Rebels confident they can score more runs

The question was about run-production, and Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco and senior left-fielder Tanner Mathis are confident the Rebels will improve in that area.

Ole Miss was second in the SEC in batting average (.296) but eighth in runs scored (338) in last year’s 37-26 campaign:


“When you lose players like (Alex) Yarbrough and (Matt) Snyder, guys that have been in your program and had great offensive careers, and Zach Kirksey in his senior year had a great year, those are three key components that we lost. Just like how they matured through the years, we have other guys currently doing that.

“Auston Bousfield reminds me a lot of what Alex did. He actually hit about 10 or 15 points higher than Alex did as a freshman. He gained valuable experience. When I look at guys like Will Allen who hit .305, had a tremendous fall. I think he’s getting ready to have one of those break-out years. Austin Anderson really swung the bat fairly well last year had a tremendous fall. (Andrew) Mistone is a senior. A lot of those juco kids play better as seniors.

“Tanner (Mathis) is one we didn’t expect to come back for his senior year and at the end was arguably the best hitter on the team.

“I think we’ll run better. I think we’ll handle the bat better than we did last year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we hit more home runs. We lose a couple of boppers in Kirksey and Snyder, but Yarbs only hit a couple of home runs. When you look at guys like Will Allen and Overbey, Bousfield’s going to hit some home runs. We’re going to be all right in that category. I think we’re going to score more runs than we did last year, and we certainly need to. Last year we did a lot of great things offensively, but we had trouble pushing runs across. At the end, we’ve got to be able to score a few more runs.”

Here’s what Tanner Mathis had to say on the topic:

“One of the big things is … the strikeouts went down, the batting average up, what happened with the runs, we didn’t hold each other accountable enough. That’s the only time for us to be selfish, when there’s a guy in scoring position. We want that to be our hit, our run. It helps the team. You want to get that guy in. You have to do what you can to get him in. You don’t want to rely on the guy behind you, because you want to do it yourself.

“The main thing is we’re more accountable. Even when we don’t do it in the intrasquad game he’ll write it down and bring it up at a later point.

You have to do it yourself so you know you get it done.

“It’s been a topic, one thing we’ve talked about as a team. Last year we wanted to be the No. 1 offense. This year it’s the No. 1 run-scoring offense,” Mathis said. “That’s one thing we harp on every week. When we have a meeting, that’s what we talk about, how to do it, how to get better at it each and every week.”

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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  • The NCAA is gathering…..evidence?
    “Once upon a time you threw the bums a dime, didn’t you ?”

    • Concerned

      “The NCAA is gathering…..evidence?”

      Yes, against that team down south who has been under investigation for recruiting irregularities since last year …

  • Guest

    I’M glad to get away from that basketball team who apparently do not have the right stuff, as demonstrated in the last game with MIssouri. To Baseball where the Rebels seem to be much stronger and have a chance to go, ,maybe to Omaha this season, . , but their work is cut out for them. Arkansas one of the best as preseaseon predict, but those front runners seem to run out of steam as the season and late developing other teams arise. The Florida Gators could be one of those teams.After leading the nation with 75 long balls last season, the Gators lose their top five home-run hitters.Only 14 homers were hit by returning players. As I take a look at them they will start nine freshmen who are very capable and speedy. returning is a pitcher in Crawford with a fast ball at 99 plus mph fast ball and loaded with a pitching staff once again. My old Gators will be back, I say My old Gators because I came to know them back in about 1952 and later years. Much more than that I had with the Ole Miss Rebels. I still have some respect for Ole Miss in a way, but not much. Mississippi State will be very strong,as usual, South Carolina, even with their baseball coach moving up to AD will be a contender, along With Texas A&M, LSU, and possible Kentucky, Missouri, no idea, Georgia, Alabama and Auburn???? SO Ole Miss has a good chance, but on the other hand they have had good chances before and BLEW THEM. JB

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