By Adam Brown
Ole Miss baseball returned to the diamond on Friday to start intrasquad for the upcoming 2023 season. Head coach Mike Bianco met with the media to discuss this season and defending the national championship.
Bianco has been asked a lot since winning the national title about how to put the championship behind him.
“Coming into this season, it hasn’t been that difficult. Its pretty easy,” Bianco said. “Walk into the first team meeting, have 40 players and 20 of them weren’t here last year. It’s a quick reminder of how college athletics work.”
Bianco added that there is not a free-agency with a lot of attrition and guys get drafted. While players move on, new ones come in.
During fall ball, the Ole Miss coaching staff looked at how to use the championship to better the program.
“On the field it was pretty normal, but it was different,” Bianco said. “It was a juggle to give the championship its right due. We wanted to make sure that we could juggle the new team and the ceremonies and celebrations.”
Bianco and his staff have five of the starting nine fielders this season and it is exactly 50 percent of the College World Series innings.
“Our returning pitchers threw half of the innings thrown in the CWS and 53 percent of the at-bats return,” Bianco said. “It’s not a super old team, but certainly not a team that the post season is foreign to them.”
The Rebels will face off in intrasquad games over the next three weeks leading up to the season opener against Delaware on February 17 for a three-game series.