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Bianco, Elliott Reel in D1Baseball Honors 

Ole Miss head baseball coach Mike Bianco has been named the National Coach of the Year, while pitcher Hunter Elliott has been tabbed First Team Freshman All-American by D1Baseball.

It is the third coach of the year nod for Bianco after leading the Rebels to the first national championship iin program history. Meanwhile, Elliott also earned his third freshman All-American laurel after a dynamic rookie campaign.

Having just completed his 22nd year at the helm of the Rebel program, Bianco has coached the Rebels to four-straight 40-win seasons, one of four programs in the nation to do so.

At one point sitting near the bottom of the SEC standings, the Rebels completed a magical run through the postseason, finishing on top after being the last team included in the field of 64 for the NCAA Tournament. Ole Miss went 10-1 during the postseason, registering wins over No. 6 Miami, No. 10 Southern Miss, No. 7 Auburn, No. 3 Arkansas and No. 4 Oklahoma.

During his run in Oxford, Bianco has coached the Rebels to 18 NCAA Tournament appearances, including eight Super Regional appearances and a pair of trips to the College World Series. With 854 career wins, Bianco ranks third all-time in the SEC in wins behind only Ron Polk and Skip Bertman.

One of the key forces driving the Rebels during their national championship run, Elliott finished the year with a 5-3 record, making 20 appearances on the mound, including 12 starts.

The lefty hurler ranked 42nd in the nation and third in the SEC with a 2.70 ERA, the third lowest in the nation among freshmen and the lowest at the power five level. Elliott struck out 102 batters on the year, sixth most in the conference, ranking ninth in the league with a 1.14 WHIP.

Elliott made four starts during Ole Miss’ dominant NCAA Tournament showing, picking up a pair of wins and allowing just four earned runs over 25.1 innings, good for a paltry 1.42 ERA. The Tupelo, Mississippi, native struck out 28 batters in those four starts, including a season-high 10 over 7.1 shutout frames against Southern Miss in the clinching game of the Hattiesburg Super Regional.

Bianco and Elliott, along with shortstop Jacob Gonzalez, are currently competing with the USA Collegiate National Team in The Netherlands at Honkbalweek Haarlem. Team USA’s schedule kicks off on Saturday against Japan, with first pitch scheduled for 6 a.m. CT.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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