Saturday, February 4, 2023

Meet Ole Miss Left Fielder Braxton Lee

Photo courtesy of Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics
Braxton Lee beats out a hit. Photo courtesy of Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics

Junior left-fielder Braxton Lee has come into the Ole Miss baseball program on fire this season.
In his first 12 games in an Ole Miss uniform, Lee has hit at a .325 clip on 13 hits, 11 runs scored and 5 RBI.
Lee arrived on the Ole Miss campus this past fall after playing two season’s at Pearl River Community College in Hattiesburg, Miss.
Compared to high school, Lee said he finds college pitchers to have livelier arms with better breaking stuff. The talented youngster played high school baseball at Picayune Memorial in Picayune, Miss.
In his senior season there, he hit .500. At Pear River Lee realized the game wasn’t going to be quite so easy. He started seeing better pitching and better overall play, but the challenge only convinced the determined Lee to step up his game.
Lee started every single game in centerfield for two seasons at Pearl River, batting .406 as a sophomore with 36 RBI, 14 doubles and 2 triples.
Lee fell in love with baseball at an early age. “I have been playing ball since I so was very young,” Lee said. “It’s really the only thing that’s always been there for me. I’ve always been told to work hard and play my best every day.”
Lee has always believed in himself. “I was always convinced I was going to make it — and make it big someday,” he said. Lee says his parents pushed him hard, not just in baseball, but in life.
“It’s been my only real love, and the only thing I really know,” Lee said.
As a young kid playing ball Lee modeled his game after former Cardinal centerfielder Jim Edmonds.
Lee says he started watching baseball on TV around the age of 14. Lee admired Edmonds for his defensive play in the outfield, his work ethic and the awesome diving and fence-leaping catches he made famous.
Any major leaguer who worked hard began to catch Lee’s eye. Ken Griffey and Ichrio Suzuki were outfield favorites.
“I’ve always been told my game is similar to Ichrio’s,” Lee said.
Now that he’s a Rebel, Lee has set his sights on consistent improvement.
“I’m finally getting into the grove of it,” Lee said. “It’s becoming a natural thing like it was last year.”
Lee is impressed with the quality of his teammates and the competition at an SEC baseball program. “Our pitching has been great and the hitting has been awesome,” Lee said. “This has been one of the best teams I have been a part of. I couldn’t be more excited to be on this team. I knew this fall that the challenge was gong to be tough but I believe I’m up to it.”
Lee added that he feels blessed to play with all his teammates. “I couldn’t imagine any 40 better guys to play with,” he said. “Every player on this team loves the game and shares a passion to play it.”
That includes his outfield mates, who Lee describes as “The fastest outfield and best defensively I’ve been in.”
Lee says the four walk-off wins the Rebels have enjoyed were all gut-wrenching. “Coach told us ‘Boys, we got this.’ Our team has been so great that we have felt no pressure,” Lee said. “We knew we were going to win every single one of those games. Just being with these guys has been awesome.”
Tonight at Swayze field, Lee and the rest of the Rebels welcome the Memphis Tigers for a single mid-week game. The Tigers have defeated Ole Miss in three out of the last four meetings.  First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
–Adam Brown, Sports Editor of HottyToddy.com

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