Monday, November 30, 2020

Bianco Reflects on Season’s End for the Rebels

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor
adam.brown@hottytoddy.com

The Ole Miss baseball team had its best start to a season come to an abrupt end last Thursday due to the coronavirus pandemic affecting the country. Many administrators are requiring college clubs to put down their gloves in an order to stop the spread of the virus. 

The Rebels played their last series of the season on the road at ULM last Tuesday and Wednesday.

Head Coach Mike Bianco talked to the media on Monday on a conference call about how the news affected him and his team. 

“The game got over about 7:30 p.m. and I was told that I needed to look at my phone,” Bianco said. “I had a text message from Lynnette Johnson that said we had a conference call at 8:45. It was the first that I knew anything about (not playing in front of fans).”

On the conference call all the coaches and the senior staff were on the phone with Keith Carter and Johnson, he said. At first, the decision was made to go ahead and take the diamond against LSU that weekend without any fans in Swayze. That series would never happen. 

“Everyone was shocked when the NCAA suspended our season,” Bianco said. “It was very emotional as they are learning the news about the College World Series being cancelled. They were crying, I was crying.”

It was decided to push every thing back until April 15 and to send athletes home.

“It’s really hard for those kids to understand and digest,” Bianco said. “It is something that we will remember for all of our lives.”

The Diamond Rebels were leading the country in the midst of a 16-game winning streak. 

“We were playing great and doing a lot of things well with some good starting pitching and strong bullpen,” Bianco said. “The offense was better than what most people would expect as we were third in the country in runs scored, leading the country in home runs.”

Offensively, Ole Miss was on a tear at the plate as they belted 37 home runs.

The NCAA is reportedly coming up with a relief program to give players back their year of eligibility.