ALLEN, BOUSFIELD NAMED TO OLSON AWARD WATCH LIST
Senior Will Allen and junior outfielder Auston Bousfield have been named to the initial watch list for the 2014 Gregg Olson Award presented by Toolshed Sports to honor the breakout player of the year in collegiate baseball.
Allen and Bousfield are members of the 80 man initial watch list as announced by College Baseball Lineup.
The award is named after former Auburn Tiger star Gregg Olson, who became one of the top college baseball players in the nation after an initial season with mixed success. Olson went on to become a two-time All-America selection, first round draft pick, American League Rookie of the Year and MLB star. Like Olson, these players have elevated their game to an elite level and in many instances their team has mirrored their success as a direct result.
Allen has been one of the most proficient run producers for the Rebels and in the Southeastern Conference this season. The senior catcher is hitting at a .351 clip and ranks third in the league in average, while coming in at third in the league in home runs (7) and second in the league in RBI (52). Allen has 22 multiple-hit games on the year with a team-leading 13 multiple-RBI games. He was named SEC Player of the Week in the opening weekend of play with a .545 average, 10 RBI in 11 at bats and two home runs.
Bousfield leads the SEC in both hits (81) and batting average (.367) this season as he has combined with Allen to be a force at the top of the Rebel lineup. Bousfield boasts 24 multiple-hit games and 10 multiple-RBI games. He was named the SEC Player of the Week and the NCBWA Hitter of the Week after leading the Rebels to a series sweep of No. 17 Kentucky when he hit .714 for the weekend with eight runs scored and seven RBI.
Ole Miss holds a 37-15 record on the season with a 17-10 mark in SEC play to sit atop the Western Division standings with one week left to play in the season.
The list will be pared down and semifinalists announced on Friday, May 30, with the start of NCAA Regional play. Finalists are slated to be announced on Friday, June 6, with the start of NCAA Super Regional competition.
The winner will be announced at the College World Series.
–Bill Bunting, Ole Miss Sports Information
ALLEN NAMED SEMIFINALIST FOR JOHNNY BENCH AWARD
Ole Miss senior catcher Will Allen has been named a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award honoring the nation’s top collegiate catcher when the Greater Wichita Sports Commission announced the 15 members of the semifinalist list Thursday.
Allen is one of three catchers from the Southeastern Conference named to the list and is the second consecutive semifinalist for the Rebels. Ole Miss’ Stuart Turner claimed the Johnny Bench Award a year ago to become the first winner for the Rebels.
Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced June 3, 2014. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 17th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 26, 2014.
It is the most recent award nomination for Allen who also finds himself on the watch list for the 2014 Gregg Olson Award honoring the breakout performance of the year in college baseball.
In his senior season, Allen sits among the league leaders in several statistical categories heading into the final weekend of the regular season. The Gainesville, Fla., native ranks third in the SEC in batting average (.351), second in the league in RBI (52) and second in the league in hits (74). He is also third in the league in doubles and tied for sixth in home runs (6).
Allen is also fourth in the league in slugging percentage (.540).
Defensively, Allen has been solid behind the plate as the senior has only had 15 stolen bases against him this season and has committed only one error behind the plate. He also has allowed only four passed balls this season to help the Rebels to a 38-15 record on the year and a 17-10 mark in conference play.
The Rebels also have the fewest stolen bases attempted against them in the SEC this season with Allen behind the plate at only 33 steal attempts through 53 games.
Ole Miss closes out the regular season this weekend, kicking of a three-game series at Texas A&M tonight at 6:30 p.m. Friday’s game two of the series is set for a 7:00 start and will be televised by ESPNU, while Saturday’s series finale is set for a 2 p.m. start.
–Bill Bunting, Ole Miss Sports Information
BOUSFIELD, ELLIS NAMED FERRISS AWARD FINALISTS
Junior outfielder Auston Bousfield and junior right-hander Chris Ellis have been named as two of the finalists for the C Spire Ferriss Trophy honoring the top collegiate baseball player in the state of Mississippi, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame announced on Monday.
Bousfield and Ellis are two of the five finalists presented annually for the award. Bousfield is the only hitter up for the award out of the five finalists. In addition to Ellis and Bousfield, the other nominees include Mississippi State pitcher Ross Mitchell and Jacob Lindgren, and Belhaven pitcher Tyler Akins.
For the first time in the award’s history, fan voting will count for 10 percent of the 2014 Ferriss Trophy. A 24-member panel of the state’s college baseball coaches and Major League baseball scouts whose territory includes Mississippi will comprise the remaining 90 percent of the voting.
The C Spire Ferriss Trophy will be awarded during a May 19 luncheon program at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Jackson. All five finalists and their coaches are expected to attend the program.
The Ferriss Trophy presented by C Spire is named after Mississippi baseball legend Dave “Boo” Ferriss, who played for Mississippi State and the Boston Red Sox and was the long-time head baseball coach at Delta State University.
With one week remaining in the regular season, Bousfield leads the Southeastern Conference in batting average at .367 and in hits with 81 as he paces the Ole Miss offense. The junior centerfielder has posted 24 multiple-hit games on the season and 10 multiple-RBI games, including driving in both runs this past Sunday in a 10-inning, 2-1 victory over Georgia to clinch the weekend series.
Bousfield was named the SEC and NCBWA Player of the Week following the Rebels’ series sweep of Kentucky when he hit .714 for the series with eight runs scored and seven RBI.
Ellis leads the Rebel pitching staff with an 8-0 record and a 1.97 ERA this season, anchoring the weekend rotation as the Friday night starter. Ellis has allowed only one earned run or less in eight of his starts this season and did not allow an earned run in five of them.
The right-handed pitcher counts among his wins victories over No. 1 South Carolina, No. 13 Mississippi State, No. 17 Kentucky, Arkansas, Georgia and a complete-game against Georgia State.
Ole Miss currently holds a 37-15 record on the season and is 17-10 in the SEC, holding down the top spot in the Western Division standings with one week left to play in the regular season. The Rebels have posted 10 series wins and six series sweeps this season.
–Bill Bunting, Ole Miss Sports Information
Rebels Earn ITA Region Awards
The Ole Miss women’s tennis team garnered some more awards Tuesday, as senior Caroline Rohde-Moe was named the ITA Southern Region Most Improved Senior, and associate head coach Jason Ontog was named the Assistant Coach of the Year.
The Most Improved Senior Award was handed out to a player who improved during their career. Rohde-Moe earned All-SEC honors twice and helped lead the Rebels to the NCAA Championships all four years. This past weekend, she helped the Rebels knock off No. 26 Texas Tech in the first round of the NCAAs.
Off the court, Rohde-Moe graduated with honors earning degrees in Managerial Finance and Economics. She received a Taylor Medal, awarded to the top one percent in each school at the University of Mississippi, and was a finalist for the SEC Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.
“Caroline has meant so much to this program for the three and half years,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “Winning this award is a reflection of all the hard work she has put in during that time.”
This marks the third consecutive year for Rohde-Moe to earn a regional award, as she was named the Player to Watch in 2012 and received the Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship and Leadership Award in 2013.
Ontog earned Assistant Coach of the Year honors for the third time in five years, also picking up the award in 2010 and 2012. In six seasons with the Rebels, Ontog has helped elevate the program in the SEC and on a national level. The Rebels have made six consecutive NCAA appearances, including the Sweet Sixteen in 2010. Ontog has helped coach two All-Americans and eight players to 13 All-SEC honors during his career.
“Over the last six years, Jason has turned into one of the premier coaches in college tennis. His knowledge of the game and dedication to the players is second to none,” Beyers said.
As regional winners, Rodhe-Moe and Ontog are among 12 student-athletes from across the country nominated for the national awards, to be announced Tuesday, May 20. A full list of 2014 ITA regional awards winners can be found here.
–Kim Ling, Ole Miss Sports Information
Rebels Sign Top Player In Croatia
The Ole Miss men’s tennis team strengthened its future with the addition of Croatia’s Zvonimir Babic for the 2014-15 year, associate head coach Toby Hansson announced Tuesday.
A native of Zagreb, Croatia, Babic has been ranked as high No. 182 in the ITF World Junior Rankings and No. 1 in Croatia in juniors. He won the Croatian National Indoor Championship in singles and the Outdoor Championship in doubles. Babic was also the runner-up at the Outdoor National Championship in singles.
“We are thrilled to have Zvonimir join the Ole Miss family,” Hansson said. “He bounced back from an injury to win a National Championship. That perseverance and determination says a lot about his work ethic and what he can bring to our program.”
Babic reached the quarterfinals in doubles at the 2013 European Championships and has won several ITF junior doubles titles including the Grade 2 Epitok-Abris Cup in Budapest, Hungary. Babic also played No. 1 for the Croatian National under 18 Team in the Summer Cup. The Summer Cup consists of six separate international team events held across the European continent during the summer months.
“Zvonimir is an outstanding student as well as athlete, and I am excited to see him succeed both on the court and in the classroom here at Ole Miss,” Hansson said.
Babic, who plans to major in Finance, joins Sweden’s Gustav Hansson, who signed with the Rebels in the fall.
The Rebels made their 21st consecutive NCAA appearance and advanced to the second round. SEC Player of the Year Nik Scholtz will begin his bid for a national championship in singles May 21 in Athens, Ga. –Kim Ling, Ole Miss Sports Information
Ole Miss Soccer, Volleyball Coverage Expands With SEC Network The Ole Miss volleyball and women’s soccer programs will enjoy unprecedented national exposure beginning this fall, as part of the SEC Network, a new 24/7 sports network launching August 14 and operated by ESPN.
Rebel soccer will launch the SEC Network Friday, August 22 at home against Georgia. The match is set for a 5 p.m., first kick. The Rebels will appear on the SEC Network two more times during the regular season, at Mississippi State and at home against Arkansas.
“We are honored and excited to be chosen to host the first live event televised by the SEC Network,” head coach Matt Mott said. “Our matches with Georgia have been exciting and great soccer in the past and this match in the season-opener should be no different. What an exciting opportunity for our players to showcase our university and soccer program by opening the season with a Southeastern Conference match on national television. It’s a great opportunity to showcase a sport and a conference that boasts some of the most dedicated and passionate fans in the country.”
For the first time, SEC soccer will have a consistent television presence, airing every Thursday at 6 p.m. CT through the regular season, with additional matchups on Sundays. The SEC Network will also televise the first round, quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the SEC Soccer Tournament.
Volleyball will air consistently on Wednesdays and Sundays through the regular season. Ole Miss will appear on the SEC Network six times as well as ESPNU once. Both of the Rebels’ matches against Missouri and South Carolina will be on TV as well as the away match at Arkansas and a home match with LSU. The Rebels’ match at Mississippi State will be on ESPNU.
“This is an exciting time for SEC volleyball,” head coach Steven McRoberts said. “The SEC Network will give our program more national exposure, and it creates a great way for the families and friends of our volleyball players to watch them play multiple times on TV. As we are looking to build a nationally competitive volleyball program at Ole Miss, the SEC Network gives us one more thing to sell to recruits on why it’s great to be a Rebel volleyball player.”
This season’s matchups will increase from a total of 14 events in 2013 to 80 events in 2014. The SEC Network alone will air a combined 65 live women’s volleyball and women’s soccer games in its debut year – more than five times the number of events available nationwide last year.
The 80 games scheduled by the SEC and ESPN include: • 40 Women’s Volleyball games on SEC Network • 25 Women’s Soccer games on SEC Network • 10 Women’s Volleyball games on ESPNU • 5 Women’s Soccer games on ESPNU
“These schedules reflect the breadth of exposure that our student-athletes will receive in the SEC’s Olympic sports on the SEC Network,” said Commissioner Mike Slive. “It’s indicative of the full array of sports and unprecedented number of televised events SEC fans will enjoy throughout the athletic year.”
An additional slate of games for both soccer and volleyball, to be announced at a later date, will be carried on the SEC Network’s digital platforms. All SEC Network and ESPNU games will be available on WatchESPN.
Also beginning in August, the SEC Network will air 45 college football games this season and feature a game from all 14 teams in the SEC at their home stadium in the first four weeks.
The complete SEC Network and ESPNU schedule for both Ole Miss soccer and volleyball is below.
Ole Miss Volleyball On SEC Network:
DATE TIME (CT) MATCHUP Fri, Sept. 26 5 p.m. Ole Miss at South Carolina Wed, Oct. 1 6 p.m. Missouri at Ole Miss Wed, Oct. 8 6 p.m. Ole Miss at Arkansas Wed, Oct. 22 6 p.m. LSU at Ole Miss Sun, Nov. 2 1 p.m. South Carolina at Ole Miss Sun, Nov. 16 3 p.m. Ole Miss at Missouri Ole Miss Volleyball On ESPNU
DATE TIME (CT) MATCHUP Wed, Nov. 5 5 p.m. Ole Miss at Mississippi State
Ole Miss Soccer On SEC Network:
DATE TIME (CT) MATCHUP Fri, Aug. 22 5 p.m. Georgia at Ole Miss Fri, Sept. 19 5 p.m. Ole Miss at Mississippi State Thu, Sept. 25 6 p.m. Arkansas at Ole Miss –Kim Ling, Ole Miss Sports Information
Cantillo Named First Team All-Region
Ole Miss softball outfielder RT Cantillo was recognized yet again for her fantastic senior year, as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association named the Santa Ana, Calif., native first team All-Region on Thursday for the south region.
Cantillo becomes the fifth Rebel in program history to be named to an NFCA All-Region team, and is the second Rebel to ever be named first team All-Region, joining Lauren Grill, who was twice named first team All-Region in 2008 and 2010. Cantillo is one of eight players from the Southeastern Conference named to the south region’s first team.
Cantillo finished the 2014 season with the second highest single-season batting average in program history (.424), the fourth most hits (61), tied the fifth most runs scored (35), tied the fourth most walks (30), tied the 10th best slugging percentage (.556) and logged the third best on-base percentage (.522).
For her career, Cantillo finished with a .481 on-base percentage, the highest mark in program history, and the second highest batting average (.354) in program history. In all, Cantillo finished her career ranking in the top 10 in 14 different statistical categories at Ole Miss, including batting average, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, runs, walks, total bases, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, stolen bases, hit by pitch and fielding percentage.
On May 6, Cantillo was named to the All-SEC second team for the second time in her career, becoming the third Rebel in program history to be named All-SEC multiple times.
On March 31, Cantillo was drafted in the fifth round (20th overall) of the National Pro Fastpitch College Draft by the Chicago Bandits, and on May 13 she agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the team. She was the first person from the 2014 draft class to sign with their respective NPF team.
For all Ole Miss softball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball and on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball.
NFCA All-Region First Team (South)
P Jaclyn Traina Alabama
P Hannah Campbell South Alabama
C Nicole Morgan Texas A&M
1B Stephanie Texeira Florida International
2B Kaila Hunt
3B Caroline Seitz Mississippi State
SS Bianka Bell LSU
OF Haylie McCleney Alabama
OF Alanna DiVittorio McNeese State
OF RT Cantillo
UT/P Meredith Owen Stetson
DP/UT-Non-P Sahvanna Jaquish LSU
–Ole Miss Sports Information