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League Office Announces Ole Miss Baseball’s National TV Schedule

Thomas Dillard waits on the pitch. Photo by Steven Gagliano.

The 2019 run to Omaha cranks up soon and this season Rebel fans will be able to catch the baseball team on national television 10 times. On Wednesday, the league office announced the full TV slate and Ole Miss is one of seven clubs with 10 or more games on national TV. 

The 2019 campaign is highlighted by a primetime SEC Network matchup Saturday, Apr. 5, with defending SEC Regular-Season Champion Florida at 7 p.m. CT as part of Grove Bowl Weekend in Oxford. The Rebel football team will hold its spring game, the Grove Bowl, at 3 p.m. that day at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

The Rebels, ranked No. 10 in the preseason, will first appear for three nationally broadcast contests, all on SEC Network, when they travel to Columbia, Missouri, to take on the Tigers, Mar. 22-24. A week later, Ole Miss heads to Arkansas for two nationally-televised games against the last year’s College World Series runner-up—Friday at 8 p.m. CT on ESPNU and Saturday at 3 p.m. on SEC Network.

The Rebels then return home for a series against Florida, highlighted by the Saturday game on SEC Network during Grove Bowl Weekend. The following weekend, Kentucky comes to town for another 7 p.m. CT SEC Network matchup on Saturday. Two weeks later, Ole Miss hosts Texas A&M for a Thursday-Friday-Saturday series. That Thursday meeting will be televised on SEC Network at 6 p.m. CT.

Ole Miss then heads to LSU, where the Sunday meeting will air nationally on ESPN2 at 2:30 p.m. CT. Then Mississippi State comes to town, and the Rebels will host their in-state rivals for two SEC Network+ games before an ESPN2 matchup at noon on Sunday.

2019 Schedule Breakdown

The overall 2019 schedule features an exciting list of opponents, highlighted by three NCAA College World Series participants, four Super Regional teams, and nine postseason baseball teams from a year ago. The slew of talent facing the Rebels also features five teams that finished the 2018 season ranked in the top 25.

The Rebels will kick off 2019 with 13 of their first 16 games at Oxford-University Stadium, opening the early homestretch on Feb. 15 with a three-game series versus Wright State. The 56-game slate will allow the Rebels 31 games with home-field advantage, in a stadium that once again finished second in the nation in attendance a year ago, as well as broke a new school record in average attendance with 8,965.

Highlighting the season is a visit to Oxford from Florida, who spent most of the 2018 year topping collegiate rankings, for the first time since 2015, as well as a two-game, midweek series versus Louisville and former Rebel Dan McDonnell. Coach Mike Bianco will again have a chance to face off against a former protégé when he and the Rebels welcome East Carolina and one-time Ole Miss assistant Cliff Godwin for a midweek game in March.

The home stretch to open the year is broken up by a three-game road swing in New Orleans against Tulane. Fans will have an opportunity to get the Mardi Gras festivities started early by traveling with the Rebels to take on the Green Wave (Feb. 22-24). The following weekend, the Rebels welcome a perennial West Coast power in  Long Beach State (Mar. 1-3), who is coming to Oxford to cap off a home-and-home series that began with a trip to California last year. The Rebels will also see Arkansas State (Feb. 19) and UT Martin (Feb. 26). The following week, Ole Miss will welcome Little Rock (Mar. 5) to town for a Tuesday night game, as well as East Carolina (Mar. 6), who hosted a regional in 2018, for a Wednesday encore.

The Rebels’ next weekend series comes against the Blazers of UAB (Mar. 8-10), but another test faces Ole Miss on the road just two days after the conclusion of the UAB series. Louisville awaits the Rebels for a two-game, midweek series Mar. 12-13, as Bianco and Ole Miss face off against former assistant Dan McDonnell and the nationally prominent Louisville Cardinals.

SEC play will begin in mid-March with a three-game series against Alabama (Mar. 15-17) at Swayze Field. A midweek opponent in Arkansas Pine Bluff (Mar. 19) lies between the Crimson Tide series and a trip to Columbia, Missouri, where the Rebels will take on the Missouri Tigers (Mar. 22-24) for a three-game series in just the two teams’ 18, 19, and 20 meetings of all time.

The yearly tradition of heading to Memphis for a one-game stand in March continues again in 2019 with a Tuesday night matchup against the Tigers (Mar. 26), before a big test awaits in the Arkansas Razorbacks.

The Rebels will face their SEC West co-Champions from 2018 in Fayetteville (Mar. 29-31) after a three-game series last year in Oxford that drew record crowds to Swayze. Ole Miss returns to Mississippi with an Apr. 2 matchup against North Alabama, but faces a looming threat over the next weekend.

The Florida Gators, who spent much of the 2018 season ranked No. 1 in the country and finished their year just a few games from the College World Series championship game, will head to Oxford for Grove Bowl Weekend (April 5-7) in a highly anticipated showdown between the two dominant schools that missed out on a matchup last year. 

Ole Miss will again head to Trustmark Park in Pearl, Mississippi, for a pair of games against in-state foes. The Rebels will square off against Southern Miss (Apr. 9) to fulfill the neutral site matchup, and attempt to take back the state’s Governor’s Cup from rival Mississippi State (Apr. 23). The Governor’s Cup game will not count towards the SEC schedule.

The Rebels will see both Mississippi State and Southern Miss later in the season, as the team will head down to Hattiesburg for a Wednesday night game at the Golden Eagles (May 1), before the penultimate series of the year when the Bulldogs of Mississippi State travel up to Oxford for a weekend series May 10-12.

Before the rivalry matchup, however, Ole Miss will welcome the high-powered offense of the Kentucky Wildcats to Oxford for a series (Apr. 12-14), and head to Auburn this year (Apr. 18-20). Texas A&M is also headed back to Oxford for a three-game series Apr. 25-27, while the Rebels will meet the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge this year (May 3-5).

A familiar opponent in Memphis will be the visiting team as they travel to Swayze Field for the second of two matchups Apr. 16, between the series against Kentucky and Auburn, while a last-week trip to Arkansas State (May 14) closes out the non-conference schedule.

Tennessee wraps up a challenging slate of SEC opponents this year (May 16-18), in a series that will take place in Knoxville, before the defending champion Rebels work to defend their throne at the SEC Tournament from May 21-26.

NCAA Regionals this year will take place from May 21-26, the Super Regionals from June 7-9, and the College World Series, held annually in Omaha, Nebraska, from June 15-26.

Ole Miss returns a roster of seven starting position players from a season ago that saw the Rebels lead the SEC at the plate in a slew of categories, including the league’s highest batting average at .300. Freshman All-American Tyler Keenan and one of the SEC’s most revered athletes, Ryan Olenek, are just two Rebels who will look to fill the void in the lineup left by veterans Will Golsan and Nick Fortes, who signed professionally. Coach Bianco and his staff will have to replace an entire weekend rotation that departed in the 2018 MLB Draft, but that should be no problem with a pair of All-Americans on the roster (Parker Caracci, Jordan Fowler; Freshman All-American).

Staff Report

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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