By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss baseball team begins its title defense on Friday, opening the 2023 season with a three-game series against the University of Delaware Blue Hens. The first pitch is set for 4 p.m. and can be streamed on the SEC Network+.
Ole Miss is coming off its first-ever national championship in baseball and will celebrate the title each day of the series.
This season, the Rebels have a lot of pieces returning to the diamond after Tim Elko, Kevin Graham, Justin Bench, and Dylan DeLucia went through the 2022 MLB Draft.
The Rebels have short stop Jacob Gonzalez back for his junior season and he has been named to five different Preseason All-America lists and is the lone Rebel present on the Preseason All-SEC teams.
Coach Mike Bianco is in his 23rd season at the helm of the program. In his tenure the Rebels have won at least 30 games every season and at least 40 in 10 seasons.
Delaware comes into opening day after a 25-26 overall mark in the 2022 season. The Blue Hens have a new skipper in Greg Mamula.
The Blue Hens have redshirt junior Joey Loynd returning this year. Loynd led them with 45 RBI while he it .298 on the season with eight home runs, a triple, 12 doubles and 54 hits.
The pitching matchup this weekend will showcase the arms of left-hander Eli Atiya (Friday), right-hander Nate Rolka (Saturday) and LHP Chris Grome (Sunday) for the Blue Hens. Bianco will send to the hill LHP Hunter Elliott (Friday) RHP Grayson Saunier (Saturday) and southpaw Xavier Rivas (Sunday) for Ole Miss.
Game times for this weekend’s three-game tilts are set for Friday (4 p.m.) Saturday and Sunday are both at noon. Every game can be streamed on the SEC Network+.