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Ole Miss Baseball Opens 2016 Season Today

Errol Robinson Hottytoddy.com file photo
Errol Robinson
Hottytoddy.com file photo

In just a few short hours, the first pitch of Ole Miss’ 2016 baseball season will be thrown.

Ole Miss’ Diamond Rebels will step onto the diamond to take on Florida International University. The Rebels are the only 2015 NCAA Tournament team to face two fellow tournament teams in the first two weekend series of the season. Coach Mike Bianco’s club is 14-1 in the season openers.

The Rebels return 16 players from last season’s team, including seven starting position players (DH included). 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 16 newcomers, featuring 13 freshmen and three junior college transfers.

Let’s take a quick look at the Rebels first opponent of the season.

FIU enters 2016 ready build off the momentum the players gained at the end of the season that resulted in an NCAA Regional appearance. Despite the Panthers finishing 30-31 last season, including 13-17 in conference play, they earned a regional berth after winning the Conference USA Tournament as the eight seed.

All three of FIU’s weekend starting pitchers are back this season: Cody Crouse (5-6, 4.13 ERA), Chris Mourelle (7-7, 3.07 ERA) and Andres Nunez (6-6. 3.99 ERA) combined to make 47 starts on the mound in 2015. However, Crouse is sidelined due to an elbow injury at the start the season.

Ole Miss swept the Panthers in the only previous series between the two teams. In 2013, the Rebels won all three games in Miami, outscoring FIU by a combined 27-13 margin.

The probable pitching matchup for this conference series will showcase FIU’s Andres Nunez (Friday), Chris Mourelle (Saturday) and Garrett Cave (Sunday) who are all right-handed. Coach Bianco will send to the hill Brady Bramlett (Friday), Chad Smith (Saturday) and Sean Johnson (Sunday).

Fans that can’t make it out to the ball park this weekend can watch every pitch on SEC Network+ as Will Kollimeyer and David Dellucci will have the call. Or they can listen to the game on Ole Miss Radio Network.

Game times for this three-game tilt are 4:00 p.m. on Friday, 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and the finale at noon this Sunday.


Adam Brown is the sports editor for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.

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Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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