Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Rebels Practice, Talk About National Championship Challenge

DSC_0011
Rebels loosen up at practice today at Swayze. All photos by Andy Knef.

Prior to today’s Rebel baseball practice, the media got a chance to ask the returning Omaha-bound club some questions and watch the team go through their paces.
Here are some quotes from Coach Mike Bianco and the boys. We’ll add other players to the mix in the coming days leading up to this weekend’s College World Seres action:
“It was exciting for the whole club to see the fans when we pulled into the park last night,” said Coach Mike Bianco.    “The key to this team’s success is a combination of talent, toughness and chemistry — but people may overlook the talent sometimes. We had nine players drafted into professional baseball and there is no doubt we have one of the most talented college baseball teams in America.
DSC_0002
Coach Mike Bianco says structure is key to his approach for Omaha.

“But we also played well together,” Coach Bianco added. “In the pre-season polls, we were predicted to finish near the bottom of the pack in the SEC West and that was somewhat understandable because we didn’t have a great finish last year. We didn’t have players with all the pre-season accolades, but they proved on the field to be outstanding players. They handled adversity and what the game deals out and we’re very proud of them.”
When asked about how he would prepare the team for the pressure of a College World Series, Bianco said, “We try to stay consistent with our routine. We have scheduled meetings and team meals but we also give the players time to escape and have a meal with their parents.”
From his experience in the CWS as an assistant with LSU, Coach Bianco stresses the importance of structure in an unfamiliar environment like Omaha.
“I had such a routine in those years that I stayed in the same hotel room two years in a row. Now, we don’t even play at the same stadium,” he said.
When asked if he felt like a 10,000-pound gorilla had been lifted from his back, Coach Bianco was quick to answer: “That’s what you guys say,” he responded (to the media surrounding him). “We have had a lot of successful teams here at Ole Miss, but for whatever reason they just didn’t get to Omaha.”
photo-6
Slugger Sikes Orvis no longer gets kidded about his name.

Rebel first baseman Sikes Orvis expected to see a “couple of fans” waiting for the team bus when they pulled into Swayze yesterday. He was overwhelmed by the large, happy reception. “It was so exciting to see everyone and it makes you realize what a special place we get to play in,” he said.
After hitting a home run at the Super Regionals, Orvis said he was confident the Rebel bats would respond to the large confines of TD Ameritrade in Omaha. “Swayze is a big park and I think we’ll be successful there hitting the ball in the gaps,” he said.
Finally the big first baseman was asked if he agreed that Sikes Orvis is one of the best sports names going. “When I was a kid a lot of my friends teased me about it, but I’m enjoying hearing it called now.”
Tomorrow more from the Rebel players.
Here are some more images from today’s practice:
DSC_0007
Players are relaxed as Omaha looms.

DSC_0023
A little BP for J.B. Woodman as Errol Robinson looks on.

DSC_0001
Catcher Will Allen does a phone interview before practice.

DSC_0006
If anyone is nervous, it sure doesn’t show.

DSC_0021
Fans enjoy the practice and root on the Rebels.

DSC_0003
Coach Bianco is the center of attention for the press.

Andy Knef is editor of HottyToddy.com. Contact Andy about this article at Andy.Knef@hottytoddy.com
 
 

84,459FansLike
20,500FollowersFollow
14,100FollowersFollow
//The following lines allow infolinks to place their ads - Inserted 6/17/2022 // End infolinks tracing pixel