out of the bullpen. While the junior southpaw holds the team lead in saves, the third most in a single season in Ole Miss history, he has also shown his versatility as a long reliever. Against No. 10 South Carolina (March 26), Short pitched a career-high 5.2 innings of relief and allowed just one unearned run on one hit. Moreover, eight of his 11 saves have been earned by pitching more than just 1.0 inning. Through 38.0 innings this season, the lefty has recorded 29 strikeouts while only issuing nine walks. For his career, Short holds a 2.33 ERA and limits opposing hitters to a .216 average at the plate. His 24 career saves already rank third in Ole Miss history.
Junior Colby Bortles has blasted 21 doubles thus far in 2016, seven more than his nearest teammate. His 21 doubles rank second among SEC sluggers and is tied for fifth with Chris Snopek on the Ole Miss single season top-10 list. He needs four more to break the single season record, currently 24 by Brad Henderson (1999) and Will Allen (2014). In the SEC Tournament, Bortles hit four doubles to record a team-high eight RBI and move up the Rebels’ single season chart.
The Ole Miss outfield has had its fair share of assists this season, especially as of late. Rebel outfielders have tallied 17 assists in 2016. Out of the 17 assists, 10 have been outs at home to prevent opponents from scoring. J.B. Woodman leads the way with nine assists, throwing seven runners out at the plate. Against LSU, the center fielder made three perfect throws home to keep runs off the scoreboard. Freshman Ryan Olenek has four assists to his credit, while Cameron Dishon has four as well.
HENRI, KING OF COMEBACKS
When Henri Lartigue has stepped up to the plate in high-pressure situations with the game on the line, the junior catcher has come through in the clutch. Twice this season, Lartigue has provided walk-off hits to complete a five-run deficit and a three-game sweep over a conference opponent. Against Auburn (April 24), the switch hitter smacked a base hit to knock in Rebels’ fourth run of the ninth inning and cap a 6-5 comeback victory. Last weekend versus Kentucky, Lartigue walked to the dish with runners on the corners, one out and his team trailing by one. Battling against UK closer Sean Hjelle, the Ole Miss catcher belted a deep fly ball to right field that cleared the fence for a three-run home run, giving the Rebels a 7-5 win and earning his second walk-off hit of the season.
BRAMLETT AND LARTIGUE EARN ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT HONORS
The Ole Miss battery of pitcher Brady Bramlett and catcher Henri Lartigue has been named to the Academic All-District Team as voted on by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Both baseball Rebels earned the honor for the first time in their respective careers. Ole Miss was just one-of-two schools with multiple student-athletes on the District 6 team, joining Southeast Missouri State. The 12 student-athletes that made the list will now have a chance to be voted as CoSIDA Academic All-America. Bramlett continues to shine both on and off the field. Earlier this week, he was named one of the M-Club’s Student-Athletes of the Month. As a biological science major, Bramlett holds a 3.43 GPA and will graduate later this summer. Lartigue, a junior, is an accountancy major with a 3.73 GPA.
Ole Miss wastes no time striking first, outscoring the opposition 57-24 in the first inning. The Rebels have scored in the opening frame 25 times this season, posting a 21-4 record in those ballgames. The first three innings are the Rebels’ best in terms of outscoring the opponent. Ole Miss has recorded a combined 158 runs in the first three frames, while only giving up 84 runs through the first third of the game for a +74 advantage. The Rebels have also plated 60 runs in the second inning. On the mound, Ole Miss has surrendered just 23 runs in the third inning of contests.
|Score by Innings||1||2||3||Total|
Never count Ole Miss out of a baseball game. Three times this season, the Rebels have come back to win after being dealt a five-run deficit. On Saturday, Kentucky took an early 5-0 lead through three innings. Ole Miss scored four runs to enter the ninth trailing by one before Henri Lartigue delivered the walk-off three-run homer for the 7-5 victory, completing the sweep of Kentucky. Trailing by five runs through the first seven innings of the series finale versus Auburn, the Rebels made a remarkable comeback with six runs in the last two frames to win 6-5. Colby Bortles started the rally with a two-run home in the eighth, putting Ole Miss on the board. Freshman Ryan Olenek belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, and Lartigue’s clutch single provided another walk-off victory. Earlier in the season (March 2), the Rebels trailed Memphis 6-0 before winning by a 9-7 final.
STRINGING TOGETHER INNINGS
Against Murray State (April 5), the Rebels scored in four straight innings to take an 8-0 lead before claiming a five-run win. It was the third time this season Ole Miss put together four consecutive scoring innings, matching the series opener versus Grambling State (March 11) and the neutral site contest against Southern Miss (April 5). The Rebels also scored runs in three straight innings in games versus Georgia (May 7), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (May 4), No. 8 LSU (April 30), No. 18 Coastal Carolina (March 5), GSU (March 13), as well as a pair of contests against No. 21 Arkansas (April 8-9).
The 2016 Major League Baseball season is now underway, and eight former Rebels earned spots on big league ballclubs: Aaron Barrett (Washington Nationals), Chris Coghlan (Oakland Athletics), Zack Cozart (Cincinnati Reds), David Goforth (Milwaukee Brewers), Lance Lynn (St. Louis Cardinals), Drew Pomeranz (San Diego Padres), Alex Presley (Milwaukee Brewers) and Seth Smith (Seattle Mariners). While they are certainly not new to the big leagues, Coghlan and Pomeranz find themselves on new teams for the 2016 campaign. Barrett and Lynn continue rehab from Tommy John surgery as the two MLB Rebels look to return to the diamond. After beginning the year with the Triple-A affiliate Colorado Sky Sox, Goforth and Presley both earned promotions to the big leagues and remain on the Brewers’ roster.
Ole Miss has put together big innings throughout the 2016 campaign. The Rebels have scored at least five runs in an inning 10 times this season. Ole Miss scored a season-high nine runs in the first inning versus FIU. Against Memphis (March 2), the Rebs used a seven-run third inning to rally from an early 6-0 deficit. At the Chanticleer Classic, six runs in the second helped Ole Miss roll to a 7-1 win over Cincinnati. The Rebels had two five-run innings to cruise past Grambling in a weekend sweep. A pair of five-run fifth innings helped Ole Miss down UAB 5-1 (March 16), as well as Tennessee, 10-7 (March 20). With six runs in the bottom of the eighth (April 9), the Rebels held off No. 21 Arkansas before claiming the weekend sweep with a win in the series finale. Over the weekend, Ole Miss used a five-run inning to build a double-digit lead and cruise past Kentucky, 14-2 (May 13). In the SEC Tournament semifinals versus No. 1 Texas A&M, the Rebels put up a five spot in the third to take an early lead over the nation’s best team.