#9 Ole Miss Baseball 2019 Preview

Ole Miss Rebels
Overall Rank: #9
Conference Rank: #4 SEC
 Mississippi Logo
Ole Miss won 48 games in 2018 and won 18 of those games during conference play so they headed into the NCAA Tournament with a lot of confidence. The Rebels hosted the Oxford Regional and ran into a Tennessee Tech team that was outstanding offensively and ended up eliminating Ole Miss. Head Coach Mike Banco and his staff will have an experienced team coming back and should have little trouble being motivated to atone for the early postseason exit.
2018: 48-17, 18-12
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mike Bianco
Key Departed Players:
Nick Fortes, C, .319 BA, 11 HR, 49 RBI, 14 SB
Will Golsan, INF/OF, .304 BA, 4 HR, 48 RBI
Ryan Rolison, P, 3.70 ERA, 10-4 W/L, 97.1 IP, 45 BB, 120 SO
Brady Feigl, P, 3.93 ERA, 8-5 W/L, 91.2 IP, 26 BB, 93 SO
James McArthur, P, 4.48 ERA, 6-1 W/L, 66.1 IP, 38 BB, 58 SO
Key Returning Players:
Ryan Olenek, INF/OF, .350 BA, 3 HR, 29 RBI, 9 SB
Chase Cockrell, INF/OF, .317 BA, 9 HR, 38 RBI
Thomas Dillard, C/OF, .310 BA, 13 HR, 59 RBI, 17 SB
Tyler Keenan, INF, .301 BA, 9 HR, 38 RBI
Grae Kessinger, INF, .300 BA, 8 HR, 37 RBI, 8 SB
Cole Zabowski, INF, .300 BA, 10 HR, 44 RBI
Jacob Adams, INF, .257 BA, 3 HR, 18 RBI, 7 SB
Wil Ethridge, P, 3.91 ERA, 3-1 W/L, 50.2 IP, 14 BB, 53 SO
Jordan Fowler, P, 3.20 ERA, 7-0 W/L, 45.0 IP, 18 BB, 34 SO
Houston Roth, P, 4.44 ERA, 5-1 W/L, 52.2 IP, 25 BB, 68 SO
Parker Caracci, P, 2.25 ERA, 5-2 W/L, 48.0 IP, 14 BB, 73 SO
This team should not have any problem scoring runs in 2019 as they bring back the majority of the everyday lineup. Ryan Olenek hit .350 last season and will provide a great mix of hitting for a high average, speed, and some timely power. Thomas Dillard has some nice versatility as he can play catcher or out in the outfield and hit 13 homeruns with 59 runs batted in last season for the Rebels. Speed is another key element of Dillard’s game as he swiped 17 bases in 2018 and could very well get north of 20 stolen bases in 2019. Chase Cockrell, Grae Kessinger, Tyler Kennan, and Cole Zabowski all hit at least .300 in 2018 and combined for 37 homeruns while driving in 157 runs as a group. The depth in this lineup is going to be a problem for opposing pitchers all year long. Pitchers Will Ethridge and Jordan Fowler will need to take care of business on the weekends to allow this lethal offense to go to work and grind out wins. Parker Caracci should be one of the top closers in college baseball as Caracci struck out 73 batters in 48 innings while only walking 14 on the way to ten saves in 2018. Bottom line, Ole Miss should be a regional host and be on the edge of a top eight national seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament