After dismal football and basketball seasons this academic year, and last, the Rebel Nation has something to cheer about with the Ole Miss baseball team's heroics. Last year's great baseball season was expected--the team was loaded with experienced and talented upperclassmen. They were eliminated by eventual national champions, Texas, in the first ever Super Regional held in Oxford (that's the Mississippi Oxford). Hopes and expectations weren't near as high for this year's team with a half dozen of the starters from last year drafted to the pros. But, this young team, after enduring a mid-season slump, has found itself (not to mention its bats and gloves). Finishing strong enough to qualify for the SEC tournament, they swept all comers and were crowned SEC Tournament Champions for the first time since the inaugural Tournament in 1977, played in Oxford that year.
I watched a few games in that 1977 tournament. Baseball has come a long way on the Ole Miss campus since that time. The 1977 tournament was played on a diamond that was not easily distinguishable from the intramural softball fields on campus. Today the rebels play in a beautiful ball park that sits on the old intramural football field where we ROTC midshipmen marched and played ball.
This past weekend the Baseball Rebels swept their regional in Oxford and expect to host the Super Regional against Miami next weekend.
Hurricanes in Oxford. There's an odd thought. But, maybe not so unusual--before they were the Rebels, Ole Miss ball teams were known as the Mississippi Flood.