From combined reports
If things fall just right, the Ole Miss Rebels and Mississippi State Bulldogs could be playing in an NCAA Super Regional showdown in two weeks.
But first, both Ole Miss — which will host four teams in Oxford this weekend — and MSU — which is set to visit Lafayette, La. beginning Friday — will have to win their respective regionals.
One day after being named one of 16 host sites for the NCAA Baseball Tournament, Ole Miss learned Monday it would be hosting Washington, Georgia Tech and Jacksonville State at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field with games being played Friday-Sunday, and Monday if necessary.
Washington (39-15-1), the regional’s No. 2 seed, and Georgia Tech (36-25), the No. 3 seed, will open play in the Oxford Regional on Friday at 3 p.m. CT. Ole Miss (41-18), the regional’s top seed, will then face the regional’s No. 4 seed, Jacksonville State (36-25), at 7 p.m. CT. A complete schedule for the regional is listed below. Both games Friday will be available on ESPN3.
Coming off its most successful Southeastern Conference campaign since 1997, the Mississippi State baseball team was selected as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Lafayette Regional, the selection committee announced Monday. The Bulldogs are part of a NCAA-record 10 Southeastern Conference teams on the official Road to Omaha.
The Bulldogs (37-22) will play San Diego State (42-19) Friday at 1 p.m. C.T. in game one of the regional. The opener will be televised live on ESPN3 from M.L. Tigue Moore Field in Lafayette, La. The Aztecs were an automatic qualifier for the tournament after winning the Mountain West Conference Tournament. Friday’s game will mark the first meeting between the two schools.
Following MSU’s game, host Louisiana-Lafayette (53-7), the sixth seed nationally, will play Jackson State (31-23) at 6 p.m. C.T. The game will also be televised on ESPN3. The Bulldogs and Ragin’ Cajuns have met just twice before, splitting a two-game set at Dudy Noble Field back in 1991 when ULL was known as Southwestern Louisiana University. Against Jackson State, MSU is 50-8 all-time. Both ULL (Sun Belt) and JSU (SWAC) were automatic qualifiers.
“We’re excited to be playing at home in June,” Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. “It’s certainly a great reward, but one that we feel is very deserved by this team that has played so well and consistently over the course of the season. It’s great to have baseball in Oxford in June again to reward the Rebel Nation for the support they has shown us and the role they play in our success.”
Ole Miss, the 10th ranked team in the country, is hosting its sixth regional in program history, and is making its 12th postseason appearance of the 14-year Bianco era. All six times the Rebels have hosted a regional have come under Bianco’s tenure.
Ole Miss is 3-0 all-time vs. Jacksonville State, with the Rebels sweeping the Gamecocks in a three-game series to open the 2002 season. The Gamecocks, coached by Jim Case, won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship by becoming the first team in OVC history to win six straight elimination games in the tournament after losing their tournament opener.
The Maroon and White of Mississippi State are playing in their 34th NCAA Tournament, owning a 92-74 record all-time in the Big Dance. MSU holds a 68-39 mark in 28 NCAA Regionals. Last season, Cohen’s club made it to the NCAA College World Series Championship Series, finishing as a finalist in the 64-team tournament.
Should the Bulldogs walk away winners in the Lafayette regional, it would be MSU’s 12th NCAA Regional championship. Starkville’s Team would then advance to its sixth NCAA Super Regional to face the winner of the NCAA Oxford Regional, which features host Ole Miss, Washington, Georgia Tech and Jacksonville State. For all-access coverage of the nationally-ranked Bulldogs in Lafayette, follow the team on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at HailStateBB.
The Rebels led the Southeastern Conference in batting average (.303), were third in the league in scoring (359) and fourth in home runs (36) this season. Ole Miss was second in the league in both slugging percentage (.417) and on-base percentage (.370), and the Rebels’ 2.76 team ERA was fifth in the highly competitive SEC, which set a record with 10 teams selected for the NCAA Tournament this year.
Three Rebels ranked in the top five of the SEC in hits this season. Junior outfielder Auston Bousfield led the conference with 87 hits, senior catcher Will Allen ranked second with 83 hits, and senior third baseman Austin Anderson finished in a tie for fifth with 76 hits.
Allen’s team-high .352 batting average was the second best in the SEC, while Bousfield’s .349 average was fourth in the league. Junior first baseman Sikes Orvis hit a team-high 12 home runs, which was the second most in the SEC.
On the mound, Ole Miss was led by Chris Ellis (9-1), Christian Trent (8-0) and Sam Smith (5-4). The Rebels’ weekend rotation held a 2.69 ERA, allowing 80 earned runs in 267.0 innings pitched. Ellis led the trio with a 2.17 ERA in 95.1 innings of work, while Trent posted a 2.44 ERA and Smith held a 3.58 ERA.
Tickets for the tournament in oxford will be available in all areas of the stadium. Ticket books for general admission will be sold for $60, reserved seating will be $70, box seating will be $80 and Diamond Club seating will be $200. Each ticket book gains admission to every game of the Oxford Regional.
The Ole Miss Athletics Ticket Office is open daily 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Tad Smith Coliseum. The ticket office will be closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day. Fans may order their regional tickets online via OleMissTix.com if they wish to order Sunday, Monday or after hours. Contact the ticket office at 888-REB-TKTS for more information.
Pending availability, single game tickets will go on sale Thursday online at OleMissTix.com or by phone. Box seats will sell for $20, while general admission and grandstand tickets are $15, and student tickets (college age or younger) are $10.
Single game tickets will be available for Will Call pick up Friday at the Tad Smith Coliseum until the middle of the 5th inning of the second game. Beginning Saturday, all tickets will be picked up at the Swayze Field box office. There, tickets will be open two hours prior to the first game each day and will remain open until the middle of the 5th inning of the day’s last game.
Regional ticket booklets for Lafayette Regional are $70 (grandstand seats), $60 (patio box seats) and $50 (bleachers). Season ticket holders who have already submitted their requests in advance will have their credit card automatically charged for their tickets. Following season ticket holders will be 2014 RCAF donors. Orders can be made on RaginCajuns.com or by calling 337.265.2170.
Regional tickets not purchased by season ticket holders or RCAF donors by 5 p.m. Wednesday will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Friday. There will be a limit of four tickets per account. Individual-session tickets, if available, will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. Individual session tickets are $20 (grandstand or patio box seats) and $10 (bleachers).