The Road to Omaha is officially underway for the Diamond Rebels with Ole Miss starting that long journey out in the City of Angels in the UCLA regional at No. 1 overall seed host site.
Last season, the Ole Miss ended their season in Omaha, and the club hopes to make another return trip back to the mecca of college baseball and TD Ameritrade Park for the second consecutive year.
The Rebels (30-26) enter postseason play after going through the toughest schedule in the country. Last time on the diamond, the Rebels were beaten by Alabama 6-1 in the first round of the Southeastern Tournament.
Ole Miss goes into this regional as the No. 2 seed and will face No. 3 seed Maryland Terrapins to kick off the region.
Ole Miss has gotten a lot of production from senior first baseman Sikes Orvis heating up at the plate at the right time with 16 home runs and 53 RBI on the year. In his last four seasons in a Rebel uniform, he has blasted 34 bombs in his career which has him ranked 10th all-time currently. His teammate freshman Kyle Watson is hitting at a .437 since returning to the starting lineup five games ago.
Maryland (39-21) enters this regional after being knocked out of the Big 10 Tournament by the University of Michigan after ending Illinois 27-game winning streak. The Terps finished Big Ten play third in the conference.
Brandon Lowe leads the Terps at the plate hitting at a .342 clip with 9 home runs, 52 RBI and 56 runs scored, while teammate Kevin Martir is right behind him with a .330 average, 7 home runs and 42 RBI.
The two hurlers for Friday are sophomore RHP Mike Shawaryn for Maryland and junior southpaw Christian Trent for Ole Miss. Shawaryn enters the game with a record of 12-2 on the season and a 1.65 ERA, and Trent is 7-6 with 3.70 ERA.
Ole Miss and Maryland will be meeting on the diamond for the first time ever Friday evening at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The winner will move into the winner’s bracket to face either UCLA or CSU Bakersfield, while the loser of the game awaits the loser of the second game in a elimination game Saturday night.
Fans can watch the game on ESPN3 or listen to it on the Ole Miss Radio Network as David Kellum and Keith Kessinger have the call.
Adam Brown is HottyToddy.com sports editor he can be reached at email@example.com.