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Ole Miss Baseball Announces 2016 Schedule

John Gatlin makes a diving grab out at second base
John Gatlin makes a diving grab out at second base

After playing the nation’s toughest schedule in 2015, the Ole Miss baseball team will have another challenging 56-game schedule as the Rebels announced their 2016 campaign Monday morning. The regular season kicks off with Florida International coming to Swayze Field for a three-game series, Feb. 19-21, and culminates when the Rebels hit the road to battle Texas A&M three months later (May 19-21) in the final contests prior to starting postseason play with the SEC Tournament (May 24-29).

The schedule is highlighted by 19 games against teams that made the NCAA Tournament this past summer, including 13 games versus opponents with an RPI in the top 25 at the end of the 2015 season. Although 34 percent of the schedule consists of NCAA Tournament teams, Ole Miss will host the majority of them at venerable Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. The 32-game home slate features 15 contests versus opponents that qualified for the 2015 NCAA Tournament, including six against College World Series teams. Arkansas visits Oxford (April 8-10), and the Rebels will square off against LSU (April 29-May 1).

“Once again, we are excited about the challenge of playing a difficult schedule,” said Ole Miss Head Coach Mike Bianco. “Last season, we had the toughest schedule in the country, which groomed us for SEC play down the stretch and leading into the NCAA Tournament. Our team is looking forward to the 2016 season, and we are ready to get on the field later this week to begin preparing for the Road to Omaha.”

Ole Miss finished second in the nation in attendance in 2015, averaging 8,028 fans per game for a total season attendance of 240,849; the 8,028 average is the second-most in program history. The 2016 campaign kicks off in front of the home crowd as Ole Miss hosts FIU (Feb. 19-21). As a NCAA Tournament qualifier in 2015, the Panthers will serve as an early non-conference test to open the season.

The difficult start to the season continues for Ole Miss after opening weekend. Following a midweek game versus Arkansas State (Feb. 23), the University of Louisville rolls into town for a weekend slate against the Rebels (Feb. 26-28). The Cardinals, coached by former Ole Miss Assistant Coach Dan McDonnell, were one game away from a trip to Omaha last season as they fell to Cal State Fullerton in NCAA Super Regional play.

A matchup with Memphis (March 2), the first game of the annual home-and home series between the two programs, ends the Rebels’ eight-game homestand to start the season. Hitting the road for the first time, Ole Miss will face three different teams in three days. The Rebels will square off against Ball State, Coastal Carolina and Cincinnati in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (March 4-6). Following the weekend trip, Ole Miss returns to the friendly confines of Swayze Field to welcome Southeast Missouri State (March 8-9) and Grambling State (March 11-13). In the last series before the start of SEC play, the Rebels head to Birmingham, Alabama for a pair of games against UAB (March 15-16). Other non-conference opponents throughout the rest of the season are: Arkansas State, Memphis, UT Martin, Southern Miss, Murray State, and Arkansas Pine Bluff.

Ole Miss begins the always rigorous SEC schedule with a weekend series at Tennessee (March 18-20). The Rebels’ first home conference series will take place the following weekend when South Carolina comes to town. The Rebels and Gamecocks, two of the most successful programs in the SEC in recent history, will take the field after not facing one another last season.

Other home SEC series for the Rebels include: Arkansas (April 8-10), Auburn (April 22-24), LSU (April 29-May 1), and Kentucky (May 13-15). Ole Miss will also hit the conference road for trips to rival Mississippi State (April 1-3), Alabama (April 15-17), Georgia (May 6-8), and Texas A&M (May 19-21).

The Rebels will also head to Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. for two games versus in-state foes. Ole Miss will face Southern Miss April 5 before battling Mississippi State April 26. The contest with the Bulldogs will be the annual Governor’s Cup, and the Rebels will look to retain the trophy after winning last season’s contest, 11-1.

The SEC Tournament will once again be held in Hoover, Alabama, at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium from May 24-29. It is the 19th-straight year the premier conference tournament has been held at The Hoover Met.

The Rebels return 16 players from last season’s team, including six starting position players. First or second year players took 70.9 percent of the team’s at-bats throughout the 2015 season, and nearly all of them are back for the 2016 campaign. Ole Miss also welcomes in 17 newcomers, featuring 13 freshmen and four junior college transfers.

The Rebels played 24 percent of their games against top-10 teams in 2015. Ole Miss won the series over Florida (CWS third place) and at Vanderbilt (CWS runner-up) at times when the teams were ranked No. 1 in the nation. Facing the hardest schedule in the country a season ago, the Rebels won 30 games for the 18th-consecutive season and earned an NCAA Tournament berth for the 13th time in 15 seasons under Bianco. Both accomplishments rank second and third in the SEC, respectively, and the Rebels will look increase those marks in 2016.

Ole Miss begins fall practice this Friday, September 18. For updates on Ole Miss Baseball, follow the Rebels on Twitter (@OleMissBSB) and don’t forget to like the team’s Facebook page (Ole Miss Baseball).

Season Tickets on Sale Now

The Ole Miss Ticket Office is now accepting season ticket renewals and new season ticket orders for the 2016 Ole Miss baseball season.  Fans may purchase single-game tickets beginning in February.

Beginning this season fans may select their seat location using an interactive 3D venue seating chart of Swayze Field at OleMissSeats.com  For more information on Ole Miss baseball tickets, please contact the ticket office at (662) 915-7167, or go to OleMissTix.com.

2016 Season Tickets
$150 – Reserved Seating
$100 – General Admission (SRO)
$300 –General Admission (SRO) – Family Plan (2 adults and 2 youth)

2016 Single-Game Tickets
General Admission, Youth and Seniors:
Starting at $10 – Conference Games
Starting at $5 – Non-Conference Games
* Children under 12 months are admitted free of charge.
2016 Ole Miss Baseball Schedule
Feb. 23           ARKANSAS STATE
Feb. 26           LOUISVILLE
Feb. 27           LOUISVILLE
Feb. 28           LOUISVILLE
March 2          MEMPHIS
March 4          vs. Ball State@
March 5          vs. Coastal Carolina@
March 6          vs. Cincinnati@
March 11        GRAMBLING STATE
March 12        GRAMBLING STATE
March 13        GRAMBLING STATE
March 15        at UAB
March 16        at UAB
March 18        at Tennessee*
March 19        at Tennessee*
March 20        at Tennessee*
March 22        UT MARTIN
March 25        SOUTH CAROLINA*
March 26        SOUTH CAROLINA*
March 27        SOUTH CAROLINA*
March 30        at Memphis
April 1            at Mississippi State*
April 2            at Mississippi State*
April 3            at Mississippi State*
April 5            vs. Southern Miss#
April 8            ARKANSAS*
April 9            ARKANSAS*
April 10          ARKANSAS*
April 13          SOUTHERN MISS
April 15          at Alabama*
April 16          at Alabama*
April 17          at Alabama*
April 20          MURRAY STATE
April 22          AUBURN*
April 23          AUBURN*
April 24          AUBURN*
April 26          vs. Mississippi State#
April 29           LSU*
April 30           LSU*
May 1             LSU*
May 4             ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF
May 6             at Georgia*
May 7             at Georgia*
May 8             at Georgia*
May 13            KENTUCKY*
May 14            KENTUCKY*
May 15            KENTUCKY*
May 17            at Arkansas State
May 19            at Texas A&M*
May 20            at Texas A&M*
May 21            at Texas A&M*
May 24-29       SEC Tournament
June 3-5          NCAA Regionals
June 10-12       NCAA Super Regionals
June 18-29       College World Series

*SEC game
@Game at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
#Game at Pearl, Mississippi (Trustmark Park)

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports Information

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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