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Blackman and Bortles Named Preseason All-SEC

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Today’s sports roundup also features Ole Miss Women’s Basketball Falls to LSU, Ole Miss Rifle to Face No. 11 Memphis, Big Weekend on Tap for Ole Miss Track & Field

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Blackman and Bortles Named Preseason All-SEC

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Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics
With opening day for the 2017 Ole Miss baseball season just eight days away, infielders Tate Blackman and Colby Bortles were named Preseason All-SEC by the conference coaches. The two Rebels were selected to the preseason all-conference second team, the league office announced Thursday afternoon.
A pair of team captains, Blackman and Bortles have been mentioned as players to watch during the 2017 season. Bortles was named a Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball, while D1Baseball.com ranked the senior as the No. 12 third baseman in the country. D1Baseball.com also listed Blackman on its Preseason All-SEC list as well as the No. 23 second baseman in its national power rankings.
Blackman had a breakout season a year ago, hitting .322 to earn second team All-SEC honors. The Altamonte Springs, Florida, native started all 62 games at second base and put together 21 multi-hit contests. He also led the conference in sacrifice flies with seven, a mark that ranked 19th nationally. Blackman finished the 2016 campaign with 74 hits, 48 runs, 38 RBI, 13 doubles and three home runs.
Through two seasons as a Rebel, Blackman has appeared in 101 games with a .278 career batting average. He’s a two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll as a criminal justice major.
Last season, Bortles paced the Rebels in doubles with 21, ranking second in the SEC as well as fifth in Ole Miss history for a single season. He produced 14 multi-RBI games and totaled 50 on the year, which ranked 15th among SEC hitters. After hitting seven homers as a sophomore, Bortles belted eight last season to go along with a .475 slugging percentage. He finished the season on a high note with multiple accolades, earning spots on the SEC All-Tournament team and the NCAA Oxford Regional All-Tournament team.
Bortles is the lone Rebel in the program that was part of the 2014 squad the made the College World Series, where he made a start in Omaha as a freshman. The Oviedo, Florida, native has appeared in 158 games through his first three seasons as a Rebel, making 129 starts. As a .272 career hitter, Bortles is known for his power at the dish with 34 career doubles and 17 career home runs.
With the Rebels having to replace six players that were selected in the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft, the conference coaches predicted Ole Miss to finish third in the SEC West as part of their preseason poll.
Blackman, Bortles and the rest of the No. 8 Rebels will kick off the 2017 campaign Feb. 17 at home against East Carolina. The top-10 matchup at Swayze Field is slated for a 4 p.m. first pitch, and tickets are still on sale.
For the latest news and updates involving Ole Miss Baseball, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissBSB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Baseball and on Instagram at olemissbsb.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports


Ole Miss Women’s Basketball Falls to LSU

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Coach Matt Insell
photo courtesy of Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Sporta
The Ole Miss women’s basketball team (15-9, 4-7 SEC) dropped a 62-51 contest to LSU at The Pavilion at Ole Miss on Thursday night . The loss was just Ole Miss’ second home loss of the season.
Shandricka Sessom (Byhalia, Miss.) paced Ole Miss with 14 points for her third straight game in double figures while Madinah Muhammad (Chicago, Ill.) added 10 points for her fifth game in double figures. Sessom also paced the way on the defensive end with six rebounds.
Ole Miss trailed by 15 going into the fourth quarter but just wasn’t able to generate any momentum on the offensive end in the defeat. Turnovers were a factor as the Rebels posted 23 turnovers leading to 23 LSU points.
The third quarter started much like the second with the Rebels struggling to make shots but midway through the quarter Ole Miss started to force some turnovers and was able to get some points to try and cut into a LSU lead that ballooned to 20 points. Sessom and Taylor Manuel (St. Louis, Mo.) made two buckets inside as Ole Miss cut the lead to 13 points with two minutes left in the quarter forcing LSU to call a timeout but couldn’t get closer.
The Rebel offense stalled in the second quarter as the home team only shot 16.7 (2-of-112) percent and was held without a basket for 6:29 allowing LSU to jump out to a 16-point lead –the largest of the half – with 1:32 left in the half. Alissa Alston (New Haven, Conn.) broke the drought with a bucket in the paint with 1:23 seconds remaining as the Tigers took a 32-20 at the end of the second quarter of action.
It was a slow start to the game for the Rebels as LSU went up 4-1 but triples from Muhammad and Sessom gave Ole Miss a 7-6 lead at the 6:05 mark before LSU free throw tied the game at the first quarter media timeout. Out of the media timeout the teams traded buckets but a three-point play from Manuel coupled with a trey at the buzzer from Shequila Joseph (London, England) – her first in eight games – tied the game at 15 at the end of the first quarter.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports


Ole Miss Rifle to Face No. 11 Memphis

Marsha Beasley – Rifle
Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Sports
The No. 13 Ole Miss rifle team will travel to Memphis, Tennessee this weekend to compete against No. 11 Memphis. This will be the third meeting of the two teams this season on Saturday beginning at 8 a.m.
Noting the Rebels Last Match
The Rebels are coming off their fist victory in 2017, with a close win over Akron (4639-4643), marking the highest score shot against Akron (by 58 points) in school history.
Last weekend, senior Alison Weisz led the Rebels in both air rifle (592) and smallbore (577) for a 1169 aggregate, her fourth highest this season. Junior Jessica Haig matched Weisz’s smallbore score, and with a 587 air rifle score, totaled a 1164 aggregate, the third highest for her this season. While sophomore Samantha Sandifer’s air rifle score did not contribute to the team’s aggregate (2352), she posted a personal best of 581 for the third time in her career.
Match-up with Memphis
The Rebels will look to top the Tigers this weekend as the last victory over Memphis came in 2014 when the Rebels posted a 4646 aggregate, 2351 in air rifle and 2295 in smallbore.
Ole Miss has faced Memphis head-to-head twice this season and topped the Tigers both times in air rifle. Ole Miss posted a 4641 aggregate at the Ole Miss Invitational, which was second to Memphis’s 4649 and then a week later at the Tiger Invitational posted a 4649 aggregate to Memphis’s 4655.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports


Big Weekend on Tap for Ole Miss Track & Field

Ole Miss has its final tune-ups before the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships with a pair of high-level meets this weekend – the Music City Challenge (Nashville, Tenn.) and Iowa State Classic (Ames, Iowa).
Both meets will take place on Friday and Saturday. Look for some of the top performances of the collegiate indoor season so far, as athletes jockey for positions in the NCAA rankings and prepare to be at their peak for conference and national championships.
The Music City Challenge is being contested at the site of the upcoming SEC meet and will feature a number of top squads from around the country, including nationally ranked men’s teams in No. 7 Georgia, No. 18 Virginia Tech, No. 19 UTEP and No. 23 Southern Illinois and ranked women’s squads in No. 3 Georgia and No. 11 Ole Miss. Among the other teams are Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Louisville, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Minnesota, Mississippi State, SMU, Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky.
The Iowa State Classic (airing live on FloTrack.org) is one of the year’s top meets for distance events and will feature many of the nation’s elite runners looking to clock fast times for NCAA qualifying.
The Rebels will send the following men to Ames: Ian Carter (5000m), Dylan Day (mile), Robert Domanic (mile), Craig Engels (800m), MJ Erb (5000m), Trevor Gilley (mile), Derek Gutierrez (mile), Brandon Harvey (mile), Ryan Manahan (800m), Mark Robertson (5000m) and Sean Tobin (3000m).
Women making the trip to Iowa are Emily Bean (5000m), Anna Braswell (5000m), Shelby Brown (3000m), Hannah Christen (5000m), Chelsea Drum (3000m), Mary Alex England (5000m), Katherine MacNeal (5000m) and Maddie McHugh (800m).
At last year’s Iowa State Classic, Ole Miss broke an amazing five indoor school records: Raven Saunders in the women’s shot put (all-time indoor collegiate record), Bean in the women’s 5000m, Domanic in the men’s 3000m, Britt Ummels in the women’s 3000m and Ryan Walling in the men’s 5000m.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports


For questions email adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.

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